The cases mentioned above are likely for minor crimes. Rahimi made clear that the police would not have a soft approach toward more serious crimes. “I should say that under no conditions will we compromise with people who disturb society,” he said.
Rahimi was appointed in August, and it seems clear that authorities in Tehran are trying a new approach to differentiate between the breaking of religious norms and the more serious cases of crime taking place in one of the largest capitals in the world. On Dec. 10, Mohammad Reza Yazdi, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), announced the formation of a special unit within the IRGC and Basij Organization, which operates under the IRGC.
According to Yazdi, this special unit, consisting of IRGC and Basij members, would be assigned to cases of theft and to small-time drug dealers and users, who authorities call “thugs.”
The news about a new approach toward the issue of veiling received a lukewarm response by Iranian media and was largely ignored by conservative media. Reformist Shargh Daily asked whether the statements by Rahimi will usher forth the “end of the Guidance Patrol?” The article itself did not offer a prediction on the question but rather printed Rahimi’s comments.
(Picture credit: Hamed Saber)