Greater Tehran police chief announced Saturday, June 8 that in the last ten days of Ramadan 547 “luxury” restaurants and cafes were shut down and sealed in Iran’s capital city and 11 people arrested.
Hossein Rahimi described the reason for the mass-closure of restaurants as “unconventional advertising” and using banned music for the entertainment of customers, Fars news agency run by the Revolutionary Guards reported.
During Ramadan fasting all restaurants in cities across Iran are shut down from early morning to the evening when fasting ends, but this announcement by the police chief signals that a tougher policy was applied this year.
Media reports indicate that this year similar aggressive restaurant-closures also happened in other cities. A police chief in Isfahan said 305 restaurants were shut down and sealed. Other cities also reported similar large-scale police operations.
In addition to taking action against food establishments, police also arrest and flog or jail individuals who eat or drink in public during fasting hours. There are reports of dozens of people arrested and swiftly punished this year. Ramadan fasting ended on June 4.
Eating in public during fasting is not legally prohibited in Iran but judges convict people based on a law that bans any “haram” act in public. Haram in Sharia law means actions prohibited by religion.