Washington supports Iranian women protesting against compulsory hijab

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Iranian police say they have detained 29 women they described as "deceived" who removed their obligatory Islamic veils in protest.

Iranian officials have accused her of receiving money from foreign governments to fund her two separate anti-compulsory hijab campaigns - the first one is My Stealthy Freedom. 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.

While hijab protests are not new, Dagres said that recent rallies were inspired by a lone female demonstrator, who stood on a busy pavement in central Tehran waving her white headscarf on a wooden stick.

Nauert added that the U.S. condemns the arrests in Iran of at least 29 individuals "for exercising their human rights and fundamental freedoms by standing up against the compulsory hijab", US-funded Radio Sawa reported on Saturday.

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Masih Alinejad, a US-based journalist and activist, started the White Wednesdays campaign in May 2017, encouraging women to wear white headscarves or take them off in protest at the rules.

On Wednesday, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, Iran's chief prosecutor, had denounced the protests as "childish", suggesting that individuals from outside Iran are inciting the movement. "It has nothing to do with forces outside of Iran", Alinejad said.

However, Holly Dagres, an Iranian-American analyst, said Iranian authorities are "very much aware" that more than half of the population is against wearing the hijab. "We imposed restrictions on women and put them under unnecessary restrains".

However, in her conversation with CNN, Alinejad noted that these protests are nothing new.

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The wave of anti-goverment demonstrations last month was sparked by concerns over rising living costs and a stagnant economy, but also provided an opening for Iranian women to push for equal rights.

Under Iran's law, a woman who does not wear a hijab in public could face jail time or fines.

The image of the woman spread on social media. The footage shows Mohaved waving her white hijab defiantly from the end of a pole, her black hair flowing uncovered.

The UK Daily Mail that despite claims by "moderate" President Hassan Rouhani that the police have better things to do than enforcing the hijab law, thousands of undercover "morality police" remain active, filing tens of thousands of "bad hijab" reports.

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However, Soheila Jelodarzadeh, a member of the Iranian parliament has expressed empathy with the protesters and has said that it was the result of pressure on women and "erroneous behavior" of the regime toward them.

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