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TEHRAN, Iran — Iranian officials arrested four men they say are behind a spate of acid attacks on women sitting in cars in the city of Isfahan, according local reports. The “most serious punishment” awaits the perpetrators, pledged the hard-line head of Iran’s judiciary Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei in a statement. Isfahan's police chief said there were six attacks in the last week alone. "All the victims were sitting in their car waiting at a red light, the attackers approached on motorbikes and threw acid on them through the car window," he said on national television. “Most of the women were not dressed appropriately," the statement added, in reference to the country’s strict morality laws that require Iranian woman to wear all-enveloping veils covering their hair and body. A separate police statement said that the assailants were mentally ill.
“A rider threw nearly two liters of acid through the driver’s window towards me, which affected my face, hands and my body,” ISNA news agency quoted one victim named Maryam as saying. “The acid disintegrated my clothes, so people passing by pulled me out of my car and washed me down with water at a nearby store.” The country’s vice president for women’s affairs, Shahindokht Molaverdi, condemned the attacks. “There should not been so much violence towards women in Iran,” she said. “If we want women to flourish in society we must first protect them.”