Iranian Regime continues 40 year tradition of using Jews for propaganda purposes
As a journalist who hails from the Iranian Jewish community and has been covering Iranian Jewry for nearly 20 years, I am frequently asked by a number of non-Iranian friends why Jews in Iran participate in the regime’s openly anti-Semitic events such as “Al-Quds Day” which is put on by the Iranian regime every year. They also ask me why Iran’s Jewish leaders always spout such vile hate for Israel and Israeli leaders on western media. The answers are very simple; coercion, pay-offs and propaganda! This year the Iranian regime again paraded the country’s Jews at their annual anti-Israel hate festival of “Al-Quds Day” and also clearly forced the community’s leadership to have a sham event memorializing the 30th anniversary of the death of the late Ayatollah Khomeini. The nature of these events and words used by the Jewish leaders in Iran for outside western media consumption, clearly prove that the Iranian regime is manipulating them to advance the regime’s sick attempts to make the ayatollahs look benevolent to Iran’s Jews.
The radical Islamic regime’s thugs in Iran’s Intelligence apparatus for the last 40 years have threatened the safety of Jews living in Iran on a regular basis if they do not openly praise the ayatollahs’ regime and denounce Israel in front of western media cameras. How do I know this? I regularly speak to Iranian Jews who travel to Iran frequently to visit family or for business purposes. The community of 5,000 to 8,000 Jews still living in Iran do not want to upset the authorities and do as they are told. They clearly do not speak of their own free will because whenever they speak to western media they are surrounded by regime “handlers” and thugs who are closely monitoring what they say to outside media outlets. So one cannot clearly give any credibility to those Jews in Iran who claim that they “hate Israel” or are being treated “very well and are safe” under this clearly anti-Semitic regime because what they say is likely said under duress.
Siamak Morehsedgh, the only Jewish member of the Iranian regime’s parliament is the token Jew for the regime to march out whenever they need to demonize Israel or claim that the Jewish community supports their reign of power in Iran. Usually sporting a frown or an angry look whenever appearing before western news media, he is constantly denouncing Israel, calling for the destruction of the Zionist state, denouncing the Zionist “mistreatment of the Palestinians” and is stating that he looks forward to the “liberation of Jerusalem” from the Zionists. Likewise, Morehsedgh praises the Iranian regime’s treatment of Iran’s Jews and claims they have “safety” in the country. In a November 2018 television interview with PBS’s News Hour program, he said that he loved Iran so much that he told his wife to leave him and the country if she did not like it there! From these vehemently pro-Iranian regime’s statements made by Morehsedgh, one can deduce that he is either a very fervent follower of the Iranian regime or he has been handsomely paid off by the Iranian regime to spout their vile hate about Israel. The previous Jewish member of the Iranian parliament was a man by the name of Maurice Motamed.
During his tenure, Motamed also wrongly claimed that Iran’s Jews lived in “safe conditions” but Motamed did not use the vehement language of hate and destruction for Israel that we hear today from Morehsedgh. Now there are those who may claim that Morehsedgh is saying these negative statements about Israel under duress and only to safeguard the Jewish community in Iran. My response to those individuals is, why does Morehsedgh, a supposed observant Jew, need to sound like such a hardline radical Islamic cleric when it comes to wanting the destruction of his own people in Israel? He could have very easily taken a neutral position on Israel or even declined to comment on matters related to Israel. Instead, Morehsedgh repeatedly takes a hardline, almost genocidal anti-Israel position and it leaves one wondering what lucrative financial incentives the Iranian regime has given him to be their Jewish propaganda stooge.
I have reported frequently over the years about how the Iranian regime’s thugs are masters at using the Jews of Iran for propaganda purposes to make their anti-Semitic theocracy look “benevolent to the Jews”. Toward the later years of World War II, the Nazi propaganda ministry created a propaganda film focused around the infamous Theresienstadt concentration camp. The film had given the concentration camp the appearance of a “country club” for the Jews. Today, the Iranian regime’s propaganda machine carries on this shameful Nazi tradition by again marching forward different leaders of the Jewish community in Iran to sing the praises of the regime before the Western news media. Whether it’s Morehsedgh or Homayoun Sameyah Najafabadi, the chairman of the Tehran Jewish Committee, the Iranian regime’s intelligence apparatus places these Jewish leaders in front of western news media such as USA Today, PBS, BBC, CNN and others to sing the praises of the Iranian regime. These Jewish stooges for the regime also make outrageous claims that life is good for the Jews of Iran and they live in safety unlike the Jews of Europe. This year the Iranian regime had what was an obviously staged event with the Jews of Tehran memorializing the Iranian regime’s late anti-Semitic dictator, the Ayatollah Khomeini! As I’ve reported many times in the past, the vast majority of Iranian Jews in Iran, America, Europe and elsewhere despise the Iranian regime today because they have lost their homes, businesses and livelihoods at the hands of this totalitarian radical Islamic regime. The Iranian regime’s use of the country’s Jews for their own one-sided propaganda may fool some in the U.S. and Europe into believing the regime is supposedly “tolerant” of Iran’s Jews, but the majority of us know this is fake news and totally bogus!
I frequently ask those who believe the claims that the Jews of Iran are being treated well nowadays several very simple questions. For instance, if Jews are supposedly free to practice their religion in Iran without restrictions, then why have the Iranian regime’s leaders during the last 40 years forced Jews to keep their Jewish day schools open on the Sabbath which is holy to the Jewish people? Why do Iranian authorities repeatedly refuse the Jewish community’s requests to close their Jewish schools during the Sabbath in Iran? Why are Jewish schools and teachers strictly prohibited by the Iranian regime to teach Jewish children the Hebrew language, except to learn some prayers? Also, why have nearly 100,000 Jews fled Iran since 1979 if life is supposedly so fantastic and free for Jews in Iran? Why do hundreds of Jews quietly continue to leave Iran every year and emigrate to Israel or the U.S. if life is so fantastic for them in Iran? If the Iranian regime “loves the Jews” then why are they treated like third class citizens according to Iran’s radical Sharia laws with inequality and state-sponsored discrimination? If the Iranian regime “loves the Jews and grants them equality” then why have more than a dozen Jews been randomly executed by the regime on trumped-up charges of spying for Israel and the U.S. during the last 40 years? Likewise, if things are so fine and dandy for the Jews of Iran, then was Toobah Nehdaran, a 57-year-old married Jewish woman brutally murdered and had her body mutilated by radical Islamic thugs in the Iranian city of Isfahan in November 2012? Why have Nehdaran’s killers never been brought to justice by the Iranian authorities? In 2017, synagogues in the Iranian city of Shiraz were horribly vandalized, why didn’t the Iranian regime’s authorities do anything to investigate this crime? Again, this past March three antique Torah scrolls were stolen from a 120-year-old synagogue in Tehran, why didn’t the Iranian regime investigate that crime or arrest suspects? These questions only reinforce the sad truth that the Islamic clerics who control the Iranian regime do not give a damn about the Jews of Iran.
As Jews and non-Jews who love freedom and cherish tolerance and co-existence in the world, we must not permit the Iranian regime to win the public relations war that they wage to portray themselves as lovers of the Jews or granters of wide freedoms and equality to non-Muslims living in Iran. Americans and Europeans should not be fooled by the Iranian regime’s lies about the country’s Jews since the Iranian regime does not give a damn about Iran’s Jews or the other religious minorities living in Iran today.
For those who are interested, these are other countless incidents over the years of the Iranian regime’s propaganda stunts using the Jews of Iran that I have covered. They can be viewed here, here, here, and here.