Women who dress provocatively and tempt people into promiscuity are to blame for earthquakes, including the one which recently struck Nepal, a leading Iranian cleric has apparently said.
Leader, Hojatoleslam Kazim Sadeghi, says women and girls who "don't dress appropriately" spread "promiscuity in society."
"When promiscuity spreads, earthquakes increase," he says in a video posted on YouTube, apparently of him leading Friday prayers in Tehran, Iran, last week.
"There is no way other than taking refuge in religion and adapting ourselves to Islamic behavior," he adds in the video.
The video was posted by a YouTube user named "electionlies," who appears to be anti-regime. The account features wallpaper of a blindfolded woman weeping blood and the tagline, "The green movement is alive."
Green is the color of anti-regime protesters, who last year demonstrated in several cities across Iran. The protesters were objecting to the country's election results, which gave President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term in office despite being not the most fair or free.
Sadeghi is a senior cleric who holds an extremely influential position. He was appointed last year by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei as a substitute Friday prayer leader in Tehran.
Khamenei himself is Tehran's official Friday prayer leader.
Iran frequently suffers earthquakes, including a devastating one that leveled the ancient city of Bam in 2003, killing tens of thousands.
Statements like these at Friday prayer echo far and wide inside the isolated country. Iran was once a rational, progressive and beautiful country before an Islamist uprising took hold in the later 70s. It is now one of the more backward countries in the middle east, adhering to a radical form of Islam. The hardline religion is used to control the population and protect the power, wealth and influence of the clerics, who rule the country.