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Ahmadinejad should 'open nightclubs': Iran MP jibes

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad waves after casting his ballot for the parliamentary election run-off at a polling station in Tehran on May 4, 2012. The vote is seen as unlikely to change the political direction of the predominantly conservative chamber, though it could help lay the ground for 2013 presidential elections. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE

TEHRAN: A hardline Iranian MP on Saturday took a jibe at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for failing to support an Islamic dress code for women, suggesting the president should now move to open "nightclubs" in the Islamic republic.

Fars news agency quoted MP Ali Motahari as saying that the president's alleged lax views on the Islamic dress code had allowed women, directly and indirectly, to dress in a way promoting "sexual provocation."

"The situation of the (Islamic) veil is tragic... thanks to the apparent and hidden encouragement by the president," Fars quoted Motahari as saying.

Ahmadinejad and his chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie have promoted a situation in which girls now "wear (in public) pants, and coats that don't cover the knees," he said.

"They have actually allowed sexual provocation... and now, they should think of opening nightclubs and cabarets," he added sarcastically in reference to Ahmadinejad and Mashaie.

Ahmadinejad, who has on occasion spoken against the use of police to enforce the Islamic dress code, is seen as too liberal by Iran's hardline regime. And Mashaie is accused of having a negative influence on his boss.

Iran's so-called morality police have launched a large crackdwon in recent days on women deemed to ensure that women wear the mandatory headscarf and not clad in "un-Islamic" attire.

The crackdown is part of an annual campaign before the sweltering heat of summer, when women try to shed some of their mandatory attire.

The operations see police screening foot and vehicle traffic at major junctions and shopping centres, and lead to fines or arrests.

 

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