'Defuse their plots'

Iran bans men from looking at women during Ramadan as part of religious crackdown

A young Iranian woman prays during the first Friday prayers of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan at the University of Tehran August 13, 2010. (REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl)

As the Iranian economy buckles under the weight of U.S. sanctions, the country’s religious authorities have begun ushering in strict new laws — including an all-encompassing ban on men looking at women during the annual month-long celebration of Ramadan.

“My personal advice to women is to respect the hijab even more than before and gentlemen must avoid looking directly at female passersby,” said judiciary spokesperson Gholam-Hossein Esmaili. “Anyone ignoring these instructions during the Ramadan will be committing an offense and should expect some punishment from the law enforcement units.”

In addition to the ban on men looking at women, the Iranian judiciary and moral police have warned that people will be subject to arrest for eating in public during Ramadan’s fasting period, and that playing music in the car would be punishable by having one’s car towed.

Last month, supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ushered in two new ultra-conservative leaders, General Hossein Salami and imam Ebrahim Raeesi, to serve as commander of the Revolutionary Guard and as the country’s chief judge respectively.

“The holy month of Ramadan is a reminder to us for being steadfast in our confrontation with the world arrogance as they seem to have a war deployment against us in all economic, cultural and social fronts, but not in physical manner,” said Salami. “Our mission is to block all their paths and defuse their plots by any means we can.”

Read the full story at The Telegraph.

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