For nearly 30 years its distinctive chequered pattern has been a sacrosanct symbol of Iran's Islamic revolution and an essential garment for its most committed adherents.
But now the chafiyeh, the black-and-white scarf proudly worn by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his loyal followers, has become an unlikely fashion item for young Iranians drawn to the same western pop culture that country's leaders disdain.
The scarf has become a craze among Iran's emerging crop of underground rap artists, who have taken to wearing it in concerts and video clips, according to Jahan News, a website considered close to Iran's intelligence ministry.
It has also become a trend among young men, who wear it along with T-shirts incongruously bearing the names of famous western bands. Young women have also been seen with the scarf, Jahan News reported.