Though it is public knowledge that Jewish billionaire George Soros funds many left-wing projects and even major anti-Israel organizations, his close working relationship with Iran is perhaps less well known. 

Soros was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1930, to a prosperous non-observant Jewish family and went through the Holocaust as a young teen. His family survived the war by purchasing documents to say that they were Christians. In 1947, Soros immigrated to England. Until the 2004 presidential election, Soros had not been a large donor to U.S. political campaigns. He then went on to donate over $23 million in the effort to defeat George W. Bush. Soros later became a campaign supporter of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. He also contributes significant amounts to liberal causes.  

In 2018, he had a net worth of $8 billion, having donated more than $32 billion to the Open Society Foundations (OSF). OSF’s declared objective is “to work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.” In 2020, OSF’s total budget was $1.2 billion. 

Israel is a major focus of Soros’ efforts, allocating $34.3 million to programs in the Middle East. According to NGO Monitor, OSF has provided grants to a number of highly biased and politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict including Palestinian NGOs with ties to terrorist organizations. These include recipients that deny the legitimacy of Israel and Jewish sovereignty, and are involved in demonization campaigns. Other OSF grantees are tS-based organizations that promote Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel.

 A leaked OSF document shows that OSF’s strategy concerning Israel is to “focus on raising the cost of the occupation and ending it on the one hand, and on human rights advocacy and protection on the other.”

Soros has sharply criticized Israeli and American policies towards the Palestinians, specifically the refusal to accept the participation of Hamas in a Palestinian government. Soros has also accused The  AIPAC, the pro-Israeli lobbying organization, of “endanger[ing]” Israel’s existence, and has drawn comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany.

In addition to working with Democrats and anti-Israel NGOs, OSF has also worked with the Iranian regime for quite some time. In 2018, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told his parliament that the cooperation with OSF predated his taking office. 

 

 “Iran’s regime has been working closely with the Open Society Foundation (OSF), founded by American billionaire George Soros, said Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the addressing question-and-answer session in Iran’s parliament, reported by BBC Persian.

“Iran’s regime collaboration with the OSF predated my tenure, meaning it has been going on for at least five years,” Zarif stated. Zarif made the remarks in response to questions raised in the Iranian parliament. “The activity began before I entered my current position, I boasted that and succeeded in keeping the activity limited and organized,” Zarif continued.

Zarif claimed that the OSF was legally operational inside Iran with significant collaborations with city councils and other organizations.

In a 2008 report published by the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), it was reported that President Mohammad Khatami and Zarif met with George Soros twice in 2006 with the goal of “replacing the religious rule [in Iran] with secularism.” 

Soros’ efforts to secularize Iran earned him the ire of Iran’s Supreme Ruler, Ayatollah Khamenei, who, in a 2017 interview,  referred to him as “that rich American Zionist.”

“If anyone wants to rise up against the security of the nation, they will encounter a firm reaction,” Khameini said in the interview. 

Ironically, the term ‘Zionist’ is clearly considered a grave insult by both the Ayatollah and the Jewish billionaire.

Last year, a $500,000 donation by Soros and a matching grant by the Charles Koch Institute launched the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Trita Parsi and the group’s other four co-founders, Andrew Bacevich, Stephen Wertheim, Eli Clifton, and Suzanne DiMaggio, are all pro-Iran deal advocates, as well as harsh critics of U.S. foreign policy and of Israel. Parsi is the former president of the National Iranian American Council which has been accused of lobbying on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran. He also acted as a  go-between for the governments of Iran and the U.S. during the Obama-led nuclear deal negotiations. One of the goals of the thinktank is to propagandize for the restoration of Obama’s policy toward Iran.