Woman with hijab
Woman with hijabiStock

In a further attempt to rein in the increasing number of women defying Iran's compulsory dress code, authorities are installing cameras in public places and thoroughfares to identify and penalize unveiled women, the police announced on Saturday, according to Reuters.

After they have been identified, violators will receive “warning text messages as to the consequences”, police said in a statement.

The move is aimed at “preventing resistance against the hijab law,” said the statement, carried by the judiciary’s Mizan news agency and other state media, adding that such resistance tarnishes Iran's spiritual image and spreads insecurity.

A growing number of Iranian women have been ditching their head coverings since the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini while in custody of the morality police last September. Amini had been detained for allegedly violating the hijab rule.

Protests erupted across Iran following Amini’s death. The government crackdown on the demonstrations resulted on hundreds of people being killed, including dozens of security personnel, and thousands arrested.

Several people have already been executed over their involvement in the protests and death sentences have been handed down to others.

Despite risking arrest for defying the obligatory dress code, women are still widely seen unveiled in malls, restaurants, shops and streets around the country. Videos of unveiled women resisting the morality police have flooded social media.

Saturday's police statement on the hijab law called on owners of businesses to “seriously monitor the observance of societal norms with their diligent inspections”.

Describing the veil as "one of the civilizational foundations of the Iranian nation" and “one of the practical principles of the Islamic Republic,” an Interior Ministry statement on March 30 said there would be no retreat on the issue.

The police urged citizens to confront unveiled women. Such directives in past decades have emboldened hardliners to attack women. Last week, a viral video showed a man throwing yoghurt at two unveiled women in a shop. The man was later arrested, but so were the two women.