Tehran, 7 August (AKI) - Iran stepped up its moralisation campaign this week with the arrest of 17 teenagers aged between 13 and 17 years of age at a birthday party in Tehran.Ya gotta hand it to the mullahs - they really understand the importance of being immoral in the pursuit of "morality."
It is the latest arrest in a controversial campaign ordered by president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and enforced by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
The United Nation's children's fund, UNICEF, immediately expressed concern about the arrests of nine males and eight females - all minors - who have been accused of "promiscuity", "alcohol use", and "dressing indecently".
The adolecents, being held at the court's discretion, could be sentenced to three years' jail, a police spokesman said.
In Iran young people are considered adults from the age of 15 and therefore legally punishable.
At Kerman, in western Iran, local police announced the imminent execution of 12 "hoodlums" arrested with another 186 people during the last four months.
None of the 12 sentenced have been accused of serious crimes.
"These hoodlums have committed crimes from alcohol consumption to the molestation of women," a police spokesman said.
The arrests are part of a nationwide moralisation campaign which began in Iran in May.
During the first three months of the campaign, 2,500 businesses were reportedly closed down for allowing men and women to mix freely, 8,000 people were arrested for "offending public morals" and almost 63,000 women were stopped by police for allegedly breaching the Islamic dress code.
Shiloh, Merkaz Ha'Aretz, The Center of the Country
53 minutes ago