NEW YORK CITY — In his address to the United States General Assembly on Wednesday, US President Joe Biden condemned Iran’s violent enforcement of the country’s hijab law, saying the right way to police women’s bodies and life choices is through banning abortion and restricting contraception access.
“What Iran is doing is unacceptable,” said Biden of the law which requires women to cover their hair and wear loose-fitting clothing. “This is no way to control the women population of a country. Letting white men decide what women can or can’t do with their bodies, however – now that’s a rock and roll way to do it. When it’s women of colour? Heavy metal.”
Earlier in the day, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi spoke for the first time before the General Assembly. Having been advised that the current crisis in Iran would be addressed by Biden and other world leaders, Raisi in his speech criticized the United States’ double standards when it came to oppressing women.
“Iran wants what’s fair and just for itself”, said Raisi. “The United States has an advanced nuclear program. Iran wants an advanced nuclear program. The United States wants to clamp down on women’s rights their way. Iran wants to clamp down on women’s rights Iran’s way… the theocratic way.”
He then clarified, “No, the other kind of theocratic way.”
Thousands have flooded the streets of Irananian cities to protest the government over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in custody, after having been arrested for allegedly breaking the country’s hijab law. In response, the government forced cell service and internet blackouts across the country and cut power to the capital Tehran.
“Not only are we controlling women the right way,” said Raisi. “We’re going a step further and quelling public resistance and dissidence by cutting off basic modern necessities. Pepper spray ain’t shit, though we do use that on the ground. We’ve perfected the art of cutting off communication and power to our disobeying citizens. A psychological pepper spray.”
Later on Wednesday, Raisi withdrew from a scheduled interview with CNN’s chief international anchor Christine Amanpour, after she declined to wear a head scarf for the duration of the interview. An aide on behalf of Raisi said “female journalists have been jailed for less”.