After Elghanian’s execution, thousands of Jews fled Iran

If we fail to recall  the execution of  Iran’s most  affluent Jewish businessman and philanthropist Habib Elghanian on false spying charges 43 years ago on 9 May, we will fail to convince the world of the dangerous threat posed by Iran to Jewish people, Israel and the free world, writes Karmel Melamed in The Forward (With thanks: Edna):

A newspaper report on Habib Elghanian

In 1967, when the Islamic clerics of Tehran were in the middle of constructing their new and grand Hossieneh Ershad mosque in the heart of the city, their funds for the project dried up. They turned to individual Muslim business leaders and observant Islamic individuals for financial help to complete the grand mosque after work on it came to an abrupt halt. But none of the sources were able to provide the needed funds to restart work on the mosque.

So the clerics turned to a last option — Habib Elghanian, Iran’s most affluent businessman who was also the leader of Iran’s Jewish community, 80,000 strong at the time. Without blinking an eye, Elghanian donated 250,000 rials to the Ershad mosque completion project, and encouraged other Jewish businessmen in Tehran to donate as well.

And roughly 12 years later, those same Iranian clerics who Elghanian had helped thanked him by remaining silent as the radical Islamic thugs of the new Khomeini regime executed Elghanian on false charges of spying for America and Israel. On May 9, 1979, after a sham, 20-minute trial, Elghanian was executed with a bullet to the heart by Iran’s Islamic revolutionary thugs.

On May 9 of this year, the Iranian Jewish communities living in New York and Southern California will again be mourning the loss of Habib Elghanian, our leader. It is a tragedy whose wounds have still not healed, even after 41 years. In 1979, Iran’s Jews were not only emotionally devastated by Elghanian’z killing; they quickly discovered their lives were at risk under the Ayatollah Khomeini’s regime.

Many Iranian Jews living in America today agree that the primary reason the Iranian regime executed Elghanian which was to strike fear into the hearts of all Jews in Iran. After Elghanian’s execution, thousands of Jews fled Iran, and in subsequent years, every time the Iranian regime executed a Jew in Iran, thousands more Jews fled the country. These Jews either had their assets confiscated by the Khomeini regime or were forced to leave them behind in Iran and flee the country with very little in order to save their lives. By killing Elghanian and others like him, the Ayatollah regime thought it could get rid of their “Jewish problem” in Iran and make themselves wealthy at the same time. Their plan worked; in subsequent years since Elghanian’s killing, thousands of Jews have continued to flee Iran and today only 8,000 remain there.

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More about Habib Elghanian

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