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Iran bans flights during call to Islamic prayer: report

Airplanes in Iran are no longer allowed to fly during Azan, according to a ban issued by Iran's parliament and allowed to take off only after 30 minutes has passed to give passengers time to fulfill their religious duties

Reuters , Wednesday 26 Dec 2012
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Iran's parliament has banned airplanes from flying in the country during the Azan call to Islamic prayer, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported on Wednesday.

"According to the new directive, airplanes are banned from flying during Azan, especially during the call to morning prayers," Mehr quoted the spokesman for parliament's cultural committee Ali Taheri as saying.

The head of the Aviation Organization, Hamid Reza Pahlevani, said aircraft will be allowed to take off 30 minutes after the call to the morning prayer so that passengers have the time "to carry out their religious duties", the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) reported.

Iran has practiced Sharia law since its 1979 Islamic revolution. Hardliners have pressed for stricter enforcement of religious measures since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won office in 2005 promising a return to the revolution's values.

Taheri also said serious attention will be given to observing the strict Islamic dress code for women working at airports or airline companies.

Women in Iran are obliged to cover their hair and wear long, loose clothing to disguise their figures and protect their modesty. Violators can be flogged, fined or imprisoned.

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