Iranian Badge Law Draws Comparison to Holocaust

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:06 PM EDT

( - A new law reportedly passed by the Iranian Parliament is drawing comparisons to the Holocaust because it requires Jews, Christians and other religious minorities to wear colored badges to identify them as non-Muslim. But Iran's only Jewish Member of Parliament said the report is "a lie."

"This report is a complete fabrication and is totally false," Agence France-Presse quoted Maurice Motammed as saying in Tehran. "It is a lie, and the people who invented it wanted to make political gain" by doing so.

The Iranian law in question would reportedly mean that 25,000 Jews would have to sew a yellow strip of cloth on the front of their clothes, while Christians would be required to wear red badges. Zoroastrians would have to wear a blue cloth, Canada's National Post reported.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said it was "deeply disturbed by reports indicating that the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) may be in the process of adopting" the law.

"While such legislation would be reminiscent of dark periods in the past, like the Nazi era when Jews and others had to wear identifying badges, it is also consistent with the racist and extremist ideology propagated by President Ahmadinejad," the Conference of Presidents stated.

"This is part of legislation, originally introduced in 2004 but blocked within the Majlis, mandating that Iranians wear standard Islamic garments. We have been seeking to clarify these reports but do not yet have confirmation," the Conference of Presidents stated, adding that Iran could be working on such uniforms to be introduced in the fall.

"We are monitoring the situation and seeking to ascertain the facts in order to determine the appropriate response. The initial reports have aroused concern in many governmental and non-governmental circles. We are confident that the facts will be clear soon and we will comment further at that time," the Conference of Presidents concluded.

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