The Desperate Plight of the Yarsanis

Yarsanism is one of the seven denominations of core Median Judaism. There are approximately 2 to 3 million Yarsanis and most live in Iranian Kurdistan with a significant community living in Iraqi Kurdistan. The Kurdish Yarsanis live in the southernmost part of Kurdistan. Most Yarsanis are Kurds although there are also small communities of Arab, Azerbaijani, Luri, Persian and Turkish Yarsanis.

Iranian Yarsanis are thrice oppressed as 1) Iranian citizens, as 2) Kurds and as 3) an “illegal” non-recognized non-Muslim minority. As an “illegal” non-recognized religious minority in Iran do the Yarsanis face severe oppression, persecution and discrimination and the regime builds unsolicited mosques in their areas of residence despite not any Muslims living there. The practice of Yarsani Median Judaism is completely criminalized in Iran, Yarsanis are not allowed to study at Iranian universities and Yarsanis are not allowed to work in the public sector. Yarsanism is in fact one of the world’s most underreported human rights issues.

Yarsanis are an ancient community and have lived in the region since their ancestors were deported from ancient Israel and later converted the Medes to their form of Judaism.

The Kurds are more ready than any other community in Iran to revolt against the Khomeinist totalitarian regime if a no-fly zone is imposed over the Iranian airspace. The Yarsanis would benefit doubly as not only could they liberate themselves but they could also immigrate to Israel once Israel officially opens the gates for immigration of Median Jewry.

A no-fly zone, as a humanitarian measure to free the freedom-loving and democracy-thirsting peoples of Iran, needs to be part of the international Plan B to the JCPOA that is currently apparently under preparation by the United States. Most if not all peoples of Iran are ready to revolt against the regime if a no-fly zone is imposed and vital air support is provided to rebels.

The Yarsani Median Jews are desperate for freedom and their home is in Israel after 27 centuries in exile. The United States needs to stand with the Yarsanis and all the peoples of Iran who are longing for freedom and only want to see the mullah regime gone.

The expanding Khomeinist empire is extremely hostile to the United States and it is a vital US national interest to roll back, implode and dissolve the Jihadist Iranian empire both outside and inside Iran’s international boundaries.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization.

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