DEBKAfile Exclusive: Warning letters delivered to thousands of Jewish families in Iran advise them to leave the country without delay
October 17, 2007, 11:04 PM (GMT+02:00)
The letters, according to DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources, have been posted to Jewish families in Tehran (where the community numbers some 13,000), Isfahan (under 2,000) and Shiraz (some 4,000). They are captioned: Danger! Danger! Danger! and tell recipients to try and reach the West with all possible speed. Iranian Jews like the rest of the population face grave danger from impending events, the anonymous writers warn.
Wednesay, Oct. 17, President George W. Bush spoke of World War Three if Iran which seeks to destroy Israel gains a nuclear bomb. He said those who helped the Islamic Republic would be held responsible, a broad hint at Russia and China.
The Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert’s sudden trip to Moscow Thursday, Oct. 18, for one day there and back, and the two hours President Vladimir Putin has allotted for their conversation, tie in with these events.
DEBKAfile’s sources report that the meeting was requested by Olmert after he conferred with US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice on the last day of her Middle East shuttle, and with Washington. The prime minister is seeking Putin’s assurance that Russia will not complete construction of Iran’s nuclear reactor at Bushehr or supply the fuel for its activation.
Sources in Washington and Jerusalem decided to strike while the iron is hot, namely straight after Putin’s return from Tehran and before his final commitment to Tehran, in the hope of gaining his personal pledge to leave the reactor unfinished. This would be an important obstacle to Iran’s nuclear plans.
But our sources in Moscow judge these calculations are unrealistic. If Putin did not show his cards to the Iranian leaders in Tehran, they say, there is no chance of him giving Olmert any commitments. The Russian president is playing the world leader to the hilt. He will emphasize to the Israeli prime minister that Moscow has its own interests in the Middle East, just like the US and Israel.
The letters posted to Iranian Jews, our sources report, are not signed; they were postmarked from different towns in America and Europe and from private addresses so as not to raise the suspicions of Iranian security services.
All the same, some were discovered and confiscated, prompting Tehran to accuse Israel and world Zionist organizations of a campaign to scare its Jewish citizens.
In recent months, Iranian officials angrily held up a new Israeli offer of a one-time grant of $10,000 for every Iranian Jew migrating to Israel, over and above the regular grants for other immigrants. Learning of these incentives, the Iranian authorities not long ago ordered the Jewish deputy in the Majlis, Mauris Mo’tamed, to declare that the Jews of Iran cannot be bought for money and would never forsake their country.