Iran's secret love for Man U towels and Union Jack undies revealed

Last Updated: Sun, Jun 10, 2012 10:00 hrs

Iranians are said to be fond of their booze, Man U towels and Union Jack knickers, despite their leaders going against everything that is western.

A short stroll away in Tehran's bustling Grand Bazaar, women shoppers, in the all-covering black cloak-like chador and hijab, are looking for bargains.

Union Jack-patterned knickers and bra combos are on sale on at least three stalls. American stars and stripes underwear is also available in several shops.

Stalls sell Manchester United bath towels in a nation where Premier League games are eagerly viewed.

"The underwear is very popular. We have nothing against your country," the Sun quoted one black-clad shopper in her 30s as saying.

"We don't hate Britain," a 26 year-old Manchester United-mad taxi driver said. "Far from it. We admire your freedom."

Youngsters in Iran know how to circumvent the internet censors.

Meeting someone of the opposite sex can be tricky for Iranian youngsters. The Lonely Planet travel guide says of Tehran's nightclubbing: "Dream on."

Youngsters play cat and mouse with the Basij morality cops causing traffic jams on Tehran's boulevards at night so that car-loads of girls going in one direction and boys in the other, get a few precious seconds to swap phone numbers.

"Of course we have sex with girls before marriage. The girls don't mind as long as the police don't find out," a 200 pounds-a-month 25-year-old Tehran office worker.

Tehran's brave women have a daily battle with the Stalinist Basij militia network on what clothing they can get away with.

Head scarves are pulled back to reveal dyed blonde hair, their manteaux jackets colourful and figure-hugging. Fashion can really be a crime in Iran.

Many in Britain would be surprised by the lifestyle of some in Iran's cities.

Boutiques sell Calvin Klein jeans, Gucci handbags, Dior perfume and Victoria's Secret lingerie.

In the backrooms of electronics stores, some bearing copycat Apple logos, iPads and iPhones are on sale. The latest Hollywood DVDs, as long as they haven't got a raunchy female on the cover, are for sale.

Tehran is said to be the nose job capital of the world. Women here proudly display their surgery plasters with pride.

It is estimated that some 90,000 operations are carried out every year in the city, which has 3,000 plastic surgeons. Cosmetic surgery to their cheeks and breasts, as well as liposuction, are also popular.

Perhaps more surprising still is the latest fitness fad craze for Iran's women - the martial art of ninjutsu. (ANI)

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