Iran to arrest women with suntan

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By Xien Jana Vencio | April 30, 2010 12:13 AM EST

Better hide those bronzed skin when visiting Tehran, Iran. At least if you are a woman.

On Thursday, Tehran police chief Brig. Gen. Hossien Sajedinia has warned that all women sporting a tan will be arrested and imprisoned because this violates the "spirit of Islamic law." Thus, any woman that looked like a "walking mannequin" will be punished.

He said that the Iranian public expects the police to act firmly and swiftly to any social misbehavior caused by women, and men, particularly those who defy the Islamic values. He cited some areas in northern Tehran where suntanned women and young girls look like walking mannequins.

"We are not going to tolerate this situation and will first warn those found in this manner and then arrest and imprison them," Sajedinia said.

The warning is the latest move by Iranian authorities that is showing a trend towards "radical" implementation of Islam. Recently, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned of an impending major earthquake.

Prior to Ahmadinejad's statement, senior Iranian cleric, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi, claimed that revealing female clothing disturbed young men and also caused earthquakes.

"Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes," Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media.

But some analysts said that the new order for women to dress "immodestly" is part of a wider campaign by the government to quash the opposition movement.

According to Iranian law, women should dress according to Islamic values and requires them to wear headscarves and loose-fitting, figure-disguising cloaks. But many Iranian women have been liberally interpreting this rule due to lack of legal clarity and partly due to a growing desire for women to be in fashion.

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