teheran - The police in the capital of Iran reported on Thursday that they will no longer arrest women if they do not meet the Islamic dress code.
The announcement means a relaxation of the penalties for violating the country's conservative dress code, which the young and reformist Iranians have asked for when they re-elect President Hassan Rouhani earlier this year.
But the conservatives who oppose the relaxation of such rules usually dominate Iran's security forces and judiciary, making it unclear whether the change would be fully implemented. This reports AP.
'Those who do not adhere to the Islamic dress code are no longer taken to detention centers and no lawsuits are brought against them,' Tehran's chief commissioner told the reformist newspaper Sharq.
The semi-official news agency of Tasnim reports that offenders should follow lessons from the police instead. Recidivists can still be prosecuted and the dress codes remain outside the capital.
For almost forty years women in Iran have been forced to cover their hair and wear long, loose clothes. Younger and more liberal women have long shifted the boundaries of official dress code by wearing loose headscarves that do not completely cover their hair. This in turn caused anger among the conservatives.
Men can also be stopped by the police if they are seen in shorts or without a shirt.