let me point out here that I used to ADORE the National Post – it was a great alternative to the Toronto Star and less ads than the Toronto Sun, with Christie Blatchford doing some great columns and a darned good way of reporting the news. This annoys me to no end because it illustrates AGAIN how we’re not bothering to get the facts anymore, we just want the sound bites and the fast furious results. Not that I’m a friend of Iran, but this is just intolerable. What if it had been about the US.. oh, wait, I’m sure that’s been done.
Newspaper apologizes for anti-Iran report
Tehran summons envoy to explain Canadian leader’s remarks
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been criticized for his remarks about Israel and the Holocaust.
OTTAWA, Canada (Reuters) — A Canadian newspaper apologized Wednesday for an article that said Iran planned to force Jews and other religious minorities to wear distinctive clothing to distinguish themselves from Muslims.
The National Post ran the piece on its front page Friday along with a large photo from 1944 that showed a Hungarian couple wearing the yellow stars that the Nazis forced Jews to sew to their clothing.
The story, which included tough anti-Iran comments, was picked up widely by Web sites and by other media.
“Is Iran turning into the new Nazi Germany? Share your opinion online,” the paper asked readers Friday.
But the National Post, a longtime supporter of Israel and critic of Tehran, admitted Wednesday it had not checked the piece thoroughly enough before running it.
“It is now clear the story is not true,” Douglas Kelly, the National Post’s editor in chief, wrote in a long editorial on Page 2. “We apologize for the mistake and for the consternation it has caused not just National Post readers, but the broader public who read the story.”
The article was based on a column by Iranian expatriate writer Amir Taheri, who said a law being debated by Iran’s parliament would force Jews to sew a yellow strip of cloth to their clothes. Christians would wear a red strip while Zoroastrians would wear a blue one.
Iranian lawmakers, including the country’s sole Jewish parliamentarian, have flatly denied the National Post story, saying there is no mention of discriminatory measures against religious minorities in a new dress code bill.
The article and column appeared at a time when the international community is pressuring Tehran over its nuclear program.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also has sparked fears in the international community by denying the Holocaust, in which the Nazis killed 6 million Jews, and by calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map.”
Asked about the Post story last week, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Iran “is very capable of this kind of action.” He added: “It boggles the mind that any regime on the face of the Earth would want to do anything that could remind people of Nazi Germany.”
A spokesman for Harper said the prime minister had started off his comments with the words “if this is true.”
But Iran summoned Canada’s ambassador to Tehran to explain Harper’s remarks, a diplomat said Wednesday.
“Ambassador Gordon Venner was summoned on Sunday afternoon, May 21,” a Canadian diplomat said.
Diplomatic relations between Ottawa and Tehran have been icy since 2003 when Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi died in custody in Tehran. Ottawa also has consistently taken a robust line on Iran’s disputed atomic program.