Updated. Please see below.
Last night the National Post ran a story informing us that Iran was on the verge of forcing its Jewish and Christian citizens to wear coloured badges in public so they would be identified as non-Muslims. Quite a few media outlets picked up the story, all sourced to the Post. And a lot of bloggers picked up the story, mostly to take it at face value and scream and gnash their teeth about that horrible Iranian regime (not that they're particularly nice guys).
Very few picked up this from this morning:
But independent reporter Meir Javedanfar, an Israeli Middle East expert who was born and raised in Tehran, says the report is false.
"It's absolutely factually incorrect," he told The New 940 Montreal.
"Nowhere in the law is there any talk of Jews and Christians having to wear different colours. I've checked it with sources both inside Iran and outside."
And now we have this:
IRAN'S only Jewish MP strongly denied reports in a Canadian newspaper overnight that Iran may force non-Muslims to wear coloured badges in public so they can be identified.
"This report is a complete fabrication and is totally false," Maurice Motammed said in Tehran. "It is a lie, and the people who invented it wanted to make political gain" by doing so.
Mr Motammed said he had been present in parliament when a bill to promote "an Iranian and Islamic style of dress for women" was voted. "In the law, there is no mention of religious minorities," he added.
The Post story was credited to unnamed Iranian expatriates. I'd pull a quote to prove it, but the link now seems to give me a blank page. Funny, it was there this morning. Let's try a link to the print version of the story. Oops, "This story is no longer available."
There are obviously a fair number of people who are in a hurry to create a crisis where Iran is concerned. And there are obviously a lot of people who have already forgotten the con job that was pulled in the run up to the invasion of Iraq and the role that expatriates played in the propaganda. Either that or they'd like us to forget.
I wonder if we have our newest zombie lie -- a story that won't die no matter how often it's debunked.
Hat-tip to EnMasse for the links.
Edited for spelling. (And edited some more for spelling and such. I have a guardian editor.)
Thanks to Ti-Guy in comments for a link to the text of the original story at the CJC's website.
And a non-retraction retraction from the Post. Notice how they cast doubt on their original story but then close with Stephen Harper's reaction. Not his reaction to the latest news, mind you, but to the original story.:
“Unfortunately we’ve seen enough already from the Iranian regime to suggest that it is very capable of this kind of action,” Mr. Harper said. “It boggles the mind that any regime on the face of the earth would want to do anything that would remind people of Nazi Germany.”
Translation: Even though the story is probably a crock all the nasty things you were thinking about Iran are still true. I'd say this little bit of propaganda did it's job.