Watch Iranian soldiers stand at attention and salute during Jewish mourner’s prayer


(JTA) — Members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps stood at attention and saluted as a Jewish man recited a prayer of mourning in a cemetery.

The occasion was a memorial this week for Jewish soldiers who died in the Iran-Iraq war three decades ago. Members of the corps are seen saluting as a Jewish man in a black hat and beard recites a Hebrew prayer at a Jewish gravesite. Members of Iran’s Jewish community of 15,000 are subject to the country’s mandatory draft, according to The Times of Israel.

The video was shared on Twitter by Israeli reporter Nir Dvori, who called the video “unique and exceptional.” Iran’s leadership regularly calls for Israel to be wiped off the map.

Larry Cohler-Esses, a Jewish journalist who lived in Iran before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and visited the country in 2015 for the Forward, wrote in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency last year that the country’s Jews face a complex situation.

“Many Jews in Iran are safe and happy — at least enough to prefer staying there rather than gamble by uprooting themselves for an uncertain future elsewhere,” he wrote. “And Iran is a country whose most powerful forces — within a divided government — are radical Islamists who do seek to do what they can to ultimately liquidate Israel as a Jewish state, albeit not at the cost of their own country’s existence.”

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