Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Jews in Iran

They are a diminishing population, subject to discrimination at all levels according to the wikipedia entry. Kim Sengupta in the Independent paints a different picture, drawing on the experience of Ciamak Morsadegh a hospital surgeon newly elected to the Majlis, the Iranian parliament.

The MP is Jewish, representing the largest Jewish community in the Middle East outside Israel, one that is growing in size while those in almost all other Muslim countries in the region have shrunk severely or disappeared altogether – largely due to persecution.

Israel has long portrayed Iran as an implacable enemy, an existential threat, even. In recent years, Netanyahu's government mobilised its international backers in the US Congress and elsewhere to lobby fiercely against the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, with dire warnings about a dangerous regime acquiring weapons of mass destruction. The campaign failed. The nuclear agreement was signed. And the resultant easing of international sanctions – providing a road to recovery for the country's ailing economy – was a key factor in the sweeping gains by the reformists and their allies in the recent elections; a victory that should pave the way for great changes in Iranian politics and history.

There is still the unacceptable number of judicial executions in Iran, which is a continuing stain on a country which needs to be readmitted to the comity of nations. One trusts that this is a matter which can be addressed by Prince Charles on his probable visit to Iran.

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