Israeli, US flags burned in march marking 32nd anniversary to Iran hostage crisis. Protesters chant 'Dead to America' and 'death to Israel'
Iranian soldier: Help me get to Israel - Knesset receives unusual request from Iranian soldier with Jewish roots who wants to leave Islamic Republic, make aliyah (migrating to Israel). Government agencies working out request
Thousands of Iranians in Tehran marched in protest against Israel and the United States on Friday. The protesters chanted "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" and burned both Israeli and US flags.
The march marked the 32nd anniversary to the 1979 Iran hostage crisis which saw Iranian students taking over the US embassy in Tehran and taking 52 diplomats hostage. The event prompted a diplomatic crisis between Tehran and Washington. Relations between the two nations were severed and have yet to be restored.
Speaking before the crowd in Tehran, Iranian National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili accused the US of organizing terror attacks against Iran and other nations. "America uses terror as an illegitimate means to further its goals across the globe," he said. He called on the UN to punish the US for its terrorist activity.
Jalili noted that a Swiss envoy in Tehran will be called to the Foreign Ministry offices to receive documents which the Iranians claim prove US support of terror groups. The Swiss Embassy in Tehran represents US interests in the country.
In the past, Iran accused Washington of supporting anti-regime groups. Jalili added that Iran's ambassador to the UN will hand over a letter on the matter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The Fars news agency reported that among the protesters was Commander of the Revolutionary Guards Mohammad Ali Jafari who took part in the US embassy takeover as a student. Unverified reports claim Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also participated in the march.
Protests such as Friday's march are organized by the Iranian regime. School students are obligated to attend the demonstrations in order to present a unified front to the West.
Iranian soldier: Help me get to Israel
Unusual appeal: The Knesset has received a request by an Iranian soldier asking Israel's legislative body to allow himself and his Jewish family to make aliyah, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
The unusual request was addressed to Knesset Member Danny Danon (Likud), chairman of the Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee which recently held a closed-door discussion regarding Iranian Jews. Mossad representatives took part in the meeting.
In his email message, the Iranian soldier said he served in the Iranian military and has Jewish roots. He claimed his parents had become Muslims out of fear of the regime, but that his grandparents were Jewish and he sees himself as a Jew. He therefore requested assistance in moving to Israel.
The soldier also asked for instructions on how to leave Iran and reach Israel. He noted his dream is to live and study in Israel.
Mossad representatives recently told a Knesset committee that Iranian passports are issued only after mandatory military service is completed. As Jews do not serve in the military, they are forced to pay bribes to get passports.
In this case, it appears the soldier was recruited seeing as his parents had become Muslims. He has now decided to return to his Jewish roots.
The Iranian's request has been turned over to the Knesset Sergeant-at-Arms who will check whether Israel has any special protocol on how to deal with such cases.
MK Danon is also working on the request together with the relevant elements in the defense establishment. The Foreign Ministry has been informed of the matter.
The Iranian has been told to provide additional details with the promise that the Knesset will try to help him.
"He is basically asking us to rescue him and expressing his wish to move to Israel," MK Danon told Yedioth Ahronoth.
"The new reality in the Middle East requires Israel to help any Jew wherever he is and right now we are treating him as a Jew. We must act with caution to assist specifically those Jews who turn to us from enemy states."
Danon added: "Our current goal is to contact him and make sure he is alright. Jewish Agency representatives know how to go about this."
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