Elite Iranian Force Raids Modelling Agencies for “Promoting Vulgarity”


    DUBAI, May 18 (Reuters) Iran‘s elite Revolutionary Guards force has raided three underground modelling agencies, accusing the companies and their aspiring models of flouting strict Islamic dress codes for women, Iranian news agencies reported on Saturday.

    General Mohsen Karimi, a Guards commander in the central city of Arak, said staff at the agencies had been arrested for “promoting vulgarity”, partly through sharing portfolio pictures of models on social media, the semi-official news agency Fars reported.

    Iranian authorities have repeatedly raided underground fashion events and targeted modelling agencies that post photographs online of models wearing Western-style clothes that do not adhere to Iran‘s Islamic hijab rules.

    “Those who disregard norms and think they can do whatever they want in cyberspace should know that, sooner or later, the hands of the law will catch up with them,” Karimi was quoted as saying, without saying how many people had been arrested.

    Iranian officials have long warned that the influence of Western and particularly U.S. culture through entertainment, social media and the Internet poses a threat to Islamic and revolutionary values.

    Enlarge

    2010-07-12T120000Z_717207623_GM1E67C1LDA01_RTRMADP_3_IRAN
    An Iranian hairstylist cuts hair as he and his model pose for the media at Isar (Devotion) hairdressing institute in Tehran, in front of a poster of haircuts approved by the Ministry of Guidance. Iran recently informed hairdressers and the general public about what constitutes acceptable hairstyles for men and women.

    REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubaz


    (Reporting by Dubai newsroom Editing by Helen Popper)