Iranian flies star of David flag for Israel

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 17, 2012
Fled Iran: Ali Ramezan

Fled Iran: Ali Ramezan

Meet the former Iranian soldier who flies the Israeli flag above his north Manchester home, having fled torture in his home country.

Ali Ramezan is an unlikely Israel supporter, but the 47-year-old, who fought in the Iran-Iraq war, has turned his back on Iran.

He has now been granted residency in the UK after 11 years as an asylum-seeker. "I only watched an anti-government protest, but I was arrested. I have relatives who go out shouting, 'Death to America', 'Death to Israel'. I realised it was brainwashing."

In 1999, Mr Ramezan, a lorry driver, is currently gathering witnesses to mount a legal challenge in the Iranian courts over his wife and son whom, he claims, he was forced to leave behind.

In the meantime, Mr Ramezan vents his frustration by flying Israeli and US flags from his home, an odd protest in his neighbourhood, the mainly Muslim area of Cheetham Hill.

"People have said I could be firebombed but I'm not scared to fly my flags. In Iran they would hang you."

Last updated: 4:38pm, May 17 2012