Benetton store torched in Iran over 'link with Zionist network'

Teheran fire department says cause of incident, amid angry protests against Israeli onslaught on Gaza, under investigation.

December 31, 2008 23:45
2 minute read.
Benetton store torched in Iran over 'link with Zionist network'

teheran 248.88. (photo credit: AP)


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 analysis 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 experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • 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


A branch of Italian clothing retailer Benetton was set on fire in Iran amid angry protests against the Israeli onslaught on Hamas-ruled Gaza, media reports said on Wednesday. The store, located on Dowlat Street in upmarket north Teheran, "was set on fire by unknown people," the conservative Jomhuri Eslami newspaper and several other media sources reported. The Teheran fire department said the cause of the incident, which occurred very early Tuesday, was under investigation, ISNA news agency reported. "Benetton is said to be linked with the Zionist network," the government newspaper in Iran charged, adding that its opening in the Islamic republic "has sparked several disputes over the past two years and people and student bodies objected to its activities." Established in 1965, Benetton is now controlled by Edizione Holding (a holding company wholly owned by the Benetton Family) with a 67% stake. It listed on the stock exchange in Milan in 1986. Benetton has a long history of attention to ethical values and involvement in social and cultural initiatives. Several Benetton stores have opened in the past two years in fashion-starved Iran, where global brands have largely been absent since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Last year a group of prominent MPs protested against Benetton's presence in Iran, alleging that it was owned by a "Zionist millionaire" and that its fashions were a bad influence on female consumers, AFP reported. Islamic republic conservatives have long urged consumers to boycott "Zionist" products, ranging from Coca-Cola and Pepsi soft drinks, to Calvin Klein clothing and Nestle food products, AFP reported. Angry protests have been held across Iran since Israel launched Operation Cast Lead on Saturday. On Tuesday evening a group of Iranian demonstrators stormed the British diplomatic compound in Teheran to protest London's stance towards the Israeli offensive. Meanwhile, hard-line Iranian student groups have asked the government to authorize volunteers to carry out suicide bombings in Israel in response to the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip, AP reported. The government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had not responded to the call by Wednesday. Five hard-line student groups and a conservative clerical group launched a registration drive on Monday, seeking volunteers to carry out suicide attacks against Israel. Volunteer suicide groups have made similar requests in the past and the government never responded to their calls. There has not been any sign of Iranians carrying out suicide attacks in Israel - making it likely that the groups' activities are mainly for propaganda purposes. In an open letter to Ahmadinejad, the students said "volunteer student suicide groups ... are determined to go to Gaza. You are expected to issue orders to the relevant authorities in order to pave the way for such action." A copy of the letter was made available to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Bushehr nuclear Iranian
August 5, 2014
Iran and the bomb: The future of negotiations