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Group Of Iranian Dissidents Will Visit Israel In First Such Move

Thursday, 15 Jul 2021 12:05 

A group of eight dissident expatriate Iranians will visit Israel next week to show “solidarity” with Israelis “in light of latest attacks” by Palestinian militants supported by the Islamic Republic, Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

They will be accompanied by four former Trump administration officials in visit organized by the Institute for Voices of Liberty (iVOL), a policy institute dedicated to encouraging freedom, human rights and democracy in Iran.

This is the third landmark event in the history of Iranian opposition in the last two weeks. A group of more than 30 Iranian dissidents wrote a letter to Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett on July 9 asking him to continue opposing the Islamic Republic, saying that a democratic Iran can be Israel’s strategic ally.

A day earlier, exiled Prince Reza Pahlavi spoke at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations which had extended an invitation to the exiled prince to address their meeting.

Traditional opposition groups avoided public contacts with Israel mainly to avoid being targeted as a supporter of what the Islamic Republic and other radicals in the region labeled as the enemy of Muslims.

Accompanying the Iranian delegation will be several former senior US government officials, including Victoria Coates, Ellie Cohanim, Len Khodorkovsky, and Adam Lovinger. The names of the travelling Iranians have not been announced. The only person named so far is iVOL board member Bijan R. Kian who was convicted of illegal lobbying in relation to the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

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