Kim Kardashian-West, and the rest of her clan, is probably one of the most buzzed-about celebrities in present time. While many may appreciate the revealing photographs she shares on social media, the Iranian government does not find any of this entertaining. In fact, authorities are criticising the star for corrupting Iranian society.
Mostafa Alizadeh, the spokesperson for state-run Centre to Combat Organised Cybercrime, is accusing Kardashian-West for working together with Instagram in order to influence Iranian women’s lifestyles in a negative manner.
According to Financial Times, Alizadeh alleges that the Keeping Up With The Kardashian star is encouraging Iranian women to post images of themselves that does not conform with the traditional Islamic dress code.
“Ms Kim Kardashian is a popular fashion model,” Mostafa says, Independent quotes.
“So Instagram’s CEO tells her, ‘make this native’. There is no doubt that financial support is involved as well. We are taking this very seriously.”
But the issue involves more than just women’s dress code. The Iranian government sees this as an act by the United States to implement a regime change in Tehran by encouraging young women to challenge the Islamic revolution’s beliefs and ideology through social media platforms such as Instagram.
The alleged plot to “Westernise” Iranian society is said to be supported by United Kingdom and Gulf Arab states.
To counter the supposed threat Kim Kardashian-West has deployed, Iran launched “Operation Spider II” which saw the closure of 150 beauty salons and photo studios. Around 30 models, make-up artists and photographers were also prosecuted.
Iran’s chief prosecutors are reportedly monitoring around 300 Instagram profiles as part of the operation.
Model Elham Arab was one of those prosecuted for following a lifestyle that contradicts Islamic tradition. During a hearing in the Iranian Revolutionary Court, Arab said she “now regretted entering the fashion business.”
Reformists, however, believe that the crackdown aims to target “people’s hope in reforms” and at the same time “make people become disappointed with president Hassan Rouhani” who seeks re-election next year.