As Rezaian Braces For Trial, US Blogger Finds Paradise In Iran

In our previous post, we called out Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on his hypocrisy regarding his country’s human rights abuses, calling into question the veracity of his farcical claim – broadcast on American television for all to see – that Iran “does not jail people for their opinions.”

But that was hardly Zarif’s first blatantly hypocritical (not to mention untruthful) statement. Back in March, Zarif boasted in an interview with NBC’s Ann Curry that Iran has “a bright record of tolerance to other religions,” stretching back to the great Achaemenid and Sassanid kings. But does Iran still hold that “bright record” today, more than three decades into the Islamic Revolution? According to Zarif, it certainly does – at least when it comes to Jews, whom Iran saved “three times” throughout history, including during World War II.

Zarif, apparently, has a peculiar reading of history – one that is meant to credit the current regime in Tehran, but that ends decades before the clerics actually took power. In fact, the tone for the Islamic Republic’s relationship with its Jews was set with an incident Zarif curiously neglects to mention – the execution of community head Habib Elghanian in May 1979 on charges that included “friendship with the enemies of God,” “warring with God and his emissaries,” and “economic imperialism.” The execution sent many Iranian Jews on a trajectory of emigration, and the shock and horror of it still resonates with them today.

Which is why we found it surprising that (Jewish) blogger Robert Naiman would wax poetic about being Jewish in Iran (the same Iran which is going to try Jason Rezaian next week) in a recent Huffington Post op-ed. While some of what Naiman learned from the “blessing” of touring the Islamic Republic was related more to napping and drinking hot beverages than to religious and minority affairs, he also observed that Isfahan has a Jewish community (“Who knew?”), and that a university imam is liable to “kiss you on both cheeks” if he “finds out that you are Jewish.” We wanted to formulate an apt response to these earth-shattering observations, but the feedback Naiman’s post received summed it up for us:

Wow, Iran sounds like paradise for anyone. Americans, Jews, women and everyone else. Not a single negative thing except for bad Cappuccino […] Kudos to the Huffington Post for standing behind this beautiful picture of daily life in Iran!

Blogging & updating on #Iran related news- focusing on Politics, Human Rights & the Iranian nuclear Program. Followed by top Middle East Analysts, Reportes & think tanks.

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Posted in Huffington Post, Human Rights, Iranian Internal Issues, Iranian Politics, Media Coverage, Mohammad Javad Zarif
8 comments on “As Rezaian Braces For Trial, US Blogger Finds Paradise In Iran
  1. […] can you get arrested for in Iran? The list grows longer by the day: for belonging to a religious or ethnic minority; for being a female spectator in a “masculine” sports stadium; for […]

  2. […] months ago, Jon Stewart’s directorial debut, Rosewater, brought to the public eye the plight of journalists jailed by the Iranian regime – as well as said regime’s attempts to convince them (by torture, among other methods) to […]

  3. […] and Iran famously executed the leader of its Jewish community in 1979 on charges of “economic imperialism.” The assumption implicit in this rhetoric is that “imperialism” can only apply to Western state […]

  4. […] phrase from The Huffington Post) for whom the deal constitutes “no breakthrough” centered on Jason Rezaian, the paper’s Tehran correspondent, who remains jailed in […]

  5. […] finally, Jason Rezaian, whose tortuous  imprisonment – now over 400 days long – we have been following closely here on Iran Media […]

  6. […] the heading “Another One”), along with the continued captivity of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and other US citizens. Another is the anti-US rhetoric of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali […]

  7. […] media as an “innocent pawn” in a “convoluted test of diplomatic gamesmanship,” has been imprisoned in Iran for 15 months on trumped-up espionage charges – and has continued to languish in […]

  8. […] down on Sunni Ahwazi Arabs on a regular basis. And yet, despite all this, Iran often boasts of its “tolerance” towards other religions – and particularly towards the country’s Jewish community, numbering tens of thousands. […]

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