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Last Updated: Monday, 30 April 2007, 14:01 GMT 15:01 UK
Tehran dress code: Iranian views
This year's pre-summer crackdown on what the Iranian authorities think is un-Islamic dress is much harsher than in previous years. Three BBC News website readers in Tehran give their view of the dress code and its enforcement.

ZAHRA ANSARI, 36, MOTHER OF TWO CHILDREN

I believe that dress should be a personal choice and people should have the freedom to wear what they want.

Modesty cannot be imposed by force

Of course, it is desirable to wear clothing that does not conflict with social values and ethics.

I believe in personal choice but also in modesty, as modesty is a virtue that our religion advocates - for both from men and women.

I am all for modesty, but modesty cannot be imposed by force.

I think there are more important social issues that need to be resolved first.

Bribery is rife in government offices and so is usury in business. The police should crack down on these things before they start picking on women.

This year's crackdown is stricter than usual
An Iranian police officer, left, warns a woman about her clothing

And it's not just women who are targeted: in the past I have seen police target teenaged boys wearing jeans and short sleeves. I also saw boys with long hair having their hair forcibly cut in the streets.

These police crackdowns are always counterproductive. They only make matters worse.

People do not like their government and this is a fact. So if the government tries to impose modest dress they will rebel against it and wear even more outlandish clothes.

You can see this silent rebellion even in traditional cities like Qom.

HS, BUSINESSMAN, TEHRAN

As an Iranian man I am happy with the way I can dress in my country.

Generally speaking, men here are as comfortable in what they wear as men in Europe.

For women, since we live in an Islamic country, they should wear something polite and modest and respect Islamic rules. But I do not believe in police enforcing these rules!

This will create anger and unhappiness against the government in the long term

I do not really agree with the police crackdown, because people are not comfortable when there are so many police on the streets.

Also I think the police should be tackling other problems before enforcing the dress code.

We have several problems in the economy and in industry. We should be spending more time on these problems than on the way people dress!

Some people are happy with this and some are not.

People do dress more modestly when they have to. But this crackdown will create anger and unhappiness against the government in the long term.

SHIRIN, 38, BUSINESSMAN, TEHRAN

This is not the first time we've had such a stupid campaign and it won't be the last!

I think men and women should dress as they like as long as it fits the occasion. For example, I like wearing sports gear, but I have to dress more formally for work.

I definitely do NOT agree with this police enforcement. But there are many who believe people should wear dark clothes and that women should hide their hair and their body, in the Islamic way.

This year's crackdown is stricter than usual
An Iranian police officer, left, detains several women

Unfortunately some of these people are now ruling the country and the police, and they force their beliefs onto everyone.

I have seen quite a lot of people being warned by the police. The police are rude, so people are afraid of them.

We know of someone who was arrested a week ago while she was driving her car. The police forced her to get out, arrested her and set a date for trial next Saturday.

I'm sure it will be over soon once money has been paid and statements of regret signed.

But these statements can sometimes cause a problem in getting university placements or government jobs, because it always remains on your file that you are a law-breaker.

It's a nerve-wracking time for everyone, especially for women and their families who always worry.





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