Netanyahu, Denim, and The Bomb

An Iranian man looks at a pair of jeans at shop in Tehran on October 7, 2013. A campaign launched by young Iranians on internet networking sites Facebook and Twitter were mocking Israeli President Benjamin Netayahu following his comments during an interview diffused on October 5, in which he implied there is a supposed ban on wearing jeans and listening to Western music in the Islamic Republic. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images) An Iranian man looks at a pair of jeans at shop in Tehran on October 7, 2013. A campaign launched by young Iranians on internet networking sites Facebook and Twitter were mocking Israeli President Benjamin Netayahu following his comments during an interview diffused on October 5, in which he implied there is a supposed ban on wearing jeans and listening to Western music in the Islamic Republic. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

An Iranian man looks at a pair of jeans at shop in Tehran on October 7, 2013. A campaign launched by young Iranians on internet networking sites Facebook and Twitter were mocking Israeli President Benjamin Netayahu following his comments during an interview diffused on October 5, in which he implied there is a supposed ban on wearing jeans and listening to Western music in the Islamic Republic. (ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s interview with BBC Persian on Saturday, October 5 has been widely discussed by Iran's youth in the past few days. In the interview, Netanyahu emphasized two points, which created a new phenomenon on Iranians’ pages on Facebook and Twitter, blogs, and other websites.

“I think if the Iranian people had freedom, they would wear jeans, listen to Western music,” Netanyahu said. Following this, a large number of photos appeared on the Internet. Some youth, including Hila Sadighi—a famous Iranian poet, who was actually jailed because of her poems in support of the Green Movement in Iran—published photos in which they are wearing jeans. Furthermore, some youth have taken photos and films and published them on their websites.

“Mr. Netanyahu, here is a shop selling weapons of mass destruction (WMD) 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. Linking WMD and jeans is an example of Iranians’ strong sense of humor!

We are facing two important misjudgments by Netanyahu here. Firstly he thinks that wearing Jeans is banned in Iran. Obviously, everyone knows this is not the case. Secondly, Netanyahu says Iran wants to build a nuclear bomb. This is a great challenge! I would like to respond by raising four points.

First, on his Twitter page, Ali Mortazavi published a picture which shows an Iranian boy talking with Ayatollah Khamenei. The boy in the picture is the son of one of Iran’s nuclear scientists, who was assassinated by terrorists. Iran claims Israeli agents and the Mossad killed the scientists. Netanyahu rejected this allegation with his trademark figure “oh, oh! When something happens in Iran, they name and shame Israel.” An important point, as spotted by Mortazavi, was the type of trousers the boy was wearing: denim, of course!

Second, Netanyahu says Iran currently possesses 185 kg of highly-enriched uranium, and for making a bomb Iran will need 250 kg. Now a very sensible and sensitive question arises, considering that Netanyahu’s judgement about wearing jeans in Iran was utterly false, then how can he make a judgement on a top-secret subject of this nature? When he sends a false message about a very obvious subject—wearing jeans in Iran—then how is he so sure about a top-secret matter like the quantity of enriched uranium that Iran has at its disposal?

Third, Netanyahu claims if Iran’s government succeeds in making a nuclear weapon, then this regime will stay in power forever. There are two problems with this idea. By saying this, Netanyahu sends a strategic message to the government of Iran, implying that if you want to stay in power forever, then make a nuclear bomb! But this is also wrong, as we have all witnessed the fall of the USSR, which was a tyrannical superpower with a significant number of nuclear bombs and other weapons of mass destruction, but the people eventually made the regime collapse.

Finally, in his interview with BBC Persian, Netanyahu emphasized his own cleverness three times, saying that he is not Sadeh-louh (Persian for naive). When someone talks about a subject that he cannot be sure about, he should admit this. Netanyahu said that he will witness the collapse of Iran’s government in his lifetime. A very simple question arises here, when is Netanyahu going to die? Logically the answer is not clear, so how can he make a connection between the collapse of Iran's regime and his age?

Netanyahu has failed in his denim diplomacy, which puts further doubt on his ability to foresee the future of Iran’s regime.

All views expressed in this blog post are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, The Majalla magazine.


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