Iran’s morality police, which is tasked with enforcing the country’s Islamic dress code, is being disbanded, the country’s attorney general says.
Mohammad Jafar Montazeri’s comments, yet to be confirmed by other agencies, were made at an event on Sunday.
Iran has seen months of protests over the death of a young woman in custody.
Mahsa Amini had been detained by the morality police for allegedly breaking strict rules on head coverings.
Mr Montazeri was at a religious conference when he was asked if the morality police was being disbanded.
“The morality police had nothing to do with the judiciary and have been shut down from where they were set up,” he said.
Control of the force lies with the interior ministry and not with the judiciary.
On Saturday, Mr Montazeri also told the Iranian parliament the law that requires women to wear hijabs would be looked at.
Even if the morality police is shut down this does not mean the decades-old law will be changed.
Women-led protests, labelled “riots” by the authorities, have swept Iran since 22-year-old Amini died in custody on 16 September, three days after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran.
Her death was the catalyst for the unrest but it also follows discontent over poverty, unemployment, inequality, injustice and corruption.
RELATED: BBC identifies young people killed in Iran’s protests
These are some of the schoolchildren and young people killed in protests sweeping across Iran – the boldest challenge to the Islamic Republic since its establishment, in 1979.
Iran’s Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) estimates 222 people have been killed in or after the widespread demonstrations sparked by the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, 22, detained for allegedly breaking rules on headscarves.
The authorities’ strict control of information and independent reporting makes the number and identities of those killed hard to verify.
BBC News has used a variety of investigative techniques to name a total of 45 men, women and children who have died – many shot.
Almost all of the Islamic Republic’s previous protests have been about the state of the economy.
Now, in an unprecedented move, women, particularly young women, have taken to the streets – the slogan chanted at protests: “Woman. Life. Freedom.”
But the security services have cracked down – and some women have been shot.
Nika Shakarmi and Sarina Esmailzadeh, both 16, were killed in capital Tehran and its surrounding area.
Ms Shakarmi went missing in Tehran, on 20 September, after telling a friend police officers were chasing her. A death certificate obtained by BBC Persia states she died after “multiple injuries caused by blows with a hard object”.
Human-rights groups say Ms Esmailzadeh, a YouTuber, died after being beaten by security forces armed with batons on 23 September.
Mahsa Mougouyi, 18, died in Isfahan, central Iran.
Women in their 20s and 30s have also been killed, as has Minoo Majidi, 62, in Kermanshah, western Iran.
By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter