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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 August 2007, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
Iran shuts 'Western' barber shops
Policeman talks to a man in Iran. File photo
Men also are subject to scrutiny over their clothing
Iranian police have closed more than 20 barbers' shops in the capital Tehran.

The authorities say the barbers were encouraging un-Islamic behaviour by offering Western hairstyles, tattooing and also eyebrow-plucking for men.

Police say they have inspected more than 700 shops during a two-week crackdown in the city.

The move is part of an annual campaign against what is known locally as bad hijab, or un-Islamic clothing, that this year is also targeting men.

Hundreds of women and men have already been cautioned.

Police say that as well as avoiding Western hairstyles and make up, barbers should not pluck customers' eyebrows.

The closure of the shops comes several months after barbers were warned that they could lose their licences if they did not comply.

However, police have denied a report that they have ordered barbers not to serve customers wearing ties.

Some young boys in Iran sport very wild hair styles, using gel to make their long hair stand on end in a fashion not seen in other countries, correspondents say.

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