Jewish Journal

Iranian gov’t news makes bogus claim that Iranian Jews in U.S. support the regime

by Karmel Melamed

February 12, 2008 | 1:40 pm

It simply baffles my mind how officials in Iran’s radical fundamentalist Islamic government still continue to put out totally bogus press releases, news reports and information about Jews and other religious minorities of Iranian decent. The regime’s claims and statements about Jews, Christians and Bahais supporting their rule are so outrageous that they are often laughable! Sadly many western news media outlets pick up and spread this one sided propaganda that is not based on facts. I’d like to take this opportunity to expose the latest “B.S.” the Iranian regime is trying to put out there in hopes of improving it’s tarnished image as a terrorist-sponsoring totalitarian dictatorship hell-bent on acquiring nuclear weapons:

Tehran Times article claiming Iranian-Americans favor friendly relations with Iran’s government!

The Tehran Times is an obvious bias news source as it is a state-run news media outlet in the country’s capital. It recently published this unlovely article that tries to make it sound as if Iranian Americans that are non-Muslim “supposedly support” the regime in Iran by “favoring diplomacy” with that government. It tries to paint a rosey picture about Iranian Americans Jews not opposing the activities of the regime. This article cites some obscure, non-scientific, and liberal survey from U.C. Berkeley and tries to spin the facts that Iranian Americans who are Jewish, Christian, or Bahai somehow favor the U.S. normalizing diplomatic relations with Iran:

“In each religious sub-group—Muslims, Jews, Bahais, Christians, and Zoroastrians—a majority favor negotiations, with support being the strongest among Muslims and Bahais (75 percent and 73 percent respectively). In the Zoroastrian community, support for talks stands at 60 percent; 56 percent in the Christian community, and 51 percent in the Jewish community”.

While it may be true that Jews and other non-Muslim Iranians do not favor military action against Iran’s current regime as such actions may only embolden the clerics’ position in the country. Yet at the same time, from my own personal reporting and interactions with the Iranian Jewish community here in Southern California, by in large they DO NOT favor the U.S. normalizing diplomatic or other relations with Iran! For the post part Jews and other non-Muslim Iranian Americans would rather see the Bush Administration and other future administrations isolate Iran diplomatically and economically. The regime has practically held religious minorities including Jews hostage in Iran, caused thousands of other Iranian Jews to forfeit their billions of dollars in assets and flee the country since the late 1970’s and 1980’s. More importantly, Iranian American Jews for the most part are strong supporters of Israel and would never support new relations with Iran’s regime that repeatedly calls for Israel’s destruction! To think that Iranian American Jews would ever back U.S. diplomatic relations with the current government in Iran today is totally absurd and a complete fantasy.

What shocked me even more about this outrageous Tehran Times article was the fact that the regime claimed that Iranian Americans of the Bahai faith somehow favored friendly relations between the U.S. and Iran’s government through diplomacy! Nothing could be further from the truth considering the fact that people of the Bahai faith have ZERO rights in Iran unlike other religious minorities such as Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians. In reality anyone who is found to be of the Bahai faith is typically tortured and then executed as the religion is prohibited from being practiced in Iran. This accurate report outlines the persecutions Bahai’s face regularly in Iran. If you ask any Iranian American Bahai, they will tell you out right that they have no love for Iran’s brutal regime, especially after it’s crimes against the Bahai people since 1979. Considering these real facts, again no Iranian American of the Bahai faith would ever support renewed diplomatic relations with Iran’s current government.

The pure propaganda nature of this Tehran Times article is revealed by the fact that it refers to the regime’s lobbying body in the U.S. called the “National Iranian American Council” or NIAC.  Yes, believe it or not the Iranian government has a group that lobbies on it’s behalf in the U.S. Congress and government. Iranian American political analyst Hassan Diaoleslam has for years been exposing NIAC’s activities in helping to normalize relations between the U.S. and Iran’s radical Islamic government. Diaoleslam’s article last year in Frontpage Magazine online about NIAC and it’s front-man Trita Parsi exposes the fact that the organization is being funded by the Iranian government’s oil money and is their voice in America:

“State-sanctioned Iranian newspapers started a campaign to promote Trita Parsi and NIAC.  Pro-government publications outside Iran followed suit. The former head of the Iran interest in Washington, Ambassador Faramarze Fathnejad, was thrilled with the efforts of Trita Parsi and NIAC, and underlined “the importance of relation with Iranian organizations in the U.S. and specially pointed to NIAC and his young leader who is a consultant to CNN and has been very successful in his efforts.” The Iran Ambassador even claimed 20,000 strong membership for NIAC (while only 150 is claimed by NIAC itself)!

But token rhetorical support would not alone turn an inexperienced graduate student and a corrupt Washington politician into a lobbying enterprise.  Entities with ample financial resources and direct access to Iran’s top leaders had to enter the scene. This is where Siamak Namazi, an important figure of this new lobbying enterprise and a prominent member of the Iranian oil Mafia, enters the scene. Trita Parsi and Namazi worked closely on developing the details of a grand plan to create an Iranian-American “Citizen’s Lobby”. They traveled to Iran together. They organized joint conferences and meetings. In 1999, they co-authored a seminal paper, that provided the roadmap for the organization that later became NIAC”.

If you don’t believe that Parsi and NIAC are backed by Iran’s government, then read my L.A. Jewish Journal article from last year in which NIAC was the only “Iranian American” organization that opposed AB 221. This bill was the California State measure that required divestment of state pension funds from companies doing business with the Iranian government. If NIAC and Parsi are not in bed with the regime in Tehran and supposedly “freedom-loving”, then the hell did they oppose this bill that would pressure the Iranian government economically for supporting international terrorism and seeking nuclear weapons??

Clearly the Tehran Times and it’s report about Iranian American Jews supporting diplomacy with Iran is bogus and is a sad attempt by the regime to get certain American and European politicians to ease their diplomatic and economic pressures on the Iranian regime. This is yet another public relations stunt by the Iranian government to do damage control for the anti-Semitic and war-like rhetoric of it’s president and other leaders over the past three years!

A popular propoganda sign found throughout Iran nowadays:

An important poster we need to share with the Iranian government:

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Karmel Melamed is an internationally-published freelance journalist based in Southern California.

Since 2000, Melamed has specialized in covering the growing influential...

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