TEHRAN: Iranian police said they had closed more than 800 clothes shops to stop them selling “unconventional” women’s coats, state media reported on Monday.
A further 3,000 shops have been sent warnings, the IRNA news agency reported.
A new fashion for women’s coats — known as “manteaux” in Iran — with English phrases printed on the back had attracted the attention of the authorities, who passed new regulations in July.
The coats in question tend to have nonsensical phrases such as “Keep Calm I’m the Queen” written on them, but they also have short arms and no buttons in the front.
Under Iranian law, women must wear a manteau, or similar item, that loosely covers the whole body from the neck down to the knee.
Earlier this year, Iran arrested eight people for working in “un-Islamic” online modelling networks, particularly on Instagram, the head of Tehran’s cybercrimes court said on state television.
The arrests were made under a two-year-old sting operation named “Spider II”, targeting among others models who post photos online without the hijab covering the hair that is compulsory for women in public in Iran since its 1979 Islamic revolution.
It identified 170 people running online Instagram pages — 59 photographers and makeup artists, 58 models, 51 fashion salon managers and designers, and two active institutions, according to a statement from the special court.