Iranian Jews to Obama: Opportunity to fix relations 'unrepeatable'
Speaking of 'golden' opportunity, head of Tehran's Jewish community also plays down controversial comments by Netanyahu on basic freedoms in Iran, AFP reports.
"If the U.S. and the international community do not make the best of this golden and perhaps unrepeatable opportunity, then it will be in the benefit of those who are against the normalization of ties between Iran and the U.S.," wrote Homayoun Sameyah, according to AFP, in an open letter addressed to Obama.
In the letter Sameyah also described in a positive light the condition of the Jewish community in Iran, AFP reported. "We, the Iranian Jews, as an Iranian religious minority, participated in the elections and elected our popular president freely."
The Jewish community, he reportedly said in a rebuttal of Netanyahu's remarks to the Iranian public, is free to "[wear] jeans and [listen] to music."
In September, the Iranian Jewish community in the United States declined an official invitation to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rohani during his visit to New York.
Sam Kermanian, who serves as a special adviser to the Iranian American Jewish Federation, told Haaretz at the time that community leaders were concerned that such a meeting would “send the wrong message to the administration and to American public opinion at this sensitive time.”
Kermanian added that the Iranian leaders had consulted with American Jewish leaders, including Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, before making their decision. He said that Rohani’s refusal to disavow his predecessor’s Holocaust denial in his NBC interview with Ann Curry were “an important factor” in their decision.
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