Tehran Jews Slam Israel, Pledge Loyalty to Islamic Regime

Published July 4th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Tehran's Jews slammed Israel and pledged loyalty to Iran's Islamic regime in a statement Tuesday following the jailing of 10 Jews in the southern city of Shiraz for spying for the Jewish state. 

In the statement sent to AFP the capital's Jewish association charged that since Saturday's verdict Israel had launched a campaign of denigration against Iran aimed at making Iran's Jews emigrate. 

"This destructive campaign is aimed at Iran and the common human, historical and cultural values of its Jews and other citizens," the statement signed by association head Harun Yashayay and Jewish MP Maurice Mottamed charged. 

The association, which represents virtually all of Tehran's 10,000 Jews, was aimed at persuading Iran's Jews to go "where the international networks of Zionism want." 

The strategy was aimed at making Iran's Jews share the same fate as the thousands of Ethiopian Jews who were airlifted to Israel in the 1980s, but it was doomed to fail, the statement added. 

"We love our country, because the Iranian Jews have their roots deep in Iran, and that is why we condemn once more all propaganda campaigns against the Jews and the Islamic republic and proclaim our loyalty to the interests of Iran and the Iranian government. 

"We continue to have faith in the heads of Iran's judiciary, we are sure there will be reduced sentences in later phases of the process," the statement said, referring to the defence lawyers' intention to appeal Saturday's verdict. 

Ten out of 13 Jews were given prison sentences of between four and 13 years after the closed-doors trial before a revolutionary court, sparking protests from Israel, the United States and western European countries. 

Two Muslims were also jailed for two years, while three Jews and two Muslims were acquitted. 

Immediately after the verdict Mottamed told AFP that the Jewish community, numbering some 30,000 across Iran, was in a state of shock -- TEHRAN (AFP) 


© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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