According to a senior cleric in Iran, Seyyed Youssef, the western style of dressing now common among Iranian women is what is causing the country’s rivers to run dry.

He further called on the country’s government to curb immodest dressing among women as he criticised what he perceived as women’s overly liberal choices of clothing “as if they were in Europe”.

“My office has received photos of women next to the dry Zayandeh-rud River [the largest river in central Iran] pictured as if they are in Europe. It is these sorts of acts that cause the river to dry up even further,” ISNA News Agency quoted cleric Seyyed Youssef Tabatabi-nejad as saying.

“If we see a sin, it’s useless that we only bicker about it. The police force can use the [paramilitary] Hezbollahi forces to carry out operations to root out vice,” the cleric advised.

The cleric also asked the country’s Communications Ministry to work harder to dismantle and bring to justice any “networks” that encourage immodest dressing.

According to, despite religious practice informing a large part of society’s life in Iran, the country has long been discussed as a place where religious conduct and dress codes are observed strictly only by a portion of the population, while the rest continues to do so largely for the benefit of the morality police.

Obeying existing Islamic rules including wearing Hijab or Islamic dress-code is necessary in Iran, however, these rules are not obeyed strictly.

Iranian dress rules are quite liberal compared to some of its neighbours.

Author: Ope Adedeji