Iran Sending Jewish MP on Official Delegation for First Time
Iran is for the first time sending its Jewish MP abroad as part of an official delegation going to the United Nations next week, a Tehran newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Maurice Motamed will be part of the delegation led by parliamentary speaker Mehdi Karubi to attend a conference of world parliament leaders, the Iran News said.
The trip by Karubi, a close ally of President Mohammed Khatami, is also the first of its kind by an Iranian parliament speaker to the United Nations since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Iran's Jewish community is granted one deputy in parliament and the paper said Motamed would come under scrutiny from the press over the case of Iranian Jews sentenced to prison terms on charges of spying for Israel.
The paper said he would be called on to defend the court ruling in the face of a "smear campaign against the Islamic republic" launched by the foreign press over the case, which attracted international attention.
Members of the 20-person delegation, which also includes former deputy foreign minister and current envoy on Afghanistan Alaedin Borujerdi, will also hold other meetings on the sidelines of the conference, it said.
President Mohammed Khatami is himself scheduled to go to New York in September for a meeting of the UN General Assembly - TEHRAN (AFP)
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