October 20, 2007 in Nation/World

Iran to enforce country’s moral codes

Ramin Mostaghim and Borzou Daragahi Los Angeles Times
 

TEHRAN, Iran – The head of Iran’s law enforcement agency warned Friday of a renewed crackdown on Iranians who adhere to Western cultural ways.

Esmail Ahmadi-Moghadam, chief of Iran’s security forces, said that pressure on “thugs and gangs” over the past six months had proved successful and told Iranians to expect tougher enforcement of the Islamic Republic’s moral codes. In the near future, he told worshipers ahead of Friday prayers in the capital, security officials would crack down on vendors selling Western CDs and movies, small-time drug peddlers, reckless motorcyclists who dart in and out of traffic and knife-wielding “vagrants.”

“Thanks to enforcing law and order, we are witnessing a dramatic reduction in homicides,” he said. “Despite the nagging of the West-toxified critics who want Iranians to abandon their Islamic and national values and embrace rotten Western values, the wrongdoing of the thugs has decreased.”

Ahmadi-Moghadam, a relative by marriage to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, also delivered a blistering condemnation of America and Columbia University in New York, which recently played host to Iran’s president.

“In the so-called cradle of the free and open society – the U.S. and Columbia University – they asked our respectable president, ‘Why aren’t boozing, homosexuality and debauchery allowed in your country?’ ” he said.

After the speech Friday, prayer leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, a hard-line cleric, urged local media to better “elucidate” the recent words of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Iran’s ultimate political and religious authority. Khamenei urged Iranians to better conserve the country’s natural resources ahead of possible increases in international sanctions for Tehran’s refusal to halt its uranium enrichment program.


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