In Irans eyes, every Jew is a spy

Iran has to do better than this.

Iran wants us to believe that a 29-year-old Jewish man who is a clerk in his father's shoe store, is an agent for Israel's Mossad.

What secret information can a shoe store clerk give Israel? The shoe size of one of the ayatollahs?

But Iran says Hamid Tefileen confessed after being in solitary confinement for 16 months. Of course, Tefileen's attorney was not in the room during the confession. Nor were his family or any members of the public. Tefileen "confessed" to an Iranian judge. How convenient.

Either Tefileen has been chosen as the fall guy or Iran is forcing all 13 arrested Jews to offer similar confessions.

And who are the defendants? They are part-time Hebrew teachers, shop assistants, a 17-year-old high school student, a professor of English, a cemetery worker, an office clerk and a tailor. That hardly sounds like a group of people who would be privy to secret information Israel might want.

What they all have in common, besides being Jewish, is that they are pawns in a battle between Iran's fundamentalist leadership and its elected, pro-reformist government.

The fundamentalists are winning.

In recent weeks, 16 publications that sided with the reformist government have been shut down, and their editors or publishers jailed.

The ayatollahs are immune from world criticism. They answer only to Islam. Their enemies are Jews and anyone critical of fundamentalist Islamic laws.

It's no wonder why the Jewish population in Iran has dwindled from 100,000 at the time of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 to 25,000 today.

Let's hope most of the 25,000 can escape the country soon, before Iran tells us they have all confessed to being spies.