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Opinion

EDITORIAL - The Iranian regime blinks

The Freeman
EDITORIAL - The Iranian regime blinks

In a move that has been interpreted as giving way to public clamor, Iranian authorities have abolished the Gasht-e Ershad, more infamously known as their “morality police”.

This after two months of non-stop protests following the death of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman who was picked up by the morality police for wearing her headscarf “inappropriately”. She collapsed while in their custody then later died in the hospital, giving rise to speculations she had been mistreated.

Her death sparked protests all over the country, an estimated 448 protesters have already been killed in clashes with security forces.

"Morality police have nothing to do with the judiciary and have been abolished," Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri was quoted as saying in an Agence France-Presse report.

The announcement came after Montazeri said "both parliament and the judiciary are working" on the issue of whether the law requiring women to cover their heads needs to be changed.

An even more surprising statement comes from parliament presidium council spokesman Seyyed Nezamoldin Mousavi.

"The best way to confront the riots is to... pay attention to people's real demands," he said in the same report.

Perhaps they are now seeing how serious the situation has become; two months of sustained protests, with many willing to give their lives for their beliefs, is nothing to sniff at.

This may be a genuine move to reform some archaic beliefs and introduce change, or just a desperate move to retain the status quo.

Then again, this latest move by Iranian authorities may all be smoke and mirrors, something to temporarily placate people. Something to take the wind out of the sails in the movement demanding reforms.

This move may allay some protests and do just the above, then again it may not. Because while some protesters only call for justice for Amini, others want a more radical change; nothing less than the overthrow of the supreme leader and the replacement of the regime that runs Iran.

MORALITY

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