After headscarf-sayer: Iranians outraged by tourism minister

After headscarf-sayer: Iranians outraged by tourism minister
Women in Iran are only allowed to go out on the streets if they wear a headscarf.

In Iran, the tourism minister has caused outrage with statements about compulsory headscarves. When asked about videos of women without headscarves being attacked, arch-conservative minister Esatollah Sarghami did not see them as a deterrent to potential tourists. Rather, he told the ILNA news agency: “For foreign travelers, anything can be a tourist attraction.” On Thursday, the minister received sharp criticism on social media. “Who might like it?” Asked many users on Twitter. “Are tourists now deciding for our country, or rather the majority of people who want a civil right like the freedom to choose their clothes?” a user replied to a newspaper article.

Tourism plummeted

Since the outbreak of the corona pandemic, tourism in Iran has plummeted. European tour operators have also withdrawn from the country as a result. The fall of 2022 protests led by women and the violent crackdown by the security apparatus further shook the industry. In this context, the Federal Foreign Office issued a travel warning and asked Germans to leave the country. The uprisings were triggered by the death of the Iranian Kurd Jina Mahsa Amini. She died in police custody in mid-September after being arrested by the moral guards for allegedly violating the compulsory headscarf.

In the meantime, political crises had also frightened tourists away. The country with its 26 cultural world heritage sites such as the ruins of Persepolis or the Persian Gardens has great tourist potential. The leadership in Tehran had set the goal of welcoming 20 million guests to the country every year by 2025. In 2018, more than 7 million foreign visitors traveled to Iran. Authorities spoke of around three million tourist visitors for the past nine months of the Persian calendar year (until the end of March).

Source: Nachrichten

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