Posted on Flickr here.

The Western media are having a field day over Tehran's "unacceptable haircuts" list, which includes the mullet. Moreover, one of our Observers in Tehran tells us that the authorities there are flailing badly in their crackdown on offensive hairstyles.

Iranian media announced on Tuesday that a government-linked organisation devoted to Islamic fashion has handed over a catalogue of acceptable and non-acceptable haircuts to the Ministry of Culture - allegedly the first of its kind.

An offender arrested in 2008

According to the YouTubers who uploaded this video in March 2008, the arrestee - charged with having long hair - is being forced to have his hair cut by the police. We originally published this story in March 2008.

No original sound available. Video published on YouTube by "farhadbozorg" 30 March 2010.

“These regulations have been around for ages; nobody follows them”

Siavash is from Tehran. He wishes to remain anonymous.

This is a pure publicity stunt. It comes just a few weeks after [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad got in trouble with clerics for saying that police shouldn't crackdown on women for wearing a ‘bad hijab'. He's obviously trying to show them that he is almighty and that he does have control over people's clothes and haircuts after all!

The government wouldn't dare put these regulations into practice at this point anyway. They can't put any more pressure on the people; they've already pushed them too far. Arresting people for hair gel and ponytails is not going to do them any favours right now.

As for the ‘regulations' - they've been around for ages. Every barbershop has the government poster pinned up, just for good measure, but nobody actually follows the rules. Barbers here are currently having a hard time getting enough customers, so they wouldn't want to shoot themselves in the foot by refusing to give anyone a trendy hairstyle.

I truly believe that after the contested election and the green revolution, the authorities have lost their grip. It's true that a couple of years ago police were a bit stricter with haircuts and the rest. But today, things have changed. I was at the Caspian Sea a few weeks ago and I saw boys and girls swimming together, which even a year ago was banned."

The ‘Anti-Islamic’ haircuts in question

For men, barbers are told not to allow hair that is too long, especially at the back. Ponytails and hair gel are not acceptable.

Which would leave most Iranian youths in trouble with the law...

In Tehran. Posted on Flickr by “Kombizz” 9 June 2009..

Tehran. Posted on Flickr by “kamshots” 5 April 2007. 

Tehran. Posted on Flickr by “ales_partyzan” 11 March 2007.