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Tehran Municipality Under Fire For The Word "Islamic" Missing In Street Sign

The old and new signs of Jomhuri Eslami (Islamic Republic) Square in central Tehran.
The old and new signs of Jomhuri Eslami (Islamic Republic) Square in central Tehran.

Iran's hardliners have blasted Tehran Municipality for the missing word "Islamic" in a street sign replaced recently. Pictures were posted on social media showing the name of a square in central Tehran as "Republic" instead of "Islamic Republic".

The attacks have forced the municipality authorities to apologize and pledge to punish "culprits" for dropping the word "Islamic".

"Let's not be oblivious to the sneaky move of the liberals," one hardliner critic tweeted adding that "The Municipality [of Tehran] is not committed to the Islamic aspect of the republic system" and called for the "inefficient authorities" to be put on trial.

"Islamic Republic, neither a word more nor a word less is the legacy of thousands of martyrs for us. What has happened is unforgivable," Gholam-Hossein Mohammadi, an adviser to the Mayor of Tehran and Head of the Municipality's Information Center, tweeted on Friday.

In 2009 protesters pulled down the sign of the "Islamic Republic Avenue" to show their disillusionment with the Islamic system.

"Islamic Republic, neither a word more nor a word less" is a quote from the founder of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini. When it came to decide the country's political system after the fall of the monarchy he insisted that "republic" or "democratic republic" were out of the question.

In an interview with Students News Network (SNN), Mohammadi claimed that dropping the word "Islamic" was a mistake and not a "systematic attempt". He also promised to reprimand those responsible for it even it had been done "unintentionally".

The Islamic Republic Square and a street of the same name, one of the oldest and longest in central Tehran, was known as "King Square" and "King Avenue" before the Islamic Revolution of 1979 after which they were re-named as "Islamic Republic Square" and "Islamic Republic Avenue". The name is only used on the street signs, official documents and maps, otherwise the square and avenue are simply referred to by the name "Republic".