Iranian forces reportedly return stolen Torah to Jewish community

Members of Revolutionary Guard-linked group recover ancient Torah scroll after a number of valuable manuscripts went missing from a synagogue in Shiraz.

Ode Yosef Chai siddur (photo credit: IRANIAN MEDIA)
Ode Yosef Chai siddur
(photo credit: IRANIAN MEDIA)
An ancient Torah scroll that was recently stolen from a synagogue in southern Iran was reportedly located and returned to the Jewish community by members of a volunteer paramilitary group in the country, local media reported Sunday.
According to Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency, a number of valuable manuscripts went missing this month from a synagogue in the southwestern city of Shiraz.
Forces belonging to the Islamic Republic’s Basij militia, which operates under the Revolutionary Guard Corps, allegedly recovered one Torah scroll and returned it to the local Jewish community, Fars reported.
Iran has been home to one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world. Current estimates put the population of Jews in the Islamic Republic between 8,000-25,000.
While the government openly expresses its hostility toward Israel and is a patron of several Palestinian terrorist factions, the remaining Jews in Iran say they are permitted to practice their religion freely.
However, critics say Iranian Jews are unable to publicly disclose the state of their community out of fear of the ruling regime.
The Iranian regime has come under censure worldwide for its Holocaust denial and for what many believe to be its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Sam Sokol contributed to this report.