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Iranian Jew waits for mayoral results

An Iranian-born Jewish man is waiting to find out if he will be the next mayor of Beverly Hills. Councilman Jimmy Delshad, 66, is seeking re-election and if he finishes in the top two, he will have the seniority to take the mayor’s seat. This would be the first time an Iranian-born man is elected mayor in the posh California city. Votes from this week’s election were still being counted Thursday.”This is the beginning of a very important trend,” said Abbas Milani, co-director of the Iran Democracy Project at Stanford University. “Having done the economic part of establishing their roots, Iranians are getting more organized in politics.” Iranians, especially Jews and educated classes, started migrating to southern California in 1979 after the Iranian revolution. It is estimated that 8,000 of Beverly Hills’ 35,000 residents are Iranian-born, and voting ballots for the first time were available in Farsi. Delshad had opposed the bilingual ballots as “an insult” to a minority group that reads English well.Delshad sold his successful computer hardware company in 1999 when he became president of a local Conservative synagogue.