Citing weird reasons, Iran has reportedly banned fashionable hairstyles as the authorities believe that they imply devil-worship. The authorities have also forbidden tattoos as they fear that ‘getting inked’ might promote homosexuality among the masses.
Lately, stylish haircuts have become highly popular among the Iranian youths. However, the orthodox Iranian authorities outlawed this system as it they consider it be inspired from the West and un-Islamic.
“Devil worshipping hairstyles are now forbidden,” said Mostafa Govahi, the head of Iran’s Barbers Union, cited by the ISNA news agency. “Any shop that cuts hair in the devil worshipping style will be harshly dealt with and their license will be revoked,” he said. Govahi also said that if a hairdresser cuts hair in such a style, then it will “violate the Islamic system’s regulations.”
“Tattoos, solarium treatment and plucking eyebrows are also banned,” as per the report.
Govahi blamed unauthorized barbers for offering the spiky hairstyles and other treatments. “Usually the barber shops that do this do not have a license. They have been identified and will be dealt with,” he said.
“I won’t allow such wrongful western styles as long as I’m in this position,” declared Govahi.
In Iran, the male hairdresser comes under the Barber Union, while the female stylists have their separate trade organizations.
Arab media are reporting that the spread of the coronavirus in Iran has pushed that country’s currency to lows not seen in almost a year. Iranian health officials say there are more than 200 confirmed cases in the country, and at least 26 deaths.
Turkey, Armenia, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have all closed land and air borders with Iran in recent days, due to the coronavirus.
As the closures stop the flow of traffic to and from Iran, fears of a deepening economic slump are hitting Iran’s national currency, the riyal.
Arab media say the riyal fell to 158,500 to the dollar on the black market Wednesday, its lowest level in over a year. The riyal’s official peg is 42,000 to the dollar.
Many economists fear that both Iran’s oil and non-oil exports will be hit by a regional trade slump due to the virus. Religious tourism to Iran’s holy sites will also be affected by border closures and quarantines around public places. Sales during the normally robust pre-Nowrouz new year’s festival are falling.
Despite the downward pressure on Iran’s economy, President Hassan Rouhani told journalists Thursday that the country, until recently, had been thriving.
He said that both industry and agriculture did very well during the past several months. He added that the economy will flourish if Iranians do not let U.S. sanctions or the coronavirus have a psychological impact on their behavior.
Despite the president’s optimism, state TV showed Iranians in the capital, Tehran, swarming a pharmacy in the pursuit of flu medication and face masks. Panic-buying was also reported at some other businesses.
Former Iranian President Abolhassan Bani Sadr told VOA that “almost everything necessary to fight the virus outbreak is missing in Iran,” and ordinary people “blame their government and U.S. sanctions for the current crisis.”
He added that the Iranian economy depends on trade with its neighbors, so one can just imagine the poverty Iranians face if trade diminishes with partners like Turkey, Iraq, Russia and elsewhere.
An Iranian member of parliament recently blamed Tehran’s eagerness to come to the rescue of its major trading partner, China, for shortages inside his own country. Iran sent thousands of face masks to China during the initial phase of the coronavirus outbreak, and now faces a severe shortage at home.
“Iranians,” laments former President Bani Sadr, “now have no confidence in the regime or its propaganda, and even less faith that the outside world will come to their rescue.” (VOA)
Facebook has removed three networks of accounts, Pages and Groups for engaging in foreign or government interference on Facebook and Instagram that originated in Russia, Iran, Vietnam and Myanmar.
The first operation originated in Russia and primarily targeted Ukraine and its neighbouring countries and the second originated in Iran and focused mainly on the US.
“The third network originated in Myanmar and Vietnam and targeted audiences in Myanmar. Each of them created networks of accounts to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Security Policy, said in a blog post late Wednesday.
Facebook removed 78 accounts, 11 Pages, 29 Groups and four Instagram accounts in Russia for violating its policy against foreign or government interference.
Some of these accounts represented themselves as citizen journalists and tried to contact policymakers, journalists and other public figures in the region.
“Although the people behind this network attempted to conceal their identities and coordination, our investigation found links to Russian military intelligence services,” said Gleicher.
Facebook also removed 6 Facebook accounts and 5 Instagram accounts that were involved in foreign interference as part of a small network originating in Iran that primarily focused on the US.
They shared posts about political news and geopolitics including topics like the US elections, Christianity, US-Iran relations, US immigration policy, criticism of US policies in the Middle East and public figures.
“Finally, we removed 13 Facebook accounts and 10 Pages for violating our policy against coordinated inauthentic behaviour. This Myanmar-focused activity originated in Myanmar and Vietnam,” said the company.
The individuals behind this network used fake accounts to manage Pages posing as independent telecom consumer news hubs. They also purported to be customers of some of the telecom providers in Myanmar posting critical commentary about those companies and their services.
The investigation found links to two telecom providers — Mytel in Myanmar and Viettel in Vietnam, and Gapit Communications, a PR firm in Vietnam. (IANS)
The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog agency said Monday its inspectors confirmed Iran is installing more advanced centrifuges that can be used to refine uranium.
An International Atomic Energy Agency statement said the equipment includes several types of centrifuges prohibited under the 2015 nuclear deal Iran reached with a group of world powers that limited its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
The confirmation comes days after Iranian officials announced the move. It was the latest step Iran has taken away from the nuclear agreement as it complains European nations are not doing enough to help Iran’s oil sector deal with U.S. sanctions.
Iran earlier decided to break the limit on the amount of enriched uranium it is allowed to hold at one time, and a limit on the level to which it can enrich.
The United States imposed its sanctions after abandoning the agreement last year. President Donald Trump has said he wants to negotiate a new deal, but one that also includes limitations on Iran’s ballistic missile program and a longer timeline than the original agreement struck under the administration of his predecessor Barack Obama.
Despite openly taking steps to go against limitations specified in the agreement, Iran says it will continue to work with the IAEA to allow inspections of its nuclear facilities. (VOA)