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Iran morality police’s future in doubt

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Such a move is yet to be confirmed, but if true it would be a big victory for the protest movement that has gripped Iran for almost three months
Issue 2834
Student protest in Iran

Students protest against the Iranian state at Amir Kabir university (Picture: Darafsh)

The state in Iran has shown signs of making concessions to a mass protest movement that is now into its 11th week.

Iran’s chief prosecutor reportedly said on Saturday that the state has suspended the “morality police” who enforce conservative religious laws.

If true, it would be a victory for the movement. The protests began over the death in custody of a woman, Mahsa Amini, who morality police arrested for supposedly not wearing her headscarf according to Iran’s laws.

Chief prosecutor Mohammad Jafar Montazeri reportedly also said that the government was reviewing the mandatory headscarf law.

And president Ebrahim Raisi said that although Iran’s Islamist politics were entrenched in the constitution, “There are methods of implementing the constitution that can be flexible.”

The morality police’s suspension hadn’t been officially confirmed as Socialist Worker went to press. And the state’s response to the protests is still characterised by heavy repression.

But the comments are signs that the resilience of the movement and its spread are forcing the government into concessions.

Biden outlaws US rail strike

Joe Biden, US president, has unleashed a vicious attack on a massive railworkers’ strike.

Members of the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen union were planning to strike from Monday of this week. Four other unions announced that they were prepared to strike from Friday.

But just days before workers were due to walk out, Biden signed a new bill to stop them.

The legislation is an attempt to force through a deal made initially in September, which thousands of members in four rail unions rejected.

It means a 25 percent pay increase—but over five years. The bill doesn’t mention paid sick leave—a key sticking point of the dispute. And a separate bill to guarantee seven days of sick leave was defeated in the Senate.

It’s another example why Biden is no firm friend to workers. Disgracefully, all but one of the “squad” of “left Democrats” voted to block the strike. Workers need to pressure their union leaders need to ramp up the resistance and defy Biden.

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