Following a flurry of reactions around the world, Iran was
forced to issue an official announcement denying media
reports that it planned to legislate a law that would require
Jews to wear yellow patches or some other distinctive article
of clothing. Earlier the Iranian Ambassador to Canada refused
to comment on the report, saying it was not relevant to
In an official government letter to the editor of the
National Post, which carried the report, the media
correspondent for the Iranian embassy in Ottawa wrote, "There
was no intention to require the Jews or any other minority to
wear any identifying item. We firmly deny the report
published on the front page of your newspaper regarding
discrimination against non-Muslims in Iran."
In Teheran a foreign ministry spokesman said "a Zionist
operation" was "active in different countries, including
Canada, to foment psychological warfare and spread lies"
Maurice Motammed, who represents Iran's 25,000 Jews in the
national parliament, said the report dealt a severe blow to
the image of Iran's Jews. "I was there when they discussed
the law and it was about the attire of Iranian Muslim women.
Restrictions for minorities or other religions were not
Apparently based on claims by Iranian expatriates living in
Canada the National Post reported Muslims would have
to wear traditional, non-Western attire, while Jews would
wear a yellow strip of cloth, Christians would wear red
badges and Zoroastrians would wear blue cloth.
Emad Afroogh, chairman of the parliament's cultural
committee, flatly denied the reports and the newspaper later
printed a second article expressing reservations about the
report's credibility, but only after a flood of harsh
reactions had been issued in Israel and around the world.
"This fully uncovers the madness of the Iranian regime and of
President Ahmadinejad," commented one senior Israeli
"Whoever requires Jews anywhere to wear yellow bands once
again puts himself in danger," said Internal Security
Minister Avi Dichter.
US State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters
in Washington he had seen the reports on the new legislation
in Teheran and if they proved true the measure would be
"despicable" and "carry clear echoes of Germany under