As several people have observed, there is no legal ban on men and women conversing face-to-face in Iran; long-distance chats seem comparatively antiseptic.
I’m not saying for a certainty the fatwa isn’t there — the websites are ill-organized, and we didn’t visit absolutely every crevice.
It is all very well working through surrogates to retain deniability, but these have their own interests and may, in addition, be incompetent, corrupt or simply crazed.
Fatwas, or religious opinions disseminated by clerics, are not binding.
So while Khamenei might discourage his followers from online chatting, for fear that it might lead to flirtation, or worse, he is not likely to order Iran’s religious police to start patrolling chat rooms and looking over texter’s shoulders.
We found nothing resembling the fatwa against men and women chatting.
An Iran expert who had searched for it as well confirmed her inability to find it.
If the second-highest execution rate in the world — probably the highest per capita — doesn’t bring a tinge of shame to its cheeks, nothing would.) Where did this story come from?