South Asia and Beyond

‘Iran Disbands Morality Police But Is There More To The Hijab Protests’

NEW DELHI: The protests by Iranian women against the hijab are now over two months old and with reports suggesting the morality police is being disbanded, the clerical regime in Tehran seems inclined to bend the rules a bit.

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But in this conversation on The Gist, Vivek Katju, former diplomat who was Secretary West in the External Affairs Ministry and has handled Iran, asks if it’s only about the hijab. Reports say slogans against Ayotollah Ali Khameinei have also been raised and demands for freedom made.
Iran has been under sanctions and the clerical regime is known to run a tight and repressive ship, cracking down on the least sign of dissent.  But that hasn’t helped. As late as 2019 over 1,500 people were killed during protests over a fuel price hike. In fact, the last five years has seen demonstrations over economic mismanagement, growing poverty, unemployment and state repression.  
What’s curious this time around is the inability or unwillingness of the security forces to bring the protests to an end.  Tune in for more in this chat with Ambassador Vivek Katju.