AFP: Iran has launched a major campaign urging consumers to stop buying “Zionist” products, ranging from Coca-Cola and Pepsi soft drinks, to Calvin Klein clothing and Nestle food products. by Farhad Pouladi
TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran has launched a major campaign urging consumers to stop buying “Zionist” products, ranging from Coca-Cola and Pepsi soft drinks, to Calvin Klein clothing and Nestle food products.
“Pepsi stands for ‘Pay Each Penny to Save Israel”, viewers in the Islamic republic have been warned in an oft-repeated three-minute infomercial on state television, prompted by Israel’s ongoing assault against the Palestinian territories and Lebanon.
“Zionists are the biggest shareholders in the soft drinks industry, and each year they make billions of dollars for their colonialist aims,” consumers with a thirst for fizz have been told.
Coca-Cola is also not left unscathed by the new twist to the cola wars.
“This firm openly supports Israel and has even said that it is ready to allocate great deal of money to topple the Islamic republic,” state television said.
Both Pepsi and Coca-Cola have factories in Iran, although state television gave no indication over whether their operations would be affected.
A popular British high-street retailer, as well as a number of multinational firms, were also singled out for their links to the alleged international Jewish conspiracy to control the world.
“Marks and Spencer has very close relations with the Israeli regime and one its primary aims is to help the development of the Israeli economy,” the infomercial claimed.
“Nestle is a Swiss food processing firm which in 2000 announced that it will invest millions of dollars in Israel to build a factory there,” it added, while neglecting to mention that Nestle also has a factory in Iran.
The world’s largest chip maker Intel was also branded as “one of Israel’s biggest supporters”.
“Its first overseas branch was set up in Haifa in 1974. In 2000 it employed more that 4,000 Israelis. Its top managers have said that they are going to invest 6.5 billion dollars in Israel,” would-be Intel customers have been told.
“McDonalds, Timberland, Revlon, Garnier, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein and L’Oreal are only some of the firms which belong to the Zionist regime,” state television said, before taking a swipe at what it said were less vigilant Arab nations.
“Unfortunately most of the streets of Arab nations are filled with commercials which advertise Israeli products. For each purchase, the money is converted into bullets piercing the chests of the Lebanese and Palestinian kids,” it fumed.
Iran’s hardline Islamic leadership fiercely objects to the very existence of Israel, with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for the Jewish state to be “wiped off the map” or moved elsewhere on the planet.
The head of Iran’s parliament, Gholam Ali Hadad-Adel, on Tuesday also branded Israel a “filthy tumor in the body of the Islamic world”.
Tehran has also been accused of providing financial and military support to its fellow Shiites in Lebanon’s Hezbollah as well as the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
But the regime continues to insists that it only gives “moral” support, and has in recent days decorated Tehran’s streets with huge posters of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
“The Islamic republic of Iran has never interfered in Syrian and Lebanese internal affairs. Our support is only moral,” foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi repeated to the ISNA news agency Wednesday.
State television meanwhile announced Iran’s Red Crescent was sending its first consignment of humanitarian aid to Lebanon — a 60-tonne consignment of rice, sugar, beans, date, tents and sleeping bags.