The Public Prosecutor of one of Iran’s largest cities once again stipulated that women’s bicycling was banned in public areas.
In comments carried by state-run news agencies, Isfahan’s Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor said on Tuesday that women’s cycling was “haram” or forbidden.
“According to the law, women’s cycling in public areas is haram. The police have been ordered to initially give women bikers notices and take their IDs. Otherwise their bikes will be confiscated”, Ali Isfahani said.
“It has been some time that the heads of Friday prayers and the families of martyrs have complained of women’s cycling in public areas”, the prosecutor said adding that women cyclers had been “harassed”.
During a sermon on April 12, Isfahan’s temporary head of Friday prayers, Abolhassan Mahdavi, severely attacked Isfahan city officials and the endorsement of women’s cycling and demanded that officials deal with the issue.
Before this, Seyed Yusuf Tabatabaie Nejad, the representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader in Isfahan province, said that “officials should not allow the religious and cultural identity of the city of Isfahan to be tarnished by breaking norms”.
He also thanked the Isfahan Prosecutor’s “good” orders and “good measures” in dealing with issues such as “women’s biking, the hijab, dog walking and parties held in orchards”.
The fact that the Iranian regime considers women riding bikes as a haram act is not new. The leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ali Khamenei used the word “ostentation” to refer to women’s cycling in 2016 and said that if “women were cycling in public in sight of men not related to them” it was “haram”.
The regime has also intensified various patrols to create a security atmosphere especially in the month of Ramadan.
In light of growing tensions between the US and Iran coupled with intense economic sanctions, the regime fears that street protests will once again erupt all over Iran.