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Iran Dismisses Badge Law Report As False

Looks like this man will not have to wear a coloured ribbom any time soon. Meir Javdanfar, an Israeli expert on Iran born in Tehran, also confirmed to the Post in a follow-up report that he had not found any evidence a color-code law had been passed.
by Jason Motlagh
Washington (UPI) May 22, 2006
The Iranian government and a number of experts dismissed reports that a new law had been passed in the Islamic Republic to force Jews, Christians and other religious minorities to wear color-coded badges in public.

Canada's National Post newspaper reported Friday that a law passed in Iran's parliament earlier this week would require Jews to wear a yellow strip of cloth, Christians red and Zoroastrians blue.

"Such a bill was never introduced in the parliament," said Maurice Motammed, Iran's only Jewish member of parliament who represents Iran's community of 25,000 Jews, on state television Saturday. "Iranian minorities benefit from the same liberties and social rights as other people."

Local state media blasted the report as a "campaign lead by a Zionist newspaper."

Sam Kermanian, of the U.S.-based Iranian-American Jewish Federation, later told the Post that he had contacted members of the Jewish community in Iran, including Motammed. All denied the existence of such a measure.

Kermanian said the subject of "what to do with religious minorities" came up during debates leading up to the passing of another dress code law.

Iran's parliament approved a May 14 bill to "promote an Islamic style of dress for women," said Emad Afrough, head of parliament's cultural committee, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA.

Meir Javdanfar, an Israeli expert on Iran born in Tehran, also confirmed to the Post in a follow-up report that he had not found any evidence a color-code law had been passed.

"None of my sources in Iran have heard of this," he said. "I don't know where this comes from.

"In any case, there is no way that they could have forced Iranian Jews to wear this," ! he added. "The Iranian people would never stand for it."

By then, the U.S. government and top officials from Canada and Australia had already condemned Iran, with some comparing the purported measure to Nazi laws that required Jews to wear Star of David insignia during the Holocaust.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack on Friday said the idea behind the legislation was "despicable," but added U.S. officials did not have a clear idea yet of what was in the bill.

He said reports of the measure had been circulating for months as it worked its way through Iran's legislature.

"I'm not going to try to delve too deeply into giving a definitive comment about something on which I don't have all the facts," McCormack said.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said: "Unfortunately, we've seen enough already from the Iranian regime to suggest that it is very capable of this kind of action.

"The fact that such a measure could even be contemplated is absolutely abhorrent," he said.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard added: "If that is true I would find that totally repugnant. It obviously echoes the most horrible period of genocide in the world's history, the marking of Jewish people with a mark on their clothing by the Nazis."

The National Post had reported that the law was first drafted two years ago under then-President Mohammad Khatami but became blocked in parliament until hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recently revived the measure.

Ahmadinejad has deemed the Holocaust to be a myth and has publicly called for Israel to be "wiped off the map."

Source: United Press International

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US works to contain Iran in Gulf: report
Los Angeles (AFP) May 20, 2006
The United States has begun developing a containment strategy with Iran's Gulf neighbors that aims to spread missile defense systems across the region and interdict ships suspected of carrying nuclear technology, The Los Angeles Times reported in its Saturday edition.

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