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(by Ahmed Vahdat, The Telegraph) – Men in Iran have been ordered not to look at women during Ramadan as part of a round of draconian restrictions imposed by the increasingly isolated regime.
In a sign of frustration with growing civil discontent and economic pain caused by U.S. sanctions, hardliners in Iran’s government are forcing through unusually strict social diktats to bring people into line.
The country’s judiciary has announced that those eating in public during the fasting period are also in breach of laws and will be prosecuted.
“My personal advice to women is to respect the hijab even more than before and men must avoid looking directly at female passersby,” Gholam- Hossein Esmaili, a judiciary spokesperson said.
“Anyone ignoring these instructions during the Ramadan will be committing an offense and should expect some punishment from the law enforcement units.”
The morality police in Iran added that they will now arrest anyone playing music on their car radio and will tow their car away and hand them a heavy fine.
The new restrictions come as U.S. is building up its military presence in the Persian Gulf, while the public concern inside Iran about the economic consequences of sinking relations with Washington grows.
On Saturday the US ratcheted pressure further by announcing it was deploying a Patriot missile-defense system to the Middle East, adding that more Navy ships with amphibious vehicles would join a strike group being led by the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. US B-52 bombers have arrived at a base in Qatar, the Pentagon said.
Iran flexed its own muscles last week by threatening to begin enriching uranium if European powers don’t fight to keep the nuclear deal alive after Donald Trump walked away from the agreement and imposed harsh sanctions.
President Rouhani said the remaining countries in the deal must “find a way to protect Iran’s oil and banking industries from US sanctions” or he would put Iran on the path to nuclear weapons.
Last week the value of US dollar against the national currency Rial reached record high with one dollar selling at 16000 Rials on black markets.
Iran’s economy is beset by a near 50 percent inflation, its currency has almost collapsed, labour and civil servants strikes are commonplace and the hardline establishment faces an increasing women’s rights movement.
Recent nationwide floods have also left farming lands of 26 provinces in ruin and diseases threatening millions in the rural areas of Iran.
Recent changes in the country’s leadership structure suggest an internal clampdown on any open challenge to the regime’s authority at home.
Last month the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed the fiery General Hossein Salami as the new commander of the Revolutionary Guard, and the hardliner clergyman Ebrahim Raeesi as the chief judge.
However, senior Iranian officials have warned about the public discontent turning into street protests, as food and fuel rationing similar to those during the war with Iraq have been suggested by the government as options to deal with the shortages. …
Published at telegraph .co .uk on May 11. Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from The Telegraph.
1. For IRAN, give the following information:
- location/the countries that share its borders
- the religious breakdown of the population
- the type of government
- the chief of state (and head of government if different) If monarch or dictator, since what date has he/she ruled? – include name of heir apparent for monarch
- the population
Find the answers at the CIA World FactBook website. For each country, answers can be found under the “Geography” “People” and “Government” headings.
NOTE: Before answering the following questions, read the info under “Background” below.
2. For IRAN:
a) list the who, what, where and when of the news item
b) What did a spokesman for the Iranian judiciary tell men and women to do? What will happen to those who disobey?
c) What action will the morality police take against people who play music on their car radio?
d) How are U.S. sanctions and the Trump administration’s tough approach to the Iranian government’s aggression affecting Iran?
e) What actions has the “supreme leader” Ayatolllah Kahmenei taken regarding leadership recently?
f) What is your reaction to the Iranian government’s warning to men and women, and to people who want to listen to music in their cars?
Hijab is not a choice in most Muslim-majority countries:
- The headscarf, or hijab, is required in public for all women in Iran. Those who violate the rules are usually sentenced to two months in prison or less and fined around £20.
- ISNA reported in May that a prominent human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, was sentenced to seven years in prison after defending anti-hijab protesters.
- Iranian authorities have adopted a tougher approach toward such protests since 2017, after dozens of women publicly took off their headscarves. (from UK Daily Mail)
IRAN GOVERNMENT’S ROLE IN TERRORIST ACTIVITIES:
- Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the government of Iran has been accused by members of the international community of funding, providing equipment, weapons, training and giving sanctuary to terrorists.
- In 2016, the US State Department described Iran as an “active state sponsor of terrorism.” President George Bush’s Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stated, “Iran has been the country that has been in many ways a kind of central banker for terrorism in important regions like Lebanon through Hezbollah in the Middle East, in the Palestinian Territories, and we have deep concerns about what Iran is doing in the south of Iraq.”
- In July 2012, the U.S. State Department released a report on terrorism around the world in 2011. The report stated that “Iran remained an active state sponsor of terrorism in 2011 and increased its terrorist-related activity” and that “Iran also continued to provide financial, material, and logistical support for terrorist and militant groups throughout the Middle East and Central Asia.”
- In August 2012, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei instructed the Revolutionary Guards and Quds Force to increase their terror attacks due to what the Iranian government perceived as their interests being threatened by United Nations sanctions and the West’s support of Syrian opposition.
- Iran does not recognize Israel as a state. The U.S. State Department states Iran provides support for terror groups Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Israel. (read more at wikipedia)
Read about brave women in Iran who defied the law because they want to be free.
Read a 2018 commentary by Khadija Khan “Heroic Women Fighting for Freedom“
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