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This article has been updated to reflect the fact that it is still unclear whether Iran truly plans to disband its morality police.

Over 70 days after the death of Mahsa Amini in morality police custody ignited a revolution, Iran’s attorney general has announced the morality police will be disbanded, and the country’s law requiring women to wear the hijab will be reviewed.

Iranian Attorney General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri’s made the shocking comments at a religious conference on Sunday, the BBC reported. The announcement highlights the increasing pressure on Iran’s Islamic government.

It comes after human rights groups have tallied over 400 deaths, including women and children, during months of anti-government protests. The protests began after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in September. She was detained for improperly wearing her hijab. What started as a demand for women’s rights has expanded to a full-scale demand for an end to the four-decade dictatorship.

Men, women and children from all parts of Iranian society have relentlessly risked detainment and death to unapologetically rise up against the Islamic Republic, even as the country’s law enforcement continues to kill unarmed protesters as young as eight years old.

“The morality police had nothing to do with the judiciary and have been shut down from where they were set up,” Montazeri said.

Iran attorney general’s claims that morality police will be disbanded

It’s unclear whether the attorney general’s comments are binding or simply meant to diffuse the energy behind the revolution. Either way, it appears highly unlikely that protesters will stop seeking a change in society after many described Mahsa Amini’s death as a breaking point.

“Just because the government has decided to dismantle morality police it doesn’t mean the protests are ending,” one Iranian woman told the BBC World Service’s Newshour programme.

“Even the government saying the hijab is a personal choice is not enough. People know Iran has no future with this government in power. We will see more people from different factions of Iranian society, moderate and traditional, coming out in support of women to get more of their rights back.”

Meanwhile, other protesters say the hijab is no longer the central issue as many have already refused to wear them since the revolution began.

“A revolution is what we have. Hijab was the start of it and we don’t want anything, anything less, but death for the dictator and a regime change.”

Progressive Iranian leader’s 10-point plan

Since 2006, various forms of the morality police have been utilized to enforce totalitarian rules against women wearing anything other than modest clothing.

Along with calls for regime change, progressive Iranians have released a 10-point plan that includes becoming a secular democracy and a separation of religion and government.

“Iranian women know very well that the freedom of choice – in all personal, social, and political fields including freedom to choose their attire, and the right to political and social participation – is possible only if the mullahs’ religious dictatorship is overthrown,” Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said last month in a press release.

The plan also calls for freedom of speech and other rights similar to the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, human rights, separation of church and state, gender equality, an independent judiciary system, the autonomy of Iran’s Kurdish region, equal opportunities in employment, protection of the environment, and a non-nuclear Iran.

Deon Osborne was born in Minneapolis, MN and raised in Lawton, OK before moving to Norman where he attended the University of Oklahoma. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Media and has...

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