Mohammad-Mehdi Hosseini Hamedani, the Friday prayer imam of the city, reiterated that observance of hijab should be enforced strictly in society.
Describing anyone who unveils in public as an enemy, he emphasized that all such people must be confronted by the state. “It is not possible to imagine that we are living in an Islamic country when we enter some institutions, shopping malls, pharmacies, etc.!” he said, calling on the authorities to warn shops and malls that serve women who have removed their hijab and close them down if warnings did not suffice.
This is not the first time that the Islamic Republic’s hardliners are linking Islamic rituals to drought or natural disasters.
Ahmad Alamolhoda, a senior firebrand cleric who is the father-in-law of President Ebrahim Raisi, had earlier called on people to say prayers for rain to solve the problem of drought in the country.
Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri in 2019 said, “The judicial system does not allow women to unveil in public, because it causes natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes in the country.”
Yousef Tabatabai Nejad, Ali Khamenei’s representative in the central city of Esfahan (Isfahan), said in 2016 that women who unveiled and took photos “like Europeans” are the reason for the city’s river, Zayandeh-Roud (Zayanderud) to go dry and added that if this continues, its headwaters will also dry up.
The water crisis has been getting worse in Iran for the past decade because of mismanagement in constructing unnecessary dams, encouraging water-thirsty crops like rice and political influence in water distribution.