The morality police had largely pulled back following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini last September, as authorities struggled to contain mass protests calling for the overthrow of the theocracy that has ruled Iran for over four decades. The morality police were only rarely seen patrolling the streets, and in December, there were even some reports — later denied — that they had been disbanded.
Authorities insisted throughout the crisis the rules had not changed. Iran’s clerical rulers view the hijab as a pillar of the Islamic revolution that brought them to power, and consider more casual dress a sign of Western decadence. General Saeed Montazerolmahdi, a police spokesman, said the morality police would resume notifying and then detaining women not wearing hijab.
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