NEW YORK (Nov. 14)
At least three Jews last their lives during the recent rioting in Teheran. But the Iranian Jewish community numbering some 80,000, does not appear concerned for its physical safety and is not planning an exodus, according to information relayed to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency from an American Jew living in Teheran.
The informant reported that one of the three Jews killed was a medical doctor shot by police while reaching for his identification. The police thought he was reaching for a weapon. The two other Jewish fatalities occurred during the rioting. The victims were struck by police bullets fired at anti-Shah demonstrators.
The informant said the demonstrators did not single out Jewish businesses or institutions for destruction. The severe damage inflicted on the EI AI ticket office in downtown Teheran was also sustained by other foreign air lines and businesses in the district. Neither the government nor the dissidents have disturbed any of the ethnic minorities, including the Jews, the JTA was told.
According to the informant, Iranian Jews link their future to the future of the Shah and his government. They believe stability in the country is in their own best interests and in the interests of Israel and the Western nations that are heavily dependent on Iranian oil.
The Jewish community regards the present military government as a temporary measure intended to restore order and prepare the country for democratic elections next June. Although most Jews in Iran hold valid passports enabling them to leave the country at any time, they are not making use of them, the informant said.