Tehran synagogue collapses in claimed 'accident'

Iranian authorities claim synagogue in Tehran collapsed over heads of 16 worshipers due to nearby excavations. No one was injured.

Tags: Tehran Iran
Matt Wanderman ,

Jews in Iranian synagogue
Jews in Iranian synagogue

A synagogue in Tehran collapsed yesterday (Friday), while 16 people were inside praying. No one was injured or killed, though two cars were damaged.

Firefighters told official Iranian news that the crash occurred because excavations for a nearby building caused a crack in the synagogue wall.

Several members of the community told Kikar Shabbat that the incident damaged Torah scrolls. Some said that they fear it was not an accident, though they were careful not to elaborate out of fear of reprisal from the authorities.

Up to 100,000 Jews lived in Iran before the 1979 revolution turned the country into the Islamic Republic. Since then many have left, citing discrimination and danger by the government and general population. Today it is feared that fewer than 10,000 Jews remain in the country.