April 17, 2023 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1687

'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' As Part Of Iranian Antisemitism

April 17, 2023 | By A. Savyon*
Iran | Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1687

This report is the third in a series about the 19th-century antisemitic libel The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and its dissemination, circulation, and use, in Urdu, Turkish, Farsi, and Arabic.


Officially, the Islamic revolutionary regime in Iran differentiates between Judaism as a religion, which, as a monotheistic religion entitled to conduct its religious rituals under Muslim rule, is completely legitimate, and Zionism, which it rejects out of hand. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the regime, stated that Israel, the "little Satan," is a "cancerous growth" that must be uprooted from the Middle East.

However, in fact, regime authorities blur the distinction between Judaism and Zionism, and Jews and Zionists. Sometimes they treat Jews in accordance with their religious affiliation, but other times in accordance with their national and ideological affiliation – that is, as Zionists.

The Iranian regime has established the idea that the Jews are the enemy of humanity who, through money and cunning, have taken over politics, economy, and culture worldwide, and that the Zionists are the ones implementing this idea. These messages are characterized by expressions of disgust with the Jews, attributing unique negative traits to them, and depicting them as an eternal evil force and the root of evil in the world from ancient times to the present – and basing these messages on the theological roots of ancient Islamic tradition.[1]

The Libel Of 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion'

Iranian regime officials use antisemitic stereotypes that were common across Europe in the 19th and early 20th century in connection with Jews today. These stereotypes focus primarily on two themes: one, the Protocols, according to which the Jews are seeking to control the world by various means, and two, the blood libel, according to which the Jews use the blood of non-Jews for ritual purposes.

To view a  MEMRI TV clip presenting an Iranian TV show that cites the Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion, click here or below:

The following are statements by Iranian regime officials presenting the Protocols both as a document of decisions made at the First Zionist Congress in 1897 in Basel, Switzerland and as an idea dictating Jewish and Zionist activity.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei: "The Effort By The Media Networks Belonging To The Oppressing World Order [Led By The U.S.]... Draws On The Dangerous Goals Of The Zionist Protocols"

In an October 18, 2011 speech to an audience of intellectuals in the Iranian city of Kermanshah, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei claimed that the Western  media were clearly working according to and led by the Protocols. He said: "The effort of the media belonging to the oppressing world order [led by the U.S.] to highlight deviant and mistaken models draw on the dangerous goals of the Protocols of Zion [sic]. The construction of this model by the media is based on a clear and defined policy."[2]

The Iranian Government Publishes A Farsi Edition Of The Protocols

In 2000, the Iranian government published its an edition of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,  in Farsi. The following is a passage from the introduction to this edition, and a map it includes, which, according to the Iranian government, justify the renewed publication of this  anti-Semitic forgery.[3]

"The anti-human crimes, aggressions and murders committed by the Zionists and their inveterate rancor against Islam and Muslims are known to one and all...

"A boundless passion for usurpation and hegemony is typical of these professional criminals of history; a passion which they try to satisfy through their fickle logic of 'from the Nile to the Euphrates'...

"For the last 35 years, in conspiracy with the equally murderous superpowers, they have been getting closer and closer to their Satanic objective...

"Not only has the complicity of the superpowers strengthened this cancerous tumor [Israel] in the heart of the Islamic Middle East, but also the silence of the Muslim Arab nations and the reactionary rulers of the region, has encouraged its aggressions and increased penetration...

"Moreover, it should be strongly emphasized that as long as the root of this deadly, cancerous tumor, Zionism, is not burned and wholly destroyed, peace and tranquility will never prevail in the region. The Muslims of the world, particularly those of the Middle East, should come to their senses and realize the disastrous consequences that this dangerous enemy, Israel, could bring about. Now there is no time to hesitate.

"In this connection and in order to expose the true face of this Satanic enemy, we present this book..."

Map of the alleged Jewish dream of expansion in the Middle East, in snake form – from the Nile to the Euphrates. From the Iranian government's 2000 edition of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Resalat Newspaper: The Protocols Are The Most Dangerous Document Of Laws And Regulations In History

On June 26, 2012, the Iranian daily Resalat, affiliated with the ideological circles in Iran, published two articles on the Protocols, and published another on December 26 that year. The following are excepts from them:

"The Jewish Protocols And The Foundations of Zionism" By Mahdi Qassem Khani, June 26, 2012

This article stated that the Protocols were a set of decisions and formulas created by leading Jewish intellectuals and rabbis to guide them in taking over the world and destroying Christianity and Islam. The following are the main points of the article.

"The Jewish protocols... are a set of decisions and formulas by a conclave of Jewish thinkers, strategists, and rabbis, aimed at dominating the world...

"The Palestinian researcher 'Ajaj Nuwayid wrote... that the [Jewish] protocols constitute a plan concocted by Jewish economists and owners of capital in order to destroy the foundations of Christianity, the authority of the pope, and Islam.

"The Jewish protocol was first read in 1897 in Switzerland. [After] the czar's secret police attacked the Jewish section of the city... police arrested Theodor Herzl and others, and took from them materials, including the Jewish protocol which was drawn up in Switzerland..."

"Herzl, Zionist Racism" By Asadollah Afsar, June 26, 2012

This article stated that since the writing of the Protocols, the Jews have cautiously and secretly engaged in activity aimed at realizing their expansionist ambitions by means of the Zionist movement and its realization in a Jewish state. The following are the main points of the article.

"Zionism is a political, racist, and extremist movement aimed at establishing a Jewish state in Palestine, with the aim of controlling the world in this way... The new Zionist movement is linked to an Austrian-born Jew named Herzl, [who was] the first of the propagandists and the founder of the new modern Zionist idea.

"Theodor Herzl [was] a Jewish journalist, born in Budapest on May 2, 1860. He completed a bachelor's degree in law at the University of Vienna in 1878 and his main and blatant aim was to lead the Jews to world domination – and the beginning of [accomplishing this] goal was the establishment of a state for the Jews in Palestine.

"Herzl spoke twice with Sultan Abd Al-Hamid, [ruler of] the Ottoman Empire, but achieved no result. [In the framework] of the resistance to Sultan Abd Al-Hamid, the Jews of the world focused their efforts on toppling the Ottoman Empire and destroying the Islamic Caliphate.

"Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress in 1897. He exploited the Dreyfus affair, frequently using it [for his purposes]... [Herzl] managed to gather the Jews of the world from their far-flung [places]. Likewise, he brought to his side the Jewish rabbis who developed the most dangerous [tract] of laws and decisions in the history of the world, under the name ('The Protocols of the Elders of Zion'). This book [is the product] of the distorted books of the Jews that have great sanctity [in the eyes of the Jews].

"From that period onwards, the Jews strengthened their organizations and engaged cautiously and secretly in activity [for] realizing their [ambitions] for expansion and oppression – [ambitions] which are now clear to all."

"The Hollywood Lifestyle," by Reza Afsari, December 26, 2012

According to this article, the Jews are using Hollywood to implement the Protocols. Like most of the media, it claimed, Hollywood is controlled by the Jews, and they are using it to take control of the world, based on the plan set out in the Protocols. The following are the main points of the article:

"...It is interesting that [of] a list of the 100 most important people in Hollywood, the first 12 are all Jewish. The Jewish rulers of the cinema have repeatedly warned that Hollywood is a sure place to make their millions. The Jew Steven Spielberg officially announced that several million dollars of the profits of his film were dedicated to the perpetuation of the memory of the Holocaust.

"Statistically, the directors of most of the satellite channels, radio stations, newspapers, and media such as Warner Brothers, Walt Disney, Dreamworks, NBC, and ABC are all Jews, and they are considered part of the elite who dominate the media propaganda system of international Zionism – while only 4% of the population of America is Jewish.

"The style and content of Hollywood projects on the movie screen basically constitute an anti-moral, [anti-]human style that is absolutely contradictory to the foundations of the family. Hollywood companies have been investing a great deal of capital in this area, particularly in the past decade. A look at the content of most films produced in Hollywood will make anyone think that one of the main aims of Western cinema, particularly American cinema, is to spread perverted beliefs...

"Reviewing the global protocols of the Jews, it is easy to understand that international Zionism does not consider any goal short of complete world domination and the establishment of exclusive global control – and that to this end it has chosen the spread of religious superstitions as one of its primary strategies... "

Iranian TV Airs Series About The Protocols And The Jews' Control Of Hollywood

For two weeks in April 2004, Iran's Arabic-language Al-Alam TV, which is aimed at the Arab world, and its Jaam-e Jaam TV, which is aimed at the U.S., aired the documentary series Al-Sameri wa Al-Saher  that claims to explain how the Jews control Hollywood according to the directives of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.[4]

The series claimed, inter alia, that the Jews had collaborated with the Nazis to steal the land of Palestine, that the Holocaust is a myth, and that Hollywood presents Jews in a positive light and Muslims in a negative light. It presented the alleged Jewish plots via cinema as dictated by the Protocols and aimed at undermining other religions' beliefs in Satan and the Day of Judgment, including through the promotion of "imaginary threats" to Earth from outer space. It also alleged that the state of Israel was established by the Zionist Jews to be the world's only utopian society.

To view a MEMRI TV clip of excerpts from the series, click here or below:

Iranian TV Series About Alleged Jewish Involvement In 9/11

In 2004 Jaam-e-Jaam 1, the Iranian government TV channel directed at Europe, also broadcast a series about the September 11 terror attack. In the episode aired on June 1, 2004, the series raised claims of Jewish and Israeli involvement in the attack, and claimed that Zionism, as expressed in the Jewish Protocols, nurtures in its mind the dream of taking over the world.

To view a MEMRI TV clip of excerpts from the episode, click here or below:

On Iranian TV, Iranian Experts Claim Protocols Underpin Israel's Establishment

Iranian Middle East Expert Mohammad Mehdi Amir Kamali: The Israeli State Was Established on the Basis of "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion"

In an interview that aired on the Iranian News Channel (IRINN), on June 7, 2007, Mohammad Mehdi Amir Kamali, an Iranian expert on Middle Eastern affairs, explained that Israel had been established on the basis of the Protocols.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, click here or below:

Iranian TV Special On Zionism, The Protocols, And The War In Iraq

In July 2004, the Iranian news channel IRINN TV aired a special on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and on the Jews' purported role in the Iraq war. Stating that the Jews control the stock market and industry, and have established monopolies in order to take over the world, it added that they achieve global domination with two tools: gold, and the media, through which they control public opinion – as was stated in 1886 by "Rabbi Jeshurun," one of the people who spread Zionism. The program advised viewers to familiarize themselves with the Protocols so as to know the conspiracies of the Jews, and noted that the book had been published by Tehran municipality's Organization for Culture and Arts.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, click here or below:

Film Seminar On Iranian TV: "Tom and Jerry" Are A Jewish Conspiracy To Improve The Image Of Mice – Because Jews Were Called "Dirty Mice" in Europe

A film seminar on Iran's Channel 4 that aired in February 2006 stated that the Jews produce films to improve their image, including the  Tom and Jerry cartoons.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, click here or below:

Implementing The Conspiracies Set Out In The Protocols: The Jewish Takeover Of Europe

Claims about the Jewish conspiracy to take over Europe appeared in several articles devoted to this topic. One article, on the website of the IRINN television channel, describes the Jews' alleged takeover of European economy and politics, with an emphasis on France. Another, posted on the Young Journalists Club (YJC) website, which is affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), refers to a purported Jewish takeover of the Netherlands, and a Press TV article discusses the alleged Jewish takeover of Greece.

Iranian Researcher: The Jews Control Europe

The article on the IRINN website, from April 22, 2012, stated that the Jews are striving for absolute domination of Europe. The article was by Iranian researcher Hamid Khosh-Ayand. The following are excerpts:

"Among the European countries, France is the only country in which the Jewish community that lived in it was an 'undeniable force,' and it played an important role in most of the political, economic, and social events in the country... The pulse of the French economy is in the hands of the Jews... [who] play an important role in it, and who hold in their hands the bulk of it. The brother of [former French president] Nicolas Sarkozy, the French presidential candidate with Jewish tendencies, ranks second among France's largest property holders. French Jews are among the greatest owners of wealth in the country, and describing [the activity of] several of France's large economic, commercial, and service centers is impossible without mentioning the significant presence of Jewish merchants. France is among the few Western countries in which the Jews hold wealth and property on such a scale, and run even manufacturing plants, munitions factories, and military facilities."

The Jews Are Using The Netherlands As A Base For Conquering Europe

On December 12, 2012, the Iranian YJC (Young Journalists Club) website published an article responding to The Netherlands' rejection in the U.N. to upgrading the Palestinians' status to that of "non-member observer state." The article stated that the Jewish people had succeeded in its plan to disperse the Jews in important points of influence in the Dutch media and economy, and that The Netherlands is being used by the Jews as a base for their conquest of Europe. The foundations for this, it added, were laid as early as 1524.

The article stated: "...Is Holland [sic] in principle a Jewish state? It can [certainly] be considered a safe state for Jews. Right now, 32,800 Jews reside there. In 1524, the Jewish people decided to use Holland as one of their bases, and have done so ever since. Therefore, in the framework of a calculated, long-term plan, [the Jews] were dispersed in various places across this country [and began to establish] their influence. During various eras in history, and especially during World War II, Holland defended the Jews..."

Press TV On "The Rape Of Greece By Zionist Bankers"

In his July 10, 2012 column on the website of Iran's Press TV titled "The Rape of Greece by Zionist Bankers," Mike Stathis accused the "Jewish Banking Cartel," which he said was a central part of the "Jewish Mafia," of responsibility for the European economic crisis, especially the collapse of the Greek economy. He said that this crisis was the result of a deliberate plot by the Jews to influence the International Monetary Fund to make recommendations regarding Greece that would facilitate a Jewish takeover of Greece's public assets and to accumulate capital and control."

Iranian President Ahmadinejad: "All The Main Centers Of Power, Strong Governments, And Major Media Worldwide Are In The Zionists' Hands; They Use All Of These To Destroy Cultures, Values, Nations, And Countries"

One of the leading promoters of the Protocols theme was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005-2013), who regularly brought up the issue of the alleged Jewish plot to take over the world, as executed by the Zionists.

In a speech marking International Qods Day on August 17, 2012, Ahmadinejad reiterated statements by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic regime in Iran, about Israel as a "cancerous growth" and called for a "Middle East without the Zionists." Stressing the damage that the Zionists have been causing humanity for the past four centuries, he accused them of seeking to take over the world via the use of the "main centers of power" that he said were in their hands. The following are the main points of his speech:

"Today, it is clear to all that Zionism opposes humanity's and society's integrity and that it constitutes a main cause of the decline of the peoples... They [the Zionists] are an organized, corrupt and anti-humanity minority group that opposes the divine values... The Zionists think only about strength, wealth, and controlling others...

"The Zionists planned the first and second world wars... with the aim of controlling others... and since the Zionists [gained?] control of the government of America, all world affairs are under their authority... All the main centers of power, strong governments, and major media worldwide are in the Zionists' hands. They use all of these to destroy cultures, values, nations, and countries. The Zionists are behind every broad destruction of morality, [every] war, conflict, or slaughter..."[5]

Khamenei Associate Mehdi Taeb In Series Of Lectures On Jews: Their Goal Is To Control The Entire World

Mehdi Taeb, head of the "Ammer Think Tank" (or "Ammar Strategic Advisory Base"), is a close associate of Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the brother of the Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)'s former intelligence chief, Hossein Taeb. In late 2018 he gave a six-part lecture series to clerics and clerical students in the city of Qom stressing the importance of knowing the history of the Jews and the Zionists. The lectures were uploaded to the website.[6]

According to Taeb, his lectures clarify Quranic verses and reveal how the Islamic Regime in Iran sees the Jews and Zionists as one and the same. In the second lecture, from November 14, 2018, he said that "Every Jew is a Zionist, and every Zionist is a Jew, although politically speaking we distinguish between these two tribes, and despite the disputes between the two groups… We argue that there are similarities between the Jews and the Zionists..."

Mehdi Taeb delivering the third lecture in the series (, November 20, 2018)

In the third lecture, from November 20, 2018, Taeb said that "the behavior of the Jews indicates that they claim that they were divinely promised global control..." In the fifth lecture, from November 28, 2018, he said: "If you look at the course of history, [you see that] the kings' physicians were usually Jews… The global gold market was usually in their hands... See the reports on the Twin Towers that were blown up in New York – they were the trade towers in America. The office of every [manufacturer] of goods you would want to buy was in those towers. It is said that 80-90% of these towers were owned by Jews…

"See who today controls the media in the world, both its technology and its use… The media is controlled by the Jews – both its hardware and its software… The mass media is in the hands [of the Jews] and they play easily with global trade – but look and you will see that they are presented as impoverished...

In a video that was uploaded to on November 29, 2018, Taeb said that the Jews control the media throughout the world and that they are behind ISIS. He also claimed that, according to studies, the Jews need to go through three stages to achieve their goals of reaching the “promised soil”: to seize Jerusalem, to “liberate” the land from the Nile to the Euphrates, and then to gradually take over the rest of the world. He explained that Zionism is the starting point of this “operational plan.”

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, click here or below:

In a March 25, 2020 video Taeb repeated the claim that the Jews seek global domination, and added that the Christians are fighting the Muslims because they have been infiltrated by Jews.

In an April 28, 2022 video he denied the Holocaust, calling it a lie meant to lead to the creation of Israel. He also said that Zionism and Israel are Satan's "top students", that the Zionists and the Jews control oil and gold reserves in the world, and that Israel is a "cancerous growth" that must be removed.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, click here or below:

Circulating The Protocols In Iran

Copies of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in Farsi can be purchased through various Iranian websites. The following are examples:

The website sells an edition of the Protocols for 47,500 toman (one dollar). The book's page on the site presents the following bibliographic information: "Publisher: Al-Mai; author: Georges Lambulan; translator: Shahla Al-Mai; size: 22X14 [cm]; no. of pages: 144, paperback edition; [original] date of publication: 1897."

The following is a translation of the book's introduction, by Georges Lambulan, as presented on the site:

"What is Zionism? What are its roots? Who are its founders? What is its history? What goals does it seek to achieve? What are its plans for taking over the world? What has it managed to achieve so far? What is the purpose of the Protocols? How was this secret plan of global Zionism exposed? These are the questions this book seeks to answer. [To understand] the importance of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the widespread acknowledgement [of their authenticity?] in the world, it is enough [to know] that by 1958 the book had [already] been translated into multiple living languages around the world and that the English [translation] alone has gone through 81 editions, with over one million copies sold by the [launching of] the 80th edition."[7]    

The book's cover as featured on

The Iranian website sells copies of a book titled A Presentation and Review of "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," by 'Ajaj Nuwayid, translated by Hamid Reza Sheikhi and published by the Islamic Research Fund. The following is the site's review of the book:

"This book is not for enjoyment, fun or entertainment, and it is not a novel, a story or a collection of anecdotes. It is exclusively devoted to one topic, from beginning to end: exposing global Zionism, which encompasses Zionism and freemasonry. Global Zionism is a demonic force and is an open secret. It likens itself to a viper and has a nine-stage plan for achieving its objectives.  This plan began in the days of the Babylonian [Exile of the Jews], some 24-25 centuries ago, and its final stage was in the late 20th century in Palestine. This is how the Jews think!... The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is one of the most valuable books for knowing about global Zionism and Jewry, and it changes the reader's worldview about global politics…"[8]

The book's cover as featured on

Hamas' Farsi website,, features a summary of the Protocols in Farsi, apparently based on the book sold by 'Ajaj Nuwayid. The introduction to the summary says: "Below is a translation of the book by 'Ajaj Nuwayid [about] The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. These  are 24 protocols approved and signed by the leaders of Zionism, which reflect their satanic ideas for the takeover of the world by a Jewish government. An examination of this text prompts us to work harder to study and understand this ominous phenomenon." [9]

The graphic that accompanies the text on the Hamas' Farsi website


* Ayelet Savyon is Director of MEMRI's Iran Studies Project.



[2], October 18, 2011.

[3] MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 98, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, An Iranian Perspective, June 7, 2000.

[5] Fars (Iran), August 17, 2012.

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