Police have closed hundreds of restaurants in major Iranian cities during a more-severe-than-usual Ramadan crackdown, while authorities have urged citizens to report “immoral behavior” by texting a dedicated hotline.
“The owners of restaurants and cafes in which Islamic principles were not observed were confronted, and during this operation 547 businesses were closed in Tehran and 11 offenders arrested,” Tehran police chief Hossein Rahimi said on the official department website.
The establishments were shut down in the past fortnight over “unconventional advertising in cyberspace, playing illegal music and debauchery.”
Similar mass police interventions were reported throughout the country, including the sealing-up of over 300 restaurants in the third-largest city, Ishafan.
The holy month of Ramadan, which ended on June 4, during which devout Muslims are forbidden from eating between dawn and dusk, is usually accompanied by intensive behavior policing, including frequent arrests of those caught eating in the daytime, though such behavior is not legally banned.
Denunciation hotline & all-female hijab police
But activities this year are suggestive of wider social tensions between the urbanized population and hardline officials.
On Saturday, Tehrans guidance court, which ensures compliance with social edicts, issued a phone number through which citizens could report unsavory acts, such as “hosting mixed gender dance parties” or posting “immoral content on Instagram.”
“People would like to report those breaking the norms but they don't know how … We decided to accelerate dealing with instances of public immoral acts,” its head Mohammad Mehdi HaRead More – Source