Aug. 2, 2023

Iran’s Reformists seize on hijab crackdown to mount political comeback


The story: Reformist former president Mohammad Khatami (1997-2005) has criticized Iran’s crackdown on hijab non-compliance. This comes as conservative lawmakers consider a bill to strengthen enforcement of the mandatory Islamic headscarf.

Sidelined after the 2021 presidential elections, pro-reform figures have recently been making more public appearances, possibly in hopes of capitalizing on public discontent with hijab enforcement to mount a comeback in next year's parliamentary polls.

The coverage: Writing the foreword of a research paper on mandatory hijab in Iran, former president Khatami stated on July 30 that forcing women to cover their hair has "not been successful."

  • The prominent Reformist figure observed that hijab "has become a matter of identity" for the Islamic Republic.

  • Khatami urged the conservative-dominated political establishment to "accept that a majority of society does not want mandatory hijab."

  • The ex-president also argued that...

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