Iran yellow-badges fallout: Amir Taheri comments

He says he’s sticking by his story, which after all wasn’t a news story but an opinion column, and if other people treated it as a news story then that’s their fault for having “jumped the gun.” Errrrr…

He also says (or seems to say) he never claimed the provisions about non-Muslims had been formally enacted, only that they were being considered:

Many ideas are being discussed with regard to implementation, including special markers, known as zonnars, for followers of Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism…

I have been informed of the ideas under discussion thanks to my sources in Tehran, including three members of the Majlis who had tried to block the bill since it was first drafted in 2004. I do not know which of these ideas or any will be eventually adopted. We will know once the committee appointed to discuss them presents its report, perhaps in September.

Compare that to what he wrote in the National Post on Friday. Emphases mine:

The law … envisages separate dress codes for religious minorities, Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians, who will have to adopt distinct colour schemes to make them identifiable in public. The new codes would enable Muslims to easily recognize non-Muslims so that they can avoid shaking hands with them by mistake, and thus becoming najis (unclean)…

Although the final shape of the uniforms is yet to be established, there is consensus on a number of points… Religious minorities would have their own colour schemes. They will also have to wear special insignia, known as zonnar, to indicate their non-Islamic faiths. Jews would be marked out with a yellow strip of cloth sewn in front of their clothes while Christians will be assigned the colour red. Zoroastrians end up with Persian blue as the colour of their zonnar.

He sure sounded certain to me. Jim Henley also notes that there’s no record of “Moustafa Pourhardani,” whom Taheri names as Iran’s Minister of Islamic Orientation, anywhere online.

The New York Sun follows up by quoting another prominent Iranian exile, Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, as corroborating Taheri’s account, for whatever that’s worth at this point. The question at this hour: if the story really is “classic pre-war propaganda,” which, oh which, unspecified government could be behind such a dastardly deed?