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Iranian judiciary chief calls for clampdown on women's dress

TEHRAN, April 9 (AFP) - Iran's conservative judiciary chief Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi called for a government clampdown Friday on the increasing relaxation of the strict dress code for women imposed following the 1979 Islamic revolution.

"It's the government's duty to demand respect for the dress code in public places, cinemas, parks, shops and on the street," Yazdi told worshippers at the main Moslem weekly prayers here.

Since the shock presidential election victory of moderate cleric Mohammed Khatami in 1997, women have grown increasingly bold in their defiance of the dress code, particularly in the middle class northern suburbs of the capital.

The code requires women to cover their hair with an austere headscarf but more and more women wear brightly coloured scarves far back on their heads revealing elaborate hair styles underneath.

Sockless sandals and three-quarter length cloaks are also becoming more common in defiance of the Islamic requirement that women show only their hands and face and wear long loose-fitting cloaks which obcure the outline of their bodies.


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