An Iranian actress has come under criticism after she posted pictures of herself without a hijab online.
Iran’s ministry of culture called Sadaf Taherian “immoral” for her public appearance without the Islamic headdress, according to Daily Mail. It is against the law in Iran for women to be in public without a hijab.
“I did not expect this from the people of Iran, from my own culture – to hear so many insults,” Taherian told Masih Alinejad, host of Persian-language program Tablet on Voice of America.
the insults included widespread attacks on the actress on social media.
“I can only feel sorry for their reaction and I have nothing else to say," she said. "I want to live in a place and live the way that makes me happy."
Alinejad alleged that the authorities in Iran had pledged to ban Taherian from working in the country.
Taherian has now moved to Dubai, where she hopes to continue her career.
She spoke in the interview about the problem of sexual harassment in Iran.
“It bothered me when I was acting and the director was thinking about me in any way except acting,” Taherian said.
“He was only waiting for the scene to finish so he could whisper in my ear again,” she added.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been associated in the past with calls to show more leniency towards women who do not wear the hijab in public. He said that “many women in our society who do not respect our hijab laws are virtuous,” according to Daily Mail.
“Sooner or later, those who don’t believe in compulsory hijab, who have multiple lives or an underground life, will find their private lives suddenly become public," Alinejad said, according to the Independent. "And sooner or later the day will come when women’s personal choices become a right and will not anger society."