The Jewish Community of Iran

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk


Iranian Jews


Iranian Jews began to leave that country in the 1950ís, as the Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, fought for power with the Shah of Iran, and accelerated that exodus after the Iranian revolution of 1979, as the community of 80,000 fell to 20,000 to escape religious persecution, which the new Iranian government defined as punishment for collaboration with Israel.  Of course, persecuting Jews has never depended on collaboration with Israel, since millions of Jews were brutally mistreated in all Muslim countries before modern Israel achieved independence in 1948.

Once the fanatic new Iranian government was installed under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, 80% of the Iranian Jews fled to Israel, the United States, or Europe.  Today fewer than 10,000 Jews still live in Iran.  Jews had lived in Iran since the destruction of the first Temple in Jerusalem in 586 B.C.E.  Islam became the religion of Iran in 642 C.E., leading at once to reducing the Jewish community to second class status and forced conversion to Islam (De religio non est disputandum).

Following the revolution, the Iranian government prohibited any further Jews from leaving Iran.  Any Jew caught in an attempt to leave was murdered.  Iranian Jews therefore cannot travel outside Iran, as the Iranian government threatens to use an atomic bomb to destroy Israel.

The hatred of Israel by Iran is identical to all anti-Jewish hate displayed for centuries by all Muslims, whose religion demands that they kill all Jews.

Shalom uívracha.

  Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications, including The American Jewish Community in the 20th and 21st Century (2021).

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