“The Islamic republic regime has certainly evolved in its methods of attack on our women who defy the hijab. Yesterday it was throwing acid on their faces, today they are pouring yoghurt on their heads,” wrote one social media user.
But Seyed Davood Nabizadeh, the head of the local office for Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, defended the unknown perpetrator.
“While we support our members to make sure that women observe the mandatory hijab, their actions must be advisory, rather than physical,” he said.
With Iranian women increasingly flouting the regime’s dress code in the wake of mass protests over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of the morality police, Iran’s judiciary chief on Saturday pledged to punish those found breaking the rules.
‘Prosecuted without mercy’
Uncovered hair, cleric Mohseni Ejei said, “is tantamount to enmity with our values”.
Those “who commit such anomalous acts will be punished” and will be “prosecuted without mercy,” he said, without saying what the punishment entails.
Under Iran’s Islamic Sharia law, imposed after the 1979 revolution, women are obliged to cover their hair and wear long, loose-fitting clothes. Violators have faced public rebuke, fines or arrest.
Describing the veil as “one of the civilisational foundations of the Iranian nation” and “one of the practical principles of the Islamic Republic,” the Interior Ministry statement on Thursday said there would be no “retreat or tolerance” on the issue.
It urged ordinary citizens to confront unveiled women. Such directives have in past decades emboldened hardliners to attack women without impunity.