Iranian customs official calls for ending tie imports

Arab World Materials 23 May 2008 16:54 (UTC +04:00)

A top Iranian customs official has called for imports of ties to be banned because they are "against Iranian culture," the Fars news agency reported on Thursday, amid a crackdown on un-Islamic dress. "Imports of some apparel are not banned, but serious action should be taken to stop the import of ties, which contradict the nature of Iranian culture," state customs bureau deputy head Asghar Hamidi was quoted as saying, reported AFP.

"We need to change the country's import regulations to this end," said Hamidi, who is also head of a state plan for the "development of culture, chastity and the veil." The wearing of ties was promoted under the deposed US-imposed shah but has been banned in government offices since the 1979 Islamic revolution as a sign of Westernization.  Iran launched an unprecedented moral crackdown on un-Islamic dress last year, particular against woman who are obliged to fully cover their hair and body and against "Western" hairstyles.

In recent years many women have pushed the boundaries by showing off bare ankles and fashionably styled hair beneath their headscarves or wearing tight overcoats and it has become increasingly popular for men, particularly doctors and businessmen, to wear ties.