Iran: Intimidation In Tehran

On the eve of leaving Iran, a reporter reflects on this summer's crackdown on dress and behavior--and on her family's and friends' dreams for an easier future

Morteza Nikoubazl / Reuters

An Iranian police officer tells a woman to get into a police vehicle in eastern Tehran, Iran in April of 2007. Iranian police launched a crackdown on women's dress during the summer season when soaring temperatures typically tempt many to flout the strict Islamic dress code.

On a sunny day earlier this summer, I took my 8-month-old baby boy Hourmazd for a walk in the foothills of Tehran's Alborz Mountains. Families and young people crowded the tree-lined path ahead, chatting leisurely and snacking on crepes and barbecued corn. As I pushed the stroller along, a policewoman in a black chador blocked my way. She fingered my plain cotton head scarf, pronounced it too thin and directed me toward a parked minibus. It took a full minute for me to realize that she meant to arrest me. "I've been wearing this veil for over five years," I pleaded....

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