Iran’s morality police faces uncertain future after attorney general says agency is closing

The future of Iran’s much-protested morality police remained uncertain Sunday after the country’s attorney general suggested the agency would be abolished.

An Iranian lawmaker didn’t specifically address the attorney general’s claim but acknowledged the government is aware of the sweeping protests that followed the September death of a women arrested by morality police.

“Both the administration and parliament insisted that paying attention to the people’s demand that is mainly economic is the best way for achieving stability and confronting the riots,” lawmaker Nezamoddin Mousavi said Sunday, according to ISNA, a semi-official news agency.

His remark follows recent reports that Attorney General Mohamed Jafar Montazeri said the morality police “had been closed.” Montazeri also reportedly said the judiciary will “continue to monitor behavior at the community level.”

The attorney general’s comments have not, however, been reported by Iranian state media.

Mohammad Jafar Montazeri

The morality police are in charge of enforcing Iran’s veiling laws. Mahsa Amini, 22, was arrested by the agency in September for allegedly breaking the country’s dress code. Her death inspired protests in Iran and beyond, and have included women removing headscarves they are required to wear.

Montazeri said the law requiring hijabs is being reviewed, according to a Friday report by ISNA.

“We are working fast on the issue of hijab and we are doing our best to come up with a thoughtful solution to deal with this phenomenon that hurts everyone’s heart,” Montazeri said.

The protests garnered attention during the World Cup in Qatar after the U.S. soccer team removed the Islamic Republic’s symbol from multiple social media images of the Iranian flag to support women fighting for human rights.

Iran officials criticized the U.S. for the move, saying the soccer club removed God’s name from the flag. The emblem represents the belief that “there is no god but God.”

With News Wire Services

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