07/10/2013 05:56 BST | Updated 06/12/2013 05:12 GMT

Netanyahu Ridiculed Over Suggestion Iranians Are Not Allowed To Wear Jeans

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been ridiculed for suggesting Iranians are banned from wearing jeans.

Speaking during an interview with BBC Persian television, Netanyahu discussed his desires for Iran to end its uranium enrichment programme - but it was his comments on fashion freedom that sparked real ire.

"I think that if the Iranian people had freedom, they would wear jeans, listen to Western music and have free elections," he said.

Iranians reacted to Benjamin Netanyahu's comments by tweeting pictures of themselves in #jeans

Many young Iranians took to Twitter to respond to Netanyahu's comments, using the hashtag #jeans and posting pictures of themselves in blue denim (scroll down for a gallery).

Twitter is blocked by a government filter in Iran, though many Iranians access it through special software to circumvent the block, Reuters reveals.

In Netanyahu's defence, there have been reports of dress code diktats and bans on wearing tight jeans. In 2011, the semi-official Iranian news agency Fars reported that Iranian universities had been instructed not to allow female students to wear tight jeans, tattoos or long fingernails.

But as Haaretz points out: "Judging by the photos posted by young Iranian men and women it's unclear to what extent these instructions, if indeed they were given, are adhered to."

Netanyahu also made claims to the effect the Iranian people are "actually pro-Western.

"But they don’t have that. They’re governed not by Rouhani. They’re governed by Ayatollah Khamenei. He heads a cult. That cult is wild in its ambitions and its aggression.”

Speaking to the CBS network in a pre-recorded interview aired on Sunday, Netanyahu said: "Rouhani is tweeting here, but he doesn't allow the Iranian people to tweet over there in Iran.

"He's saying all these nice things about Iranian democracy. They are executing people by the hundreds, jailing them by the thousands, any dissident. I mean, that's double talk and sugar talk."

Photo gallery Iran #jeans protest See Gallery