More Iranian women join protest against forced hijab code

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Although women in Iran have fought against the hijab for almost four decades, the new wave of protests has grabbed more attention and sparked a debate rarely seen before over personal freedoms.

Covered woman wearing chador and hijab downtown Tehran. In one photo which attracted a lot of attention on social media, a cleric is seen atop a telecom box, waving a flag of the Islamic Republic.

The White House condemnation Iran's handling of the nation-wide protests, which began in December previous year, has been met with skepticism in Tehran which has accused the former of interfering in its internal matters.

The hijab-waving demonstration is part of a campaign started by exiled Iranian journalist Misah Alinejad, who one year ago encouraged women to post images and videos of themselves on social media with the hashtag #whitewednesdays. The 29 protesters been transferred to judicial authorities, the report said. "They are not fooling anyone", he had said while addressing a gathering in Iran's city of Sirjan.

Chief Prosecutor of Iran Mohammad Jafar Montazeri called the protests by 29 women in Tehran against public morality norms "childish" and "emotionally charged" and underscored that the protesting women were most likely incited by foreigners.

Women showing their hair in public can be jailed for up to two months or fined $25.

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Another viral video shows an elderly lady who - in solidarity with the protestors - climbs a fountain base, takes off her white headscarf and waves it with her walking stick.

Further promises to relax the hijab law were made by the Iranian government as it struggled to control the December uprising, but the new crackdown suggests the regime now feels secure enough to disregard those promises.

Iranian police said on Thursday that 29 women had been arrested for protesting the country's compulsory hijab rules, the private Tasnim news agency reported.

"When we restrict women, and put them under unnecessary pressure, exactly this is the reason for rebellions", Jaloodarzadeh said, according to Ilna.

Women protesting the hijab are sometimes referred to in Iran as "girls of Enghelab Street", which is a reference to the original heroine of the movement, Vida Movahed.