Iran police
Iran's police forces stand on a street amid the implementation of the new hijab surveillance in Tehran, Iran, April 15, 2023. Image Credit: Reuters

Tehran: Iranian police said on Sunday authorities had closed more than 150 businesses in 24 hours for not respecting the obligation for women to wear headscarves under Iran’s strict Islamic dress code.

The closures were announced a day after police said they have now implemented a plan to deal with women who violate the law, using surveillance cameras and facial recognition technology.

The requirement for women to wear the headscarf in public was enshrined in law shortly after the Islamic revolution of 1979.

“Unfortunately, police have had to seal 137 shops and 18 restaurants and reception areas for not heeding previous warnings” on the dress code, the Tasnim news agency quoted police spokesman Said Montazerolmahdi as saying.

The crackdown comes after the number of women defying the code has risen since a protest movement triggered by the death in custody last year of Kurdish-Iranian Mahsa Amini, 22, for allegedly flouting it.

Last week, police chief Ahmad-Reza Radan said those who remove their headscarves would be identified using “smart equipment”.

Police have warned that car owners will receive a text message if a female passenger breaks the code, and that they risk having their vehicle seized in the case of a repeat offence.

“Over the past 24 hours, there have been several hundred cases of non-compliance recorded by the police, and car owners have been informed by text message,” Montazerolmahdi said.

Last month, judiciary chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said women who removed their headscarves “will be punished”.