Iranian authorities recently caught thieves digging a tunnel into a synagogue in Urmia with the purpose of stealing from it, Iran International TV reports.
The London-based network cites a local official as saying 13 diggers were arrested at the excavation site.
“These people had secretly dug a tunnel leading to the historical synagogue from inside their personal house located… adjacent to the Kalimiyan Synagogue in Urmia,” says Col. Behzad Hijabi, commander of the protection unit of the General Directorate of Heritage, Culture, Tourism and Handicrafts of West Azerbaijan Province.
The shuttered synagogue used to serve the local Jewish community. Most of Iran’s Jews fled following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, though a few thousand remain.