This post was written by Anne Borkovic.
After months of intense global negotiations, and facing increased sanctions from the United States, the EU, and the United Nations, what is life like in Iran? As expected, Iranians are experiencing increased gas prices, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is having some financing difficulties. Some of the more interesting effects, though, are the ban on mullets and fatwa against puppies.
In July, Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance announced a ban on certain “decadent Western” hair styles for men, including the mullet. The full catalog of acceptable styles was presented at the Modesty and Veil Festival. Some interesting concessions were made – including allowing a modest amount of hair gel and a goatee – but mullets, pony tails, and elaborate spikes are out.
This past week, the Ministry announced a ban on advertising that promotes pets, pet care, and pet food in response to a June fatwa against pets from Ayatollah Shirazi, because pet owners were “blindly imitating the West.” He explained that “Many people in the West love their dogs more than their wives and children,” and that the devotion to pets would result in “evil outcomes.”
While it is unclear whether the ban on mullets and puppy food advertising will change Iran’s stance regarding nuclear power, we are interested to see what the Ministry will do in response to the June announcement from prayer leader Hojjat ol-eslam Kazem Sediqi that “Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society which increases earthquakes.”