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Israel Not Invited to Participate in Iran’s 2500th Anniversary Celebration

Israel has not been invited to send a delegation to the celebrations of the 2,500th anniversary of Iran, formerly Persia. Officials here say they “understand” the decision. Newspaper editorials, apparently inspired by official briefings, express regret over the decision but say that no offense should be taken at it and offer best wishes to the Shah and his government. Iran extends only de facto recognition of Israel. Practical relations exist on many levels, including a large Israeli-sponsored land-reclamation project in Iran’s Kasvin district, but there are no official, mutual, diplomatic or consular representations in either country.

(In New York, the Zionist Organization of America advised the Iranian ambassador in Washington, Aslan Aishar, by letter that the American Jewish community was “painfully affected” by the decision. ZOA president Herman L. Weisman wrote that the Iranian government, “to please Israel’s enemies,” was “ignoring a distinguished chapter in Persian history,” the centuries-old “close affinity” between Persian Jews and the Empire. “We are therefore at a loss to understand this slight to Israel, since Israel is particularly able to add luster and historical significance to this important anniversary,” Weisman wrote.)

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