With Backpacks and Exposed Skin, European Officials Roil Iranians

Hardline MP raps speaker for his guest’s dress. Source.

TEHRAN — The woman wore form-fitting clothes and a scarf wrapped around her head that revealed a few of her blond tresses. The men carried backpacks to official meetings. Nothing all that unusual in most places, but enough to touch off a firestorm of criticism this weekend from Iranian lawmakers, who accused their visitors of flouting Islamic law by, as one put it, wearing “extremely weird clothing.”

Two worlds collided when the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament met with the head of the Iranian Parliament, Ali Larijani, a top power broker whose idea of a wild outfit is wearing a blue vest under his dark suit in winter.

When a Dutch legislator, Marietje Schaake, entered the room, all eyes were on her Islamic dress, a self-chosen creation consisting of a pair of leggings, a tight coat with a zip-up front topped off with a blue head scarf, carefully draped on top of her head.

Iranian officials do not shake hands with women, so Ms. Schaake, a member of the liberal faction, can be seen in one photograph placing her hand on her chest as a gesture of respect for Mr. Larijani. He bows slightly in return.

In another, Ms. Schaake walks next to a Foreign Ministry official who is wearing the traditional black chador, covering everything but her face and hands.

That was too much for Iranian lawmakers. “It is as if she is wearing underwear,” a prominent conservative, Mahdi Kouchakzadeh, wrote on his Instagram page, noting that Ms. Schaake’s neck and ears were also not covered. He criticized Mr. Larijani, the conservative son of a prominent ayatollah, asking why he had allowed “human and Islamic rights to be violated in his presence.”

A string of conservative websites joined the chorus, attacking the foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is also leading the nuclear negotiations with world powers, for allowing the European “carnival” into the country…

 

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  • Zaba

    ….noting that Ms. Schaake’s neck and ears were also not covered.
    Oy!

    • Frau Katze

      Hence their horror!

      • Zaba

        Indeed.
        In fact, I chose Oy! because it can be adjusted to accommodate a HUGE amount of horror!

  • DVult

    Iranian’s idea of proper attire is a suit and tie from the dollar store.

    • They don’t wear ties. Too Western.

      • DVult

        Nooses maybe.

  • Xavier

    The proper response to the Iranian complaints is, “Fuck you, your pedophile prophet, and your pagan god you goat fucking savage.”

    It’s especially effective when delivered by an attractive and well-dressed woman.

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    I dunno.
    Don’t visit them.
    I saw enough pajama wearing goat herders at the Confederation Superstore to make me consider telling them adapt to their environment.

  • Billy Bob Thornton

    Javad Zarif went to school in Denver. He has a doctorate and is really well-educated. Something that those who want war with Iran will never understand. If you believe there are demons in this world, then in essence you are not living in reality. Iran is part of the BRICS group of nations and I have always felt that independence of nations should always be more important than a nation doing everything your group of nations wants. I think in BRICS there is a lot of independent thinking. That is very healthy. Iran had to deal with the Shah when their democratically elected government of Mosadengh was overthrown in 1953. Iranians have a long history of US aggression and US subjugation. Iran has ever right to be skeptical of the US and their version of diplomacy which is I feel stalling for time. Remember that many news sites have even stated that a war with Iran is more when than if. That means it is inevitable because many of them state that as the US becomes more and more used to war that a war with Iran will happen eventually. Russia and China are already onside for protecting Iran. The question is why is war such a good idea for those that never met a war they didn’t like? One has to wonder what the US and Israel are really thinking. I feel they are biding their time!

    • Minicapt

      Where do you find all these things that are not so? Who are you copying it from? Why do you not ponder these things to determine if they are so? Do you work for the CBC?

      Cheers

      • Billy Bob Thornton

        I am not a worker at the CBC.

        I am in computer networking and work in Canada, so keep trying to assume because you have no clue about me.

        The fact is my ideas are factual. The regime in 1953 was overthrow. I am not copying anything. The US did install the Shah.

        It would be an act of good faith to bridge divides.

        Why not?!

        • Minicapt

          Neither “fact” nor “factual” are in your dictionary. As an example: “The US did install the Shah”.

          Cheers

  • Billy Bob Thornton

    That Dutch legislator is probably part of that Freedom party of Nederlands. They have a history of causing problems and wanting wars.

    Such people are there to not bridge divides but to play games.

    Dividers and those that wish to cause trouble are instigators of war.

    • canminuteman

      Do you think that Iran has any interest in building bridges?

      • just a thought

        Of course. And the formula is simple. We build the bridge, and they burn it after we’ve crossed.

        • Zaba

          While we’re crossing……

      • Billy Bob Thornton

        They cannot be changed by mass protests in 2009.

        I don’t defend the regime or their ayatollahs.

        I like the idea of nations determining their own destiny.

        I don’t like idea of what Russia did to Ukraine just like I don’t like how Iraq had to be invaded.

        Nations like Gorbachev said should determine their destiny independently.

        He said that after the fall of the Soviet Union and that is how things ought to be.

        If you assume as you said about not building bridges because it is pointless, that is not how nations operate. They do not operate by vehicles with which to exert more leverage. You have to be genuine and try to ensure change can occur. This whole Reagan toughness worked in the 80’s but I feel it can’t work all the time. Periods in history are different.

        • Do you believe that individual Iranians should have the right to determine their own destiny? Because I don’t think the ayatollahs do.

          • Billy Bob Thornton

            I believe that the average Iranian should use the ballot box in the near term since a wide swath of Iran is not demanding revolution. That is what I believe. I also do not think 2009 was an event that all Iran supported. The West played it up since for the most part they want Iran to abandon the system they have. This has I feel to do with the revolution of 1979. So the question is cui bono? All nations have every right to demand real meaningful change. Will they get it? I think not. I do not agree with their treatment of gays and women in Iran because of what modern and Western capitalist societies have as standards. I think they need to follow a secularist nationalist government. The question is in what framework can real change occur within?

        • canminuteman

          Iran is part of the Islamic world. Their leaders tell us on a daily basis that they intend to wipe us out and make the entire world into a new caliphate. We would be wise to listen to them and take them at their word.

          • Billy Bob Thornton

            I’ve been friends with people from every race and creed so I can get along with everyone. The truth is based on Iran’s words from their actions is that they have no history of attacking other nations head on. If Iran hasn’t attacked now, they never will. People have been fear-mongering about Iran since the 80’s about their intention to build weapons. I don’t care for their regime, but it is what it is. Not much can be done other than starting a war to massively destabilize the region. I wish to know how you believe Iran should be dealt with?!

          • So they don’t mean it when they call for the annihilation of Israel? They aren’t trying to acquire nukes?

          • Billy Bob Thornton

            The nuke part has been talked about for a long time. As for attacking Israel I just don’t see it happening. Israel has the means to defeat Iran quite easily. I just don’t see it happening.

          • Xavier

            “I just don’t see it happening.”

            When your eyes are closed to the truth, you don’t see a lot.

          • Zaba

            Since you offer little proof (being generous here) that you understand the ideology of islam, I can only conclude you are muzlim or a useful idiot.

          • ntt1

            I suspect he is a closet vege-sexual with a scorching aspartame habit

          • Zaba

            That would explain the behavior as well……
            I thank you for that.

          • just a thought

            I’ve written this before, but there is an old Jewish saying, “If someone says they want to kill you, BELIEVE THEM!”

      • ntt1

        during the iran Iraq bush war they used the bodies of fellow muslims as road base to build bridges

  • just a thought

    Westerners just need to be more sensitive to the Europhopia of the Iranians, I guess. 🙂

    • Zaba

      Yes.
      Micro aggressions and all….

  • Ed

    Here’s the choice. Anyone who’s ever seen a family dog hump the nearest humpable thing knows that dogs do what dogs do. So again the choice. We can say middle easterners are like dogs and can’t help doing what they do, or they’re unfit for modern life and need to be treated not as equals, but aspirational but not yet ready probationary humans.

    • Zaba

      You’re too kind…..

  • bob e

    the paedo slavers can’t handle the mystery of life ..
    never , ever will they get it

    • Zaba

      No mystery; their imans tell them what to know……

  • vimy

    And that is the reason Muslims should follows our laws and customs when they come to our country

  • Hard Little Machine

    I would wear a gorilla suit.