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Khamenei urges Iran cultural ‘overhaul’

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says Iran needs a “revolutionary reconstruction of the country’s cultural system”.

December 7, 2022
7 December 2022

Iran’s Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has called for “revolutionary reconstruction of the country’s cultural system,” state media report, as protests keep up pressure on the authorities.

“It is necessary to revolutionise the country’s cultural structure… the supreme council should observe the weaknesses of culture in different fields of the country,” Khamenei said during his meeting with a state cultural council.

Iran has been rocked by unrest since the death of Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini on September 16 in police custody after her arrest for “inappropriate Islamic attire”.

The demonstrations have posed one of the strongest challenges to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution.

Iranian authorities sentenced five people to death for allegedly killing a member of a paramilitary force affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard, state media said on Tuesday.

Eleven others received lengthy prison sentences.

The 13 men and three minors had been charged with killing Ruhollah Ajamian, a member of the Basij, a paramilitary volunteer branch of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard, according to the report from IRNA, Iran’s state news agency.

The five sentenced to death on Monday were charged by Iran’s Revolutionary Court, along with eight others.

Three boys were charged by Iran’s Criminal Court, according to the report.

Judiciary spokesman Masoud Setayeshi, who is cited in the report, provided no evidence to support any of the accusations.

IRNA did not disclose the identities of the 16.

It said their sentences can be appealed.

The alleged killing took place In Karaj, near Tehran, on November 12 when a group of men chased and attacked Ajamian with knives and stones, the report said.

The IRNA report referred to “rioters,” a term commonly used by the government to refer to protesters and anti-government demonstrations were taking place in the area at the time.

The sentencings come amid months of anti-government demonstrations that have been violently suppressed by Iran’s security forces.

Over the past few days confusion has grown around the fate of Iran’s morality police and Iran’s enforcement of its strict religious dress code.

On Sunday Iran’s chief prosecutor, Mohamed Jafar Montazeri, said the morality police had been shut down in a report published by the ISNA news agency.

The previous day, the prosecutor also said the laws surrounding the wearing of the hijab were under review but offered no indication the country was planning to revoke the law

For weeks, fewer morality police officers have been seen in Iranian cities.

Across Tehran, It has become common to see women walking the city’s streets without wearing the hijab, particularly in wealthier areas.

with AP

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