Radical Iranian publication baselessly accuses visiting Israeli rabbi of being a Mossad agent

Iranian national flags are seen in a square in Tehran February 10, 2012, a day before the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. Photo: REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

A hardline Iranian publication baselessly accused an Israeli rabbi who visited Iran of being a Mossad agent, demanding that Islamic Republic authorities be held accountable for allowing him to enter the country.

Rabbi Jacob Yisrael Herzog, a dual citizen of Israel and the United States who resides in Israel, visited Jewish sites around Iran, including the tomb traditionally considered the tomb of Mordechai and Estherand met with members of Iran’s Jewish community.

Herzog has also visited Saudi Arabia in the past and raised the possibility of establishing a Jewish community in the Gulf kingdom.

The article published by the ultra-conservative media Kayhanis titled: “Torah teacher or Mossad officer goes to Tehran?!

It refers throughout to Israel as the “Zionist regime” and to Herzog as a “Zionist”, and accuses the rabbi of being on a “political security mission” to continue Israel’s campaign to normalize relations with the Muslim-majority country, which the publication calls “one of the major projects of the Zionist regime”.

He also pointed out that Herzog had visited Saudi Arabia “at least five times” and planned to do so again after leaving Iran.

The article further insinuated sinister motives behind the visit by noting that Israeli law officially prohibits visits to enemy countries.

He added that the Iranian Foreign Ministry and security agencies should be held accountable for Herzog’s visit.

Jacob L. Thornton