Writes Shahrzad Elghanayan, a freelance photo editor and writer of Iranian Jewish heritage who's writing on a book about her grandfather, Habib Elghanian:
'When Khomeini returned from exile in February 1979 as the head of the Islamic revolution, my grandfather was among the first civilians he went after. On May 9, 1979, my grandfather was executed after a 20-minute trial on trumped-up charges that included being a “Zionist spy.” The Revolutionary Court did not allow my grandfather to have a lawyer. After a firing squad killed him, the new regime stole what he had spent his lifetime building. (Most of the rest of my family had already left Iran by then.) The execution prompted Sen. Jacob Javits (R-N.Y.) to sponsor a resolution condemning human rights abuses in Iran – which would prove to be a key moment in souring diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the new regime.
....The relatively few Jews who remain in Iran tell foreign journalists they have no complaints about daily life. As [Irnian Foreign Minister] Zarif points out, they are free to attend synagogues. They also conduct their businesses and continue to have a representative in parliament, as they did before the revolution. But like all Iranians who are not government cronies, they know the rules and boundaries of coexistence. For the past three decades, they have uttered monolithically anti-Israel opinions. They can’t hold high office or teach in universities.
Listening to the foreign minister’s version of Iranian-Jewish history makes me wonder what the nation’s youth is learning about its past. Maybe now that Iran is working to earn the international community’s trust, it’s finally time for its leaders to acknowledge past injustices.'Read the rest here
But that's not all.
He begins his article:
"On April 18, the prominent Iranian website Alef published an article whose title roughly translates to "Who Are Human History's Most Bloodthirsty People?" The long, detailed essay, complete with footnotes, pictures, and video clips, accuses Jews of killing non-Jews to use their blood for ritual purposes.
Alef is owned and supervised by Ahmad Tavakkoli, a member of Iran's parliament who formerly served as minister of labor and social affairs and president of the parliamentary research center. A prominent conservative figure who received his PhD in economics from Nottingham University in Britain, Tavakkoli is also cousin to the Larijani bothers -- Mohammad Javad Larijani, head of the human rights council in the judiciary, Sadeq Larijani, chief of the judiciary, and Ali Larijani, speaker of the parliament. Soon after the article appeared in Alef, other hardliner websites such as Mashregh News (mashreghnews.ir) republished it."
'Judaism is an official minority religion in the Islamic Republic, and Jews have a representative in the parliament and are free to practice their religion in synagogues across the country, including in Tehran -- a city whose hundreds of thousands of Sunni residents are not allowed to have a mosque of their own. Nevertheless, Iranian officials are known to make implicitly and explicitly anti-Semitic statements against Israel and Jews, and the government makes no effort to curb anti-Semitic propaganda by local extremists. In the past, such statements were generally political, with some element of the traditional Muslim complaints about Jews falsifying God's message and rejecting the true prophet Muhammad. Since 1979, however, the spread of more primitive anti-Semitic lies has increased, especially the blood libel.
Googling such accusations in Persian turns up many related articles, particularly on apocalyptic websites. [Emphasis added; remember the Twelfth Imam prophecy, which I referred to here and here? Apocalyptism in post-1979 Iran is explained in the video below by an urbane scholar]
More disturbingly, the blood libel has been creeping into mainstream media for some time, with occasional statements made by commentators on important websites or even state television. Although no Iranian officials have made such statements, none of them have reacted to the spread of this libel, including this week's prominent Alef article. Similarly, no Iranian clerics have denounced this libel against what is officially regarded as a divine religion, i.e., Judaism.
In today's Iran, anti-Judaic and anti-Semitic discourses are sometimes mixed in textbooks, media, religious/political propaganda, and secular intellectual literature. This helps the regime justify its anti-Israeli agenda in the region, casting Jews as genuine enemies who do not want to see the Islamic Republic progress, especially with regard to nuclear technology. What matters most is that such mixed discourse cannot easily be criticized inside Iran by those intellectuals who are concerned about the long-term negative ramifications of anti-Jewish sentiment.'Read the entire disturbing piece here
As Elder of Ziyon concluded, having drawn attention here to these rampant blood libel obscenities,
"Nothing gets published on Iranian websites without permission of the government, and this is a clear and conscious decision to promote Jew-hatred in Iran. Antisemitism is official Iranian policy. [His emphasis]
Westerners who had guided tours of Iran and then claim that Iran has no antisemitism, like Roger Cohen, are once again shown to be useful idiots."