Stewardesses for Air France have been ordered to wear headscarves when flying into Iran’s capital of Tehran and they’re not happy about it. The order has sparked a backlash.

The Telegraph reports:

Air France stewardesses mutiny over order to wear headscarves

Air France stewardesses, furious at being ordered to wear headscarves in Tehran, say they will refuse to fly to the Iranian capital when the airline resumes the service later this month.

Female members of flight crews have been ordered to cover their hair once they disembark in Tehran and unions are demanding that the flights be made voluntary for women.

The resumption of a thrice-weekly service between Paris and Tehran, planned for April 17 after an eight-year break, follows a thaw in relations since Iran agreed to dismantle large sections of its nuclear programme.

Iranian women have been forced by law to cover their hair or face stiff fines since the 1979 Islamic revolution. In staunchly secular France, however, public signs of religion have been frowned upon since a 1905 law separating church and state.

French women see Islamic headscarves and veils as an affront to their dignity. Headscarves are banned in French state schools and offices, and it is illegal to wear the full-face Muslim veil in public.

Flore Arrighi, head of the UNAC flight crews’ union, said: “It is not our role to pass judgement on the wearing of headscarves or veils in Iran. What we are denouncing is that it is being made compulsory. Stewardesses must be given the right to refuse these flights.”

She added that female staff were entitled to exercise “individual freedoms”

Air France hasn’t been flying to Iran for years but is set to resume flights there because of Obama’s nuclear deal with the country. Perhaps France is looking to get their hands on some of the sweet cash that came with the deal.

Mashable reports:

Air France is set to resume service to Tehran on April 17 after an eight-year break. The service was initially cut as part of international sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program. Following the 2015 nuclear deal struck between Iran, the U.S., France and several other countries, Air France announced it would fly once again to the tourist-hungry country.

Specifically, Air France’s modesty rules require women to wear pants during the flight from Paris to Tehran and a loose fitting jacket and headscarf when they exit the plane. Those that don’t comply could be penalized, Christophe Pillet, an SNPNC spokesperson told Agence France-Presse.

“It is not our role to pass judgment on the wearing of headscarves or veils in Iran,” Flore Ariighi, head of the UNAC told the Telegraph. “What we are denouncing is that it is being made compulsory. Stewardesses must be given the right to refuse these flights.”

Air France told the AFP that the headscarf rule was not new. It was in place before service to Tehran was cut in 2008.

Will American feminists stand up for the ladies of Air France?

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