BOSTON (Mar. 15)
Mordechai Yitzhakyam, a 28-year-old Iranian Jew from Israel, is spending the Purim holiday in the Coast Guard detention barracks here. His Iranian passport was seized when he landed at Logan Airport Friday, though it contained a valid U.S. visa, because it was illegally altered, according to U.S. immigration authorities. He faces a hearing Monday.
Rabbi Richard Yellin of Mishkan Tefila Congregation of Chestnut Hill, tried without success to have Yitzhakyam released for the Purim festival. According to Yellin, Yitzhakyam came to Israel in 1979 to escape the regime of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
He retained his Iranian passport in hope of returning there some day to retrieve property. He mailed it to Iran for renewal before coming to the U.S. and it was apparently altered there deliberately according to Yellin.