The Iranian regime continues its brutal crackdown on civilian life in the country with the forced closure of hundreds of restaurants and cafes for not observing “Islamic principles.”
In police raids in several Iranian cities that took place over a 10-day period, authorities shut and sealed hundreds of businesses for breaking the country’s strict morality codes, which were imposed on the population following the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
“The owners of restaurants and cafes in which Islamic principles were not observed were confronted, and during this operation 547 businesses were closed, and 11 offenders arrested,” Tehran’s police chief, Hossein Rahimi, said in statement.
Iran’s third largest city, Isfahan, saw 305 businesses closed for infractions including “unconventional advertising in cyberspace, playing illegal music, and debauchery.”
Earlier this month, Iran introduced  2,000 new morality police units in response to what officials described as an “increasing defiance” of the compulsory wearing of hijabs, as well as breaches of other acceptable social and moral conducts.
To protect themselves from harsh punishment, many Iranian women use a smartphone app that warns users when a morality police patrol is in the area. In February 2018, the Islamic Republic said it had arrested 29 women who removed their compulsory hijab at a series of protests against the law in Tehran.
The head of Tehran’s morality court, Mohammad Mehdi Hajmohammadi, urged citizens to report cases of “immoral behavior” to authorities. Those acts include removing the compulsory “hijab in cars,” “hosting mixed dance parties,” or posting “immoral content on Instagram,” he said.
Despite regime violence, Iran has witnessed a growing protest movement against the compulsory hijab. In February, a group of angry Iranians attacked a morality police unit in a Tehran suburb when authorities detained two young women for not wearing the hijab.
Video of the incident posted on social media shows a large crowd trying to prevent officers from driving the women away. A man can be heard shouting “Let her go!” before shots are fired. Authorities eventually left the scene without taking the women.
[Photo: Ebrahim Noroozi / Wikimedia Commons]