Local fishermen have blamed trawlers — the vast nets that sweep the sea floor in industrial fishing — and have urged authorities to investigate amid the spreading "stench in the area, the semi-official Mehr agency reported.
One fisherman told the agency that trawlers destroy "the entire sea floor" and were gradually pushing local fish stocks toward extinction. But the fisheries head for the province of Sistan-Baluchestan, Mohsen Ali Golshani, insisted that no trawler "was active in the region," and that they were not allowed to fish within eight miles of the coast anyway.
The dead fish are in any case too small for their nets, he told Mehr. He said tests so far had shown "no sign of poisoning or pollution that would have killed this amount of fish," and authorities were perplexed for now. "Unfortunately, for unknown reasons, three tons of sardines have died in this region."
Photo: Iranian boats at Konarak port — Amirhossein Nikroo
For those aiming to serve the Islamic Republic of Iran as experts to train the public morality agents, there are now courses to obtain the "proper" training.
Iran will create new "master's and doctorate" programs to train state morality agents checking on people's public conduct and attire, according to several Persian-language news sources.
Mehran Samadi, a senior official of the Headquarters to Enjoin Virtues and Proscribe Vices (Amr-e be ma'ruf va nahy az monkar) said "anyone who wants to enjoin virtues must have the knowledge," the London-based broadcaster Iran International reported, citing reports from Iran.
The morality patrols, in force since the 1979 revolution, tend to focus mostly on young people and women, particularly the public appearance for the latter. Loose headscarves will send women straight to a police station, often in humiliating conditions. Five years ago, the regime announced a new force of some 7,000 additional agents checking on women's hijabs and other standards of dress and behavior.
The traffic police chief recently said women were not allowed to ride motorbikes
New academic discipline
Last week, for example, Tehran police revealed that they had "disciplined" agents who had been filmed forcefully shoving a girl into a van. Such incidents may increase under the new, conservative president, Ibrahim Raisi.
Speaking about the new academic discipline, Samadi said morals go "much further than headscarves and modesty," and those earning graduate degrees would teach agents "what the priorities are."
Iran's Islamic regime, under the guidance of Shia jurists, continuously fine tunes notions of "proper" conduct — and calibrates its own, interventionist authority. More recently the traffic police chief said women were not allowed to ride motorbikes, and "would be stopped," Prague-based Radio Farda reported.
Days before, a cleric in the holy city of Qom in central Iran insisted that people must be vaccinated by a medic of the same sex "as often as possible," and if not, there should be no pictures of mixed-sex vaccinations.
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