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Iran closes 547 eateries for breaking Islamic principles

TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian police have shut down 547 restaurants and cafes in Tehran for not observing “Islamic principles,” the capital’s police chief said Saturday.

“The owners of restaurants and cafes in which Islamic principles were not observed were confronted, and during this operation 547 businesses were closed and 11 offenders arrested,” Hossein Rahimi said, quoted on the police’s website.

Fars news agency said the operation was carried out over the past 10 days by “morality police” who also accost women on the street for showing their hair.

The infractions included “unconventional advertising in cyberspace, playing illegal music and debauchery,” Fars reported.

The crackdown comes as more Iranians are interertsed in the outside world with many finding Christ.

“Observing Islamic principles is… one of the police’s main missions and responsibilities,” the police chief said.

In this illustrative photo from March 4, 2014, young Iranian adults meet at a cafe in Tehran, Iran.

Also on Saturday, the head of Tehran’s guidance court, which deals with “cultural crimes and social and moral corruption,” called on Tehran citizens to report cases of “immoral behavior” by texting a designated phone number.

“People would like to report those breaking the norms but they don’t know how… We decided to accelerate dealing with instances of public immoral acts,” Mohammad Mehdi Hajmohammadi told the judiciary’s Mizan Online.

Citizens can report instances of those removing their “hijab in cars,” “hosting mixed dance parties” or posting “immoral content on Instagram,” he said.

Under the Islamic dress code of Iran, where alcohol is banned, women can only show their face, hands and feet in public, and they are supposed to wear modest colors. The strict Islamic moral police have also banned bright colors, walking dogs and anything that remotely resembles corrupt western society.

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