https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/rick-moran/2022/12/04/iran-abolishes-morality-police-or-did-they-n1650786

Iran’s Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri announced on Saturday night that the hated Morality Police would be disbanded. The news was broadcast over state media outlets but was not confirmed by the Interior Ministry.

Recently, President Ebrahim Raisi said there would be no discussions of reform until the “riots” ended. That may still be true, as Montazeri pointed out that the Morality Police were not under the judiciary’s authority and would continue “to monitor behavioral actions at the community level.”

Iranians are skeptical.

In fact, this thread makes it clear that any changes that might be made would be superficial.

The Iranian government is extremely factionalized and it’s not unusual for one faction to promote a policy or action while another faction opposed it. And with rumors that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei is seriously ill, it might even be a question of “who’s in charge”?

Related: Iran Arrests Khamenei’s Niece for Criticizing the Regime

New York Times:

But it was not immediately clear what impact these changes would have on the enforcement of the dress code going forward or whether the authorities were planning to relax the hijab law, which remained in place.

The primary role of the morality police was to enforce the laws related to Iran’s conservative Islamic dress code, imposed after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and recently invigorated by the country’s new ultraconservative president. The dress code for women became an ideological pillar of the ruling clerical establishment, central to its identity.

The news hasn’t slowed down the protesters at all. They’ve called for a three-day strike this week, ending with a big rally in Tehran’s Azadi (Freedom) Square on Wednesday. That remains to be seen, as there is going to be an overwhelming police presence in the square on Wednesday if history is any guide.

Montazeri may very well have gotten ahead of himself in announcing the end of the Morality Police.

Times of Israel:

The announcement of the unit’s abolition came a day after Montazeri said “both parliament and the judiciary are working” on the issue of whether the law requiring women to cover their heads needs to be changed.

Raisi said in televised comments Saturday that Iran’s republican and Islamic foundations were constitutionally entrenched “but there are methods of implementing the constitution that can be flexible.”

So, on Friday, Montazeri said they’re working on it and on Saturday, he unilaterally declared the Morality Police disbanded?

This has always been the difficulty in following Iranian politics, going all the way back to 1979. Then, U.S. negotiators were absolutely sure several times that they had a deal in place to release the hostages, only to have the deal fall through when one of the numerous factions involved in the negotiations balked.

More recently, Iranian negotiators drove John Kerry and the American negotiators crazy by constantly moving the goalposts during the 2015 nuclear deal talks. With so many factions to satisfy, it became an exercise in patience to try and get anything done.

The protesters aren’t slowing down one bit as a result of Montazeri’s statement, nor should they. They have the authorities off balance and will press their advantage as long as they can.

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