Naval War College Review


Geoffrey Wawro


In Frankfurt airport, I witnessed an unexpected phenomenon. The Iran Air flight that will carry me to Tehran is disgorging its Frankfurt-bound load of passengers, Iranians all. As they disembark, the women stop in the departure lounge to remove their hejabs—chador, rouposh, and head scarf—and brazenly comb out their hair before applying makeup to face and nails. Already I begin to doubt the severity of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Back- sliding like this in the early days of the revolution would have been punished by black-shirted “mor- als police.” When my outbound flight is called, dozens of homeward-bound women irritably unpack their hejabs and put them on.