Women in cartoons and animated features in Iran must be depicted wearing a hijab, the nation's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said, issuing a fatwa, reported local media. When the Iranian Supreme leader was asked by Tasnim news agency whether it was necessary for animated characters to observe hijab, he said it is "required."

Khamenei said, as reported by Iran's Tasnim news agency, that even though wearing hijab in hypothetical situation is not required, in animation it is "required due to the consequences of not wearing a hijab."

Political activists in Iran have condemned the fatwa as some has called it "toxic." Iranian journalist and activist took to Twitter over the new fatwa, saying, “This isn't a joke! The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran has announced women even in animations should wear hijab. Even female insects like bees have their hijabs on! Their obsession with the hair of female anything is toxic. These people are in power in Iran.”

Historian Arash Azizi also criticised Khamenei's fatwa, saying, “In case you thought the Grand Ayatollah Khamenei wasn't focused on core issues of interest for Iran and Iranians."

Another teacher from Egypt, Heba Yosry wrote on Twitter, “The absurdity of this is beyond my comprehension. Is the fear that girls will grow up and not wear hijab? Or that cartoon characters might be seductive to some adults? Is this what Islam has become?”

Women in Iran need to wear a hijab covering their head and neck and concealing their hair as it is compulsory in the nation under Islamic law in force since the 1979 revolution.

Iran also has strict censorship laws for cinema under which physical interactions between men and women are not allowed, while any scene that is 'immoral or offensive' to the regime gets censored.