- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 25, 2005

TEHRAN (Agence France-Presse)

Women will need their husbands’ written approval to join the ranks of cabbies in the Islamic republic, the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reported.

Applicants must be ages 30 to 50, shown to observe Islamic values, have a clean driver’s license and be free of drug addiction.

“An addiction test, local investigations and the presence of a husband with ID to write the letter of approval is the second stage of qualification after a general interview,” an official at a Tehran taxi organization told ISNA.

The taxi organization is sifting through 200 applicants to fill 100 openings. More and more women have been moonlighting as taxi drivers, using their cars as a second job or their main employment, but they are not licensed.

Amir Mahmoud Devlavi, the managing director of the taxi organization, said women would be given new Iran-built Samand cars, equipped with the Global Positioning System so the office can track their movements for their security.

The first women drivers are expected to take to the streets of the capital by the end of March, the start of the fiscal year in Iran, where women must cover their heads with a kerchief and wear a long coat in public.

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