Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Jews under pressure to show loyalty to Iran

The Jews of Iran are under government pressure to show they are loyal Iranian citizens, AP reports (with thanks: Albert):

Last week, Jews in the southern city of Shiraz held a pro-Hezbollah rally that was covered by state-run television - a sign that the march was likely overseen by the Islamic regime to reinforce the idea of national solidarity.

The Web site of the Tehran Jewish Community includes statements opposing Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip and praising uranium enrichment by Iranian scientists. The U.S. and many of its allies - including Israel - believe Iran is using its nuclear reactor project as a cover for a weapons program.

"For Iranians, there is a distinction in their mind between Zionism and Judaism," said Motamed. "This is a very important distinction for us."

Iranian Jews face no restrictions on their religious practices, but they must follow Islamic codes such as head scarves for women in public. The same rules apply to the larger Christian and Zoroastrian communities.

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