Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial speech drew both sustained applause from supporters and notable absences from critics in Congress on Tuesday. But there was one vocal supporter who wasn’t present on the floor of the Senate: Tehran-born Bravo reality TV star Reza Farahan.
The mustachioed star of “Shahs of Sunset,” a reality show that follows the exploits of a group of Iranian-American friends in Beverly Hills and the wider Los Angeles area (which they have dubbed “Tehrangeles”) told HuffPost Live that he “totally loves and supports” everything Netanyahu is doing. “If he wants to bomb Iran, I’m totally in support of him,” Farahan told host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani.
“I think we should’ve invaded Iran instead of Iraq,” he explained. “Because the Iranians would’ve appreciated it and they would’ve been liberated, whereas the Iraqis didn’t want us there and they don’t appreciate it.”
The conversation around Iran grew to a frenzy this week with Netanyahu’s highly controversial visit and speech before Congress. House Speaker John Boehner invited Netanyahu without running it by the White House, which is currently working to negotiate a deal with Iran to curb nuclear arms development. The move drew fire also because the speech came two weeks ahead of elections in Israel and many felt Netanyahu was using the opportunity to shore up support back home. President Barack Obama, who refused to meet with Netanayhu during his visit to Washington, D.C., noted that it was against administration policy to invite politicians to visit weeks before elections.
During his speech, Netanyahu criticized the nuclear deal being negotiated between Iran and the United States, maintaining that the agreement would not keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and claiming that it would threaten Israel. Obama seemed unimpressed with Netanyahu’s remarks. He declined to watch the speech as it happened but said afterward that the Israeli Prime Minister offered “nothing new” to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
On Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told NBC News that a deal could be on the horizon, saying, “We believe we are very close, very close, but we could be very far.”
Farahan, who has lived in Beverly Hills since coming to the United States as a child, was born to a Muslim mother and a Jewish father. In addition to bombing “bad people,” Farahan also supports sanctions against Iran.
“Sanctions on Iran, bomb the bad people in Iran and help them. Liberate them. They want to be free!” he said.
During the second season of “Shahs of Sunset,” Farahan visited the border of Iran. He told executive producer Ryan Secrest that the trip was a “pilgrimage.”
“I had an ‘epiphanal’ moment where I busted away and out of the chains of Iran,” he said. “I wasn’t going to let … the atrocities those people commit define who I am. I am a Persian-American man. I’ve been blessed to live in this amazing country that’s allowed me to be myself.”