While much of the international community is focused on a potential Israeli counterstrike on Iran, the Islamic Republic of Iran has reportedly intensified its oppressive enforcement of the hijab mandate for women across several Iranian cities.

Human rights agencies and opposition groups report that the Iranian regime’s notorious “Morality Police” employs beatings and, in some cases, sexual violence to enforce oppressive policies against women. Multiple individuals have been detained during violent arrests across Iran since last weekend.

This escalation of violence against women comes after the ayatollah regime recently announced its “Nour Project,” officially created to handle “dealing with anomalies,” which refers to social practices considered normal in free societies but incompatible with the ayatollah regime’s extremist religious ideology.

Resorting to conspiracy theories, Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, accused Western nations of “hiring” women who do not wear hijab, arguing that hijab-wearing was of the “utmost importance.” Many of Iran’s young population has undergone significant secularization and has even rejected the radical Islam imposed by the regime.

Iranian regime authorities recently arrested the journalist and university student Dina Ghalibaf at her home after she had revealed in a post on 𝕏 that she had been detained and sexually assaulted by the “Morality Police” at the Sadeghiyeh Metro Station in the Iranian capital of Tehran Ghalibaf wrote that the regime officials had made condescending comments about women, in general, and Mahsa Amini, in particular.

Mahsa Amini was a young Kurdish-Iranian woman who was brutally beaten and killed by the “Morality Police” in October 2022 after she was arrested for not wearing the hijab. She later became the face of the growing anti-regime protests across Iran, which were led by young, educated, individuals in the large cities, including Tehran. At the time, Mahsih Alinejad, an Iranian human rights activist and journalist living in the United States, explained the oppressive living conditions for women in the Islamic nation.

“Do you really want to know how Iranian morality police killed Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman? … do not allow anyone to normalize compulsory hijab and morality police,” Alinejad wrote.  “‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood is not a fiction for us Iranian women. It’s a reality.”

“From the age of 7, if we don’t cover our hair, we won’t be able to go to school or get a job. We are fed up with this gender apartheid regime,” Alinejad added.

Narges Mohammadi, a Nobel laureate and prominent Iranian human rights activist currently imprisoned by the regime, condemned the latest crackdown on ordinary women.

“The Islamic Republic has transformed the streets into a battleground against women and youth, wielding fear and intimidation as weapons,” Mohammadi said from the notorious Evin Prison, which has become one of the symbols of the government’s oppressive rule.

Mohammadi further argued that the ayatollah regime’s “shameful domestic domination and brute force” serve as compensation for its “weak and absurd claims” on the world stage. The latest comment was likely a reference to Iran’s increasingly aggressive posture toward the U.S. and Israel but also moderate Arab states.

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