A young woman smokes a hooka with her date in April 2016 along a river in Tehran, away from the prying eyes of Iran’s so-called morality police. (Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images)

Iran Increases Crackdown on ‘Immoral Behavior’

Iranian police have shut down 547 restaurants and cafes, and arrested 11 people in Tehran due to their breach of “Islamic principles,” Tehran Police Chief Hossein Rahimi said in a statement. The operation was carried out over the last 10 days, and infractions included “unconventionally advertising in cyberspace, playing illegal music and conducting debauchery,” Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported. Citizens will now be able to report cases of “immoral behavior” by texting a specified phone number, for acts ranging from mixed-dance parties to the posting of “immoral” content on social media. Moreover, the country has hired 2,000 new members of the “morality police” in response to what officials deem an “increasing defiance” of the obligation for women to wear hijabs, the British newspaper The Telegraph reported. The new task force comes amid growing activism from women in Iran who have been arrested for publicly removing their head coverings in protest of the law.

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