The morality police were not dissolved, but its Guidance Patrol, a program to monitor the dress code, was paused.
News of the Islamic Republic disbanding its morality police went viral yesterday as it quickly put the pieces together for the situation in the protest-hit country. The morality police are usually cited as the main drive behind the months-long unrest; however, news of its abolition was a wrong interpretation of a statement from Iran prosecutor general Mohammad Jafar Montazeri.
Montazeri said that the Guidance Patrol wasn't Judiciary's business, but the police's, the police launched it and ended it themselves. The police patrol to monitor the hijab code is a program launched by the reports to the interior ministry's police department. Iran's top prosecutor seemed to distance himself from the Guidance Patrol, the eschewed police program that has sent tens of thousands of Iranians to the streets.
New York-based Iranian historian, and Iran affairs expert Arash Azizi tweeted, "There is some evidence that some inside the regime are debating whether to relax, change, re-package or do something to the Hijab laws although Khamenei is very unlikely to concede anything on this front."
"Montazeri did say they launched it and they shut it themselves so this is why the world media has been quick to report that the GP has been shut," the Azazi added.
Azizi also notes the state media worked to backtrack on the issue. "Although the Berlin Wall did also come down based on an official uttering something in the middle of a presser!"
Parliament Member of the Domestic Affairs Committee Jalal Rashidi Koochi said, "I have heard that the Guidance Patrol will have no place in the new plan being prepared by the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution," Azizi reported.
The dissolution, if were true, could have encouraged protestors to persist in protesting, creating the belief that demonstrations would force the regime to further concessions, but that is precisely what Tehran works to avoid. Protests would lead nowhere; the Islamic Republic wants to remind people.