Israel’s First Ambassador to Iran Passes Away Aged 92

Israel's first ambassador to Iran, Dr. Meir Ezri, passed away on Tuesday aged 92.

Ezri pioneered Israel's relations with pre-revolution Iran, when the country was ruled by the pro-Western Shah, or king.

Iran's last Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was overthrown during the 1979 Islamic Revolution, headed by Ayatollah Khomeini. The revolution ushered in the current era of Shia Islamist rule in Tehran, which was accompanied by a radical shift in Iranian foreign policy – including an avowedly anti-Western stance and a commitment to Israel's destruction.

But Ezri's term as ambassador – between 1958 to 1973 – was a golden era for Israel-Iran relations, even if the extent of those relations was kept under wraps.

Behind the scenes, the former ambassador was tasked with forging those deep diplomatic, security, intelligence, scientific and even cultural relations with the Shah's regime.

Meir Ezri was himself born in Iran in 1924, and moved to Israel in 1950, at a time when the Iranian Jewish community was still relatively large and vibrant.

Aside for his position as Israeli Ambassador to Iran, he also worked for several years in the Jewish Agency.

Ezri was laid to rest in Jerusalem.


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