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Begin Praises U.S. for Saving Israelis in Iran U.S. Bumped 3.3 National’s to Make Room for Israleis

Thirty-three American nationals were taken off a Pan Am plane at Teheran over, the weekend to make way for the 3.3 remaining Israelis in Iran to be flown out of the country. Were it not for this, the Israelis might not have gotten out — and would have been in desperate danger.

This was revealed by Premier Menachem Begin in a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee today. Begin had warm praise for the Americans and thanked the U.S. for its efforts to save the Israelis in Iran

Former MK Mordechai Ben Porat, who headed a recent aliya mission to Iran and was one of the 33 rescued, reported to the Knesset Immigration Committee today that many Iranian Jews wanted to leave but for the moment no Iranian Citizens were being allowed out of the country. In his report to the committee and in his earlier report to the Jewish Agency Executive, Ben Porat praised the devoted work, in dangerous conditions, performed by the Agency shlichim in Iran these recent months.

Aliya Department chairman Rafael Kotlowitz said the Agency still had contact with the Iranian Jewish community but did not specify the channels of communication. The Executive resolved to keep close watch on the developing situation in Iran and take its decisions pertaining to aliya of Iranian Jews accordingly.