French flight attendants refuse to work flights to Iran

Air France's female flight attendants have declared that they will not work on flights to Iran, in protest against instructions to cover their hair while in the Islamic Republic.

The airline suspended its Paris-Tehran route eight years ago as part of the international sanctions on Iran. But as Western nations warm to new relations with Tehran following last year's nuclear deal, the company is looking forward to restarting the flights later this month.

As part of the preparation, though, the crews were told that Iranian law requires women to have their hair covered while in public. Female flight attendants would thus have to wear headscarves from the point they step out of the plane.

The law has strongly irked many Air France employees, particularly because French culture largely disapproves of public religious demonstrations.

As the head of the flight crews' union told the UK's Telegraph, "It is not our role to pass judgment 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."


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