A senior Iranian cleric has an interesting theory on why Iran is so prone to earthquakes. It has nothing to do with the many fault lines running underneath the country. No, it's because of women and their promiscuous, sexy ways.
"Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes," Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted in Iranian media.
Women in the Iran are required by law to cover themselves from head to toe. But many women, mostly younger ones, ignore the strictest aspects of the dress code. They flaunt themselves in tight coats that show their form, and scarves pulled back that show their hair.
Sedighi said those practices must stop to avoid a catastrophic earthquake.
"What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble?" Sedighi asked during a prayer sermon Friday. "There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam's moral codes."
The capital city of Tehran straddles several fault lines. Seismologists have been warning for decades that the "big one" is coming. Some have even suggested moving the capital to an area that is less active.
Just two weeks ago, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted a major quake would hit Tehran soon. He is urging many of its 12 million residents to move to another town. Ahmadinejad admits it would be impossible to evacuate everyone from the city, but he said, "Provisions have to be made. ... At least 5 million should leave Tehran so it is less crowded."
Despite the apparent underground risk and the scantily clad women, the last major quake to hit Tehran was in 1830.