The Mossad Brings to a Conclusion the Affair Regarding Iranian Jews who went
Missing in the 1990's
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
The Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations (i.e. the Mossad; has
brought to a conclusion the affair regarding the Iranian Jews who have been
missing since the 1990's. Eight of the eleven families of Iranian Jews who
went missing in the 1990's received notification from the Intelligence and
Heritage Commemoration Center that their loved ones were murdered while en
route to immigrating to Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charged the Mossad with deepening the
investigation into the disappearance of eleven Iranian Jews who tried to
escape from Iran during the 1990's. Mossad Director Tamir Pardo took up the
mission. The Mossad led to an intelligence breakthrough that enabled the
issue to be brought to its conclusion.
The task of tying up the loose ends was assigned to David Meidan, the Prime
Minister's coordinator for captives and those missing, who had served as the
Prime minister's personal representative in the negotiations for the return
of soldier Gilad Shalit. Meidan retired from the Mossad approximately two
years ago after 35 years' service in command and operational posts in Israel
Upon retiring, Prime Minister Netanyahu had asked Meidan to continue dealing
with the issue of captives and those missing and on any public issue that
may be required of him. He had been requested to resolve the issue of the
missing Iranian Jews.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "I send my condolences to the families and
hope that they will find consolation in the information that they received.
We will continue to do all that is necessary in order to obtain all possible
information about our missing."
Davd Meidan said, "This is an issue that has preoccupied the intelligence
services for two decades. Today, it is possible to say that the mystery has
reached its end." He added: "First and foremost, this is a major
intelligence achievement in that we succeeded in finding a credible source
in a difficult region, who provided reliable information on the basis of
which a picture was obtained regarding the fates of eight of the eleven
missing persons. Today we informed the families that the circle has been
In 1994 and 1997, eleven Iranian Jews, in four separate groups, tried to
escape Iran over the border to neighboring countries. During the attempted
escape, these Jews disappeared and the issue was left unresolved for years,
without their families knowing anything of their fates.
Intelligence sources received information from a credible source that these
same Jews were caught during the escape and murdered. This was a sensitive
and complex investigation which constitutes an additional achievement
vis-a-vis the intelligence capabilities of the State of Israel. The mission
of gathering intelligence and researching the fate of three of the missing
(from 1997) continues. Information about the progress in the investigation
was delivered to former Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar who ruled regarding the
deaths of eight out of the eleven missing Jews. This ruling enables them to
be considered deceased and starts the process of releasing widows.
Former Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron was present when the families were