Iranian Jews pray at a synagogue in Shiraz (archive)
Iranian Jews pray at a synagogue in Shiraz (archive)Reuters

Jews in the Iranian city of Shiraz are shocked over the vandalism in the city’s Hadash Synagogue on Sunday night.

“Two journalists and three members of the Jews of Shiraz organization were at the scene during the incident and documented the goings on,” a member of the Jewish community told Israel’s Channel 10 News on Tuesday.

“Two Torah scrolls were vandalized. That wasn’t enough for them. They threw them in the toilet. They ripped everything, prayer books and chumashim. They broke lamps and windows,” he added.

Shiraz police have launched an investigation into the incident, Channel 10 reported, and have collected the videos and photos of the vandalism.

It remains unclear who is behind the attack, and members of the Jewish community said there were no warning signs.

As of several years ago, it was estimated that Iran's Jews number about 25,000, making it the largest Jewish community in any country in the Middle East outside of Israel. However, the official census in August 2012 indicated that there were only 8,756 Jews still living in Iran, mostly in the cities of Tehran, Esfahan and Shiraz.

Jews are protected by the Iranian authorities and have one representative in the Majlis (Iranian parliament). The Iranian government says it has no problems with Jews and only with Zionism.

While Iranian Jews say they “have an easy life,” and that “the government does not create problems for us”, experts believe that Iranian leaders are doing everything they can to display their country’s Jewish population as satisfied, even if they have to resort to fakery to do so.