This summer’s different. In the pause between the June 14 election of a new president, Hassan Rohani, and the Aug. 3 exit of the old, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the green and white vans of the fashion police are rare sights. Women, who are expected to conceal their hair and body shapes, are taking advantage.
“Finally, we can breathe,” said Parvin, a 56-year-old wearing a zebra-themed headscarf tied so that it failed to hide her neck as she shopped for groceries. Like others interviewed, she declined to give her last name for fear of reprisal.
“Who knows what Rohani will do as a president?” she said. “But so far, he’s come across as more understanding.”
The answer is crucial for women who chafe at the rules and conventions that restrict their freedom to choose a career or show some ankle. While they use the summer hiatus to don cloaks made of see-through linen or silk and adorned with glitzy beads, they’re prepared for a crackdown. Summer in Tehran can be tough on women, as temperatures rise and the Islamic Guidance Patrols are on the lookout for citizens who might be persuaded by the heat to ignore -- more than usual -- Iran’s dress code....