Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Whose pants are on fire?

There is a news story out there about Iran forcing its religious minorities to wear coloured badges to indicate their religion.

Their embassies deny this is true. Some experts on the region say they don't know where this story is coming from and that they haven't heard of it.

"Hormoz Ghahremani, a spokesman for the Iranian Embassy in Ottawa, said in an e-mail to the Post yesterday that, “We wish 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.”
Sam Kermanian, of the U.S.-based Iranian-American Jewish Federation, said in an interview from Los Angeles that he had contacted members of the Jewish community in Iran — including the lone Jewish member of the Iranian parliament — and they denied any such measure was in place. "
(National Post, Canada)

Various political figures say the Iranians are likely to do such things, but that they have no confirmation that they are actually doing this.

Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister, said yesterday that Iran is “very capable” of enacting such a law but could not confirm reports that members of religious minorities must wear identifiable markers on their clothing.
“Unfortunately we’ve seen enough already from the Iranian regime to suggest that it is very capable of this kind of action,” Mr. Harper said. “It boggles the mind that any regime on the face of the earth would want to do anything that would remind people of Nazi Germany.”
(National Post, Canada)

Is this part of the on-going demonisation of Iran? So that we can equate its regime to that of the Nazis and go bomb the shit out of it with happy, self-righteous indignation?

Or is it true?

UPI International Intelligence story

Iranmania article

Canada Post piece

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