TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Netanyahu ridiculed for comment on Iranians' freedoms

Getty Images
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 6: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office on October 6, 2013 in Jerusalem, Israel. Netanyahu will give a keynote speech later today at a Bar Ilan university conference. (Photo by Gali Tibbon-Pool/Getty Images)

About The Tribune-Review
The Tribune-Review can be reached via e-mail or at 412-321-6460.
Contact Us | Video | Photo Reprints

Daily Photo Galleries


By Reuters

Published: Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, 10:06 p.m.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may have sought to win over Iranians in an interview with British Persian-language television, but a casual assertion that they were banned from wearing jeans won only gentle ridicule from some of his audience on Sunday.

Netanyahu has watched with some concern a diplomatic drive by new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to build warmer ties with the United States and other Western powers and achieve an easing of sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear program.

But his statements in an interview with the BBC Persian television on the need for Iran to end its uranium enrichment program were somewhat overshadowed by his comments on fashion freedoms allowed to Iranians by their government.

“I think if the Iranian people had freedom, they would wear jeans, listen to Western music and have free elections,” Netanyahu said in the interview, which was dubbed into Persian and released late on Saturday.

That statement drew a barbed reaction from Iran where, though women are required to cover their hair and wear loose clothing in public, jeans are not forbidden and are worn. Much Western music is illegal, but people find a way to listen to it at home.

Dozens of Iranians published pictures of themselves on Twitter on Sunday wearing jeans and addressed their posts to Netanyahu's official Twitter account, saying he was out of touch with Iranians.

“Mr. Netanyahu, here is a shop selling weapons of mass destruction in Iran,” one popular tweet read, showing a picture of a denim shop originally published by an Iranian semi-official news agency.

“Netanyahu, three days ago I bought a pair of jeans,” another Iranian user tweeted.

Twitter is blocked by a government filter in Iran, though many Iranians access it through special software to circumvent the block.

Netanyahu also said in his interview that the people of Iran and Israel had a “deep friendship into modern times” that had been destroyed by Iran's current theocratic government. He criticised the censorship of social media and satellite channels inside Iran as well as the government's treatment of women and gays.

“This is not what the Persian people deserve,” Netanyahu said.

He said the election that had brought Rouhani to power was not free, and that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei holds the real power over the nuclear program.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Mexico clears way for foreign investors in shale oil drilling
  2. Holocaust survivors taxed, student finds in search of Amsterdam city archives
  3. Russia’s push into Ukraine leads NATO to increase its Baltics presence
  4. U.S. drone strike in Yemen kills suspected al-Qaida militants
  5. Pontiff seeks to bring faith to ‘ends of Earth’
  6. South Korean ferry captain arrested; crew’s actions faulted in sinking
  7. French sweep school’s males for DNA to try to solve rape
  8. Third mate unfamiliar with waters where South Korean ferry sank
  9. French journalists freed from captivity in Syria
  10. Fiat and Chrysler to build Jeep models in China
  11. In Egypt, government watchdog Genena hit by backlash in uncovering corruption
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.