Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday urged the police to keep up its crackdown on social vice that has also targeted un-Islamic dress. "The police must strongly press on with the 'social security plan' and avoid seasonal and temporary initiatives so that its goals are implemented in society," state television quoted Khamenei as telling police commanders. Police launched the crackdown in April in a drive to "elevate security in society" with arrests of "thugs", raids on underground parties, seizure of satellite dishes, and street checks of improperly dressed individuals. Thousands of women have been warned for wearing tight, short coats and skimpy headscarves and for flouting the Islamic dress code, which requires every post-pubescent women to cover their hair and body contours.
Nineteen men were hanged in Tehran and Mashhad after being arrested in a sweep on "arazel va obash," a Persian phrase that translates loosely as thugs. It is used for rapists, drug-traffickers and criminals who disturb public security.
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