In this footage from Iranian state TV, a regime cleric claims that Christians and Jews have a certain distinctive odor, with Jews naturally smelling bad; he asserts that this smell extends to Jewish people’s souls, adding that Sunni Muslims smell even worse. The cleric uses the term ‘Wahhabis’, followers of the austere Saudi school of Sunnism, to refer to all Sunni Muslims, a common habit among regime loyalists, who have ratcheted up their bigoted and sectarian rhetoric in recent years.
The cleric says, “The Jews have a certain smell. Christians have a certain smell. There was a Shirazi general who used to say that he had grown up in Jewish neighbourhood and had played with Jewish children since childhood. The Jews smell in a certain way. Their souls smell. Even when they take a shower, they smell as soon as they get out of the bathroom. That general told me that when he went to Medina, the Wahhabis smelled worse than Jews – more stinking and filthy. Lovers of Imam Hossein [Shiites] smell like apples. Those who are in a certain stage of love… there are traditions in this regard and I will read them for you. Those who strongly love Imam Zaman, their bodies have such a nice smell!”