Iranian youth to Netanyahu: We are free to wear jeans

After Netanyahu comments about the lack of freedom to wear denim in Iran, young Iranians call him out on the internet.

By REUTERS
October 7, 2013 04:23
2 minute read.
[illustrative photo]

Jeans pants 311 (R). (photo credit: Albert Gea / Reuters)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

DUBAI - 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.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


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 criticized 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. Iran denies it is seeking nuclear weapons, and says its nuclear program is purely peaceful.

"I would welcome a genuine rapprochement, a genuine effort to stop the nuclear program - not a fake one. Not 'harfe pooch,'" Netanyahu said, using a colloquial Persian phrase meaning "empty words."

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN