Iranian officials adamantly denied on Saturday reports claiming that the Muslim state was passing a law that would require minority members to identify themselves with various colored armbands – and, reminiscent of the Holocaust, Jews would be forced to wear yellow badges.
“The dress code program being discussed in parliament has no relation to religious minorities. These reports are a flat out lie,” says Iranian lawmaker Imad Efrog, who proposed the “National Uniform Law.”
On Friday the Canadian Newspaper National Post reported that Jews would have to wear yellow armbands, based on the claims of Iranian expatriates living in Canada. Shortly after the article was printed, the newspaper backed off from the report and published a second article expressing reservations about the report’s credibility. However, the flames were already ignited as the story quickly spread around world news media.
Efrog, who apparently also read Israel and the world’s heated reactions to the report, told Canadian newspaper The Calgary Sun Saturday to tell the west to check their information on the law first, “and you will see there are no conditions for religious minorities in Iran.”
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Iranian Embassy in Ottawa, Hormoz Ghahremani, sent an email to the Canada’s National Post Friday to “categorically reject the news item.”
“These kinds of slanderous accusations are part of a smear campaign against Iran by vested interests, which needs to be denounced at every step,” Ghahremani wrote.
Representative of Iran’s 25,000 Jews in the nation’s parliament, Maurice Motamed, the only Jewish MP there, told the western press that the report dealt a severe blow to the Jewish image in Iran. “I was there when they discussed the law, and it was about the dress of Iranian Muslim women. Restrictions for minority or other religions were not mentioned,” Motamed said.