Iran, Jews and the Holocaust / The beneficent legacy of Persia remembered: “Moreover, as I have recounted in my book ‘Persian Sphinx,’ Iranian diplomats in Europe and elsewhere offered hundreds of Iranian passports to European Jews, thus saving their lives. And when the Nazi killing machines began their slaughter of innocent Polish Jews, 1,388 Jews, including 871 children were moved to Tehran where they lived in relative safety till they moved to Israel. Again the ‘History of Contemporary Iranian Jews’ has provided an account of what are called ‘Tehran Children.’
Iran’s attitude toward Iranian and Arab Jews leaving their countries for Israel was no less commendable. The man responsible for the transfer of Jewish refugees in Iran, Moir Ezry — who became Israel’s ambassador to Iran — writes in Yadnameh, ‘As the Shah of Iran [who ruled from 1941-1979] had particular affinity for the Jews, the military and bureaucratic institutions of the country spared no effort in helping refugees reach Israel.’
He goes on to say, ‘Countries like Bulgaria, and Rumania asked for great sums of money from Israel in order to set their Jewish population free. But the Iranian government never asked for any money.’
The facts of history during the second half of that murderous century are also a credit to Iran and its people. Iran was the first Muslim country in the world to establish diplomatic and economic ties with Israel. Throughout the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, Iran supplied oil to Israel, and after the rise of Nasser’s Pan-Arab nationalism in the Middle East, Israel, along with Iran’s secret police, operated a radio station in the Southern provinces of Iran and beamed their anti-Nasser message to the entire Arab world. David Menashri, one of the most eminent Israeli scholars of mode”


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