PARIS (Aug. 24)
Anti-Jewish slogans have appeared on the walls of Abadan and other Iranian provincial cities according to travelers who recently visited the country. The slogans, sometimes virulent in tone, are believed to have been painted in the wake of the recent riots by supporters of the right-wing Moslem faction.
Some of the slogans say “Jews out of Iran.” Others blame the Shah for being a “Zionist stooge” and not supporting the Arab Moslem cause. The travelers say that many members of the Moslem opposition blame the Shah for “supporting the Israeli cause against our Moslem brethren.” The Moslem opposition is also distributing illegal leaflets calling on Iranian oil workers to stop producing for Israel. Iran is Israel’s main oil supplier.
Jewish travelers say there have been as yet no anti-Jewish demonstrations or acts of violence directed against Iran’s 80,000 remaining Jews and that police units constantly patrol Jewish inhabited areas in Teheran and most of the other main cities. Iranian Jews are quoted as saying that they “have nothing to fear while the Shah is still in power” but that their situation might dramatically change should the current regime be overthrown and replaced by a strict Moslem junta.
SHAH FRIENDLY TO JEWISH COMMUNITY
Iran’s current ruler Shah Mohamed Reza Pahlevi has always been friendly to the local Jewish community and has encouraged it to develop its religious and cultural activities. The Shah and his advisors believe the Jews form an important economic catalyst pushing the country on the way towards economic development and progress.
Though Iran and Israel have no official diplomatic relations, Israel operates a large and important diplomatic mission in Teheran and Israeli experts have helped Iran in a large number of fields. The two countries also maintain close economic relations. Exact figures have never been published to avoid embarrassing the Shah.
Iranian Jews recall, however, with unconcealed anxiety that the situation changed dramatically overnight when the Shah fled the country and was briefly replaced by a leftwing government headed by Mohammed Mossadegh 25 years ago.