There has been no official confirmation that the force, established in 2005 with the task of arresting people who violate the country’s dress code, are being taken off the streets.

Protests erupted in September after the death of Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the country's morality police for alleged violation of the dress code.
Protests erupted in September after the death of Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the country's morality police for alleged violation of the dress code. (Kenzo Tribouillard / AFP)

An Iranian lawmaker has said that Iran's government is “paying attention to the people’s real demands”, a day after a top official suggested that the country’s morality police, whose conduct helped trigger months of protests, has been shut down.

In a report carried by ISNA news agency on Sunday, lawmaker Nezamoddin Mousavi signalled a less confrontational approach toward the protests.

“Both the administration and parliament insisted that paying attention to the people’s demand that is mainly economic is the best way for achieving stability and confronting the riots,” he said.

Mousavi's remarks followed a closed meeting with several senior Iranian officials, including President Ebrahim Raisi. He did not address the reported closure of the morality police.

A day earlier, Iran's chief prosecutor Mohamed Jafar Montazeri had said the morality police “had been closed," ISNA reported but provided no further details.

He did not say if its closure was nationwide and permanent but said that Iran’s judiciary will ‘‘continue to monitor behaviour at the community level.’’ 

However, state media hasn't reported such a decision.

When asked about Montazeri's statement, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, gave no direct answer.

‘‘Be sure that in Iran, within the framework of democracy and freedom, which very clearly exists in Iran, everything is going very well,’’ Amirabdollahian said, speaking during a visit to Belgrade, Serbia.

READ MORE: Iran to review mandatory hijab law amid continued protests

Morality police presence

Since September, there has been a reported decline in the number of morality police officers across Iranian cities and an increase in women walking in public without headscarves, contrary to Iranian law.

The role of the morality police, which enforces veiling laws, came under scrutiny after a detainee, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, died in its custody in mid-September.

Amini had been held for allegedly violating the country’s dress codes. 

Her death unleashed a wave of unrest that has grown into calls for the downfall of Iran's clerical rulers.

READ MORE: UN rights body orders international probe into Iran's protest crackdown

Source: TRTWorld and agencies