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Iran's Raisi blames 'enemies' for hijab violations, urges action against women defying

The Iranian president's order for action came in response to fast-growing defiance from a new generation of women challenging the strict dress code, which has been a fundamental pillar of the ruling theocracy. 
Women take part in a rally in support of Iranian women in Pristina on Oct. 12, 2022.

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi said violation of his country's mandatory hijab was an "enemy conspiracy" and called for legal action against women found to be in breach of it.   

In a televised speech on Thursday, Raisi claimed that Iran's enemies had plotted "meticulously" to promote hijab disobedience in Iran and that the Islamic Republic now needed to respond with equally precise planning. He called on the country's law enforcement community to crack down hard on women "who are after mayhem in social order" by "intentionally violating" the dress code. 

Iran has imposed hijab on women in the country since the early years of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which forced out the secular Pahlavi monarchy and brought to power a Shiite clerical establishment. While the hijab law has been in place almost unchallenged since then, the Islamic Republic has in recent years increasingly found itself locking horns with a defiant new generation unwilling to observe the compulsory rule.  

The tug of war has been particularly intense since September 2022 following 22-year-old Mahsa Amini's death in custody of the hijab-enforcing morality police and the ensuing protests that quickly spread nationwide for months. 

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