April 23, 2024 | Flash Brief

Iran’s Noor Plan Intensifies Crackdown on Women

April 23, 2024 | Flash Brief

Iran’s Noor Plan Intensifies Crackdown on Women

Latest Developments

Amid escalating tensions between Iran and Israel, the Islamic Republic’s Law Enforcement Command (LEC) introduced a new initiative called the “Noor” campaign to further crack down on violators of mandatory hijab law (compulsory head covering and modest clothing for women), Reuters reported on April 23. Tehran LEC Chief Abbasali Mohammadian warned of a new clampdown measure on both businesses and women under the new “hijab and chastity” bill — legislation that has yet to be approved by the country’s Guardian Council.

Iranian officials claim that while the morality police focus on whether citizens are wearing “proper hijab,” the Noor campaign deploys the LEC to prosecute women who do not cover their hair in any capacity and fail to abide by the Islamic Republic’s compulsory hijab laws. Numerous Iranian women turned to social media to recount experiences in which the morality police physically assaulted and detained them and took their photos as a means of intimidation.

Expert Analysis

“After the boycott of elections, unsuccessful attack against Israel, failure to prevent Israel’s retaliation deep inside Iran’s territory, and worsening economic misery, the Islamist regime is now more despised, vulnerable, and fragile than ever. The recent surge of brutal attacks against women over the hijab issue is an attempt to show strength and mobilize its increasingly narrow support base while terrorizing the expanding opposition’s support base.” — Saeed Ghasseminejad, FDD Senior Advisor on Iran and Financial Economics

“The internal backlash the regime has received from the Iranian population following the April 13 attacks on Israel has left the Islamic Republic feeling deeply intimidated and threatened, prompting them to crackdown on dissidents internally. This suppression of civil society reflects their desperate attempts to ensure survival amidst their declining legitimacy.” — Janatan Sayeh, FDD Research Analyst

Morality Police Resurgence and Civil Society Repression

Amid an economic crisis fueled by soaring inflation and the Iranian rial’s depreciation, paired with escalating regional tensions, the Iranian regime fears an increase in domestic unrest and potential uprisings. Following the nationwide Women, Life, Freedom movement in September 2022, the Islamic Republic scaled back the morality police’s presence in major cities. But less than two years later, the sharp increase in Iranian women’s acts of civil disobedience compelled the Islamic Republic to intensify its oppression of women by deploying its LEC.

Last year, the Iranian parliament passed the “hijab and chastity” bill in response to widespread protests and resistance by women against compulsory head coverings. However, the bill’s approval is pending due to objections from the Guardian Council, particularly regarding enforcement mechanisms.

The State Department’s latest report on human rights in Iran, published on April 22, highlighted laws restricting women’s rights in Iran, adding that “women continued to face discrimination, including through enhanced means for enforcing the mandatory dress code, which led to acts of civil disobedience.”

Iran’s new hijab law reflects on regime’s desperation,” by Tzvi Kahn

Iran Escalates Targeting of Women Who Refuse to Wear Mandatory Hijab,” FDD Flash Brief

Iran’s Uprising Nears First Anniversary as Protests Persist,” FDD Flash Brief


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