Women with hijab
Women with hijabiStock

The head of Iran's athletics federation resigned on Sunday over a sporting event featuring women without the mandatory headscarf, AFP reported, citing state media.

"Hashem Siami resigned from his post due to the controversies that arose from the endurance (running) race organized in Shiraz" in Iran's south, the official news agency IRNA said.

Images from Friday's competition published by Iranian media showed some women running without headscarves, which were made compulsory shortly after the Islamic revolution of 1979.

Local organizers of the public event have been summoned to provide "explanations," the provincial prosecutor said Sunday in a statement.

Siami told IRNA he was not involved in organizing the competition, and the unveiled athletes were not part of the national federation.

The headscarf requirement for women has come into focus 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 in hundreds of people being killed, including dozens of security personnel, and thousands arrested.

A growing number of Iranian women have been ditching their head coverings since the death of Amini and the subsequent crackdown.

Earlier this month, Iranian authorities announced that cameras would be installed in public places and thoroughfares to identify and penalize unveiled women.

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

Several days later, authorities said they had closed 150 commercial establishments whose employees were not complying with the dress code.

Authorities in Tehran last week launched proceedings against at least four actors who had appeared in public without a headscarf.