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Friday, April 15, 2011

Iranian Women between a rock and a hard place


Massoud Khodabandeh, April 28, 2007

The BBC's Tehran correspondent Frances Harrison has been reporting on the recent "Crackdown over dress codes" in which thousands of Iranian women have been cautioned over their poor Islamic dress this week. Several hundred women have been arrested in the capital Tehran during the harshest crackdown on 'bad hijab' for more than a decade.

(Pictures published by Iranian News Agencies)

The report continues:

"… Fifteen-year-old Tofiq who'd also gelled his hair to stand on end said he too was afraid but he wasn't going to change.

"I want the whole world to know that they oppress us and all we can do is put up with it," he said.

Some parents have complained that harassing the young over their clothing will only push them to leave the country.

But one MP has said those Iranians who cannot cope with Islamic laws should leave.

Some commentators have suggested that the government is conducting this crackdown to distract attention from the rising cost of living in and increasing tension with the international community over the nuclear issue…"

(Pictures published by Iranian News Agencies)


Iranian news agencies covering the story report that many officials have become engaged in the debate about this recent crackdown on individual freedoms. Hardliner President, Ahmadinejad, is reported to support the move and has blamed the criticism on 'external enemies of the Islamic Republic of Iran'. Addressing his supporters, Ahmadinejad said:
"… our enemies… attempt to send some people with unacceptable dress into society, and when they are being dealt with, they start up their propaganda saying that they are dealing harshly with the youth. They want to create hopelessness and depression among our youth…"

(Pictures published by Iranian News Agencies)

Some reports from Iran say that on their arrest young people are told if they don't like it, they can side with the Monafeghin instead. Monafeghin (hypocrites) refers to the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation or Rajavi cult which is listed as a terrorist entity world wide, and is regarded by Iranian society as treacherous due to siding with Saddam Hussein during the 8 year war.

(Maryam Rajavi inspecting Mojahedin Khalq weapons)

Iranian Television recently broadcast a secretly filmed meeting between Mojahedin Khalq leaders and Saddam Hussein's secret services in which Massoud Rajavi himself receives direct orders for the assassination of Iranians in return for money. Iranians in general believe that the western countries have been grooming and supporting the Mojahedin terrorist cult politically and financially in the same way that they openly supported Rajavi's benefactor Saddam Hussein during his aggression against Iranian Territories - to the point of vetoing UN condemnation of his open use of chemical weapons.

(Massoud Rajavi in meeting with Saddam's secret services)

Analysts believe that one of the major factors affecting Iranian civil society's inability to resist social and political suppression is the interference of some anti Iranian forces from outside the country which plays directly into the hands of the hardliners. This analysis in particular identifies the neoconservatives and Israeli hardliners who push for 'regime change' by supporting terrorist organisations. Iranian society is silenced by the threat that their actions will be hijacked and misused by the likes of Maryam Rajavi, co-leader of the Mojahedin Khalq cult which, although globally listed as terrorist, has been reportedly used by the Jewish lobby and neocons in London and Washington to incite any kind of unrest in Iran .

(Dress code in Mojahedin Khalq cult)

For the past two decades Iranian hardliners have gleefully exploited the pseudo-threat of this terrorist cult which is tolerated by the west in pursuit of its own agenda. The losers are Iranian society and the real Iranian opposition, who are paying a heavy price in this game.

In the past few days, Sarvenaz Chitsaz, cult member, has been dressed up to embark on the women issue.

(Sarvenaz Chitzas dressed up for the western audiance)

(Sarvenaz Chitsaz in a her approved dress)

When ordinary Iranian women are told during their arrest that they can choose between the current situation and Maryam Rajavi's cult, we must ask who has promoted and maintained this false dichotomy and who benefits from it. The Iranian people expect western governments to support their struggle for freedom and change, not give a big stick to the hardliners to bang them on their heads.

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