TEHERAN – Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came under fire from other hardliners on Wednesday for opposing a social crackdown targeting dress and behaviour, mainly of women.
In a televised interview at the weekend, Ahmadinejad said that he was “strongly against such actions. It is impossible for such actions to be successful.”
A senior hardline cleric responded by accusing Ahmadinejad of undermining efforts to fight “corruption.”
“The president in his interview did not appreciate the sacred wave which advocates veiling and chastity and he belittled it,” Ahmad Khatami said in comments carried by the moderate Shargh newspaper on Wednesday.
By law, women in Iran must be covered from head to foot and social interaction is banned between unrelated men and women.
The head of parliament’s clerical faction, Mohammad Taghi Rahbar, also interpreted Ahmadinejad’s comments as a “green light to immodest dressing.”
“Those who voted for you were the fully veiled people. The badly veiled ‘greens’ did not vote for you, so you’d better consider what pleases God is not pleasing a number of corrupt” people, Shargh quoted Rahbar as saying.