US passenger treated in Iran after mid-air heart attack
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Since: Jan 11
#2 Apr 14, 2012
I hope the guy us not Jewish.
#3 Apr 14, 2012
by Damien McElroy
4:15PM BST 03 Oct 2009
Iran is home to the biggest population of Jews in the Middle East outside Israel. While the community faces limited discrimination, it is largely free to exercise the same rights as Muslims enjoy in the Islamic republic.
Like the country's Armenian, Assyrian and Zoroastrian minorities, it has one reserved seat in parliament.
Jews trace their presence in Iran from the point that Cyrus the Great liberated the people from slavery in Babylon in 593BC. There are about 25,000 left in Iran. Tehran has 20 active synagogues. But the Jewish population has dwindled rapidly since an Islamic theocracy was established. At the end of the Shah's reign, there were an estimated 100,000 Jews. Esther, the legendary empress and wife of Ahasuerus, was Jewish.
The community played a prominent role in commercial life and supplied several prime ministers. Sensitive posts in the judiciary and military are barred from Jews.
Maurice Motamed, the country's Jewish MP, has criticised Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's denials of the Holocaust but is otherwise a staunch supporter of the radical president's foreign and security policies. "I am an Iranian first and a Jew second," he said.
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