Mossad: 8 Iranian Jews who vanished in 1994 are dead

Eight Iranian Jews who went missing in the 1990s were murdered while attempting to reach Israel, Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

The Mossad intelligence agency was able to ascertain what happened to the eight through a reliable source who provided a picture proving they had died after leaving Iran in three groups in 1994, the statement said.

The fate of three other Jews who left in 1997 remains unknown, according to the March 20 statement. It did not say who killed the eight Jews and under what circumstances.

The statement also said some of the deceased had wives who had remained agunot, or chained, a term signifying their inability to remarry in an Orthodox Jewish wedding ceremony for as long as the fates of their husbands remained unknown.

In the same statement, David Meidan, a retired Mossad boss who handled the investigation, said the disappearance had occupied the intelligence services for two decades.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent condolences to the families. Former Israeli Sephardic Chief Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron was present when they were notified, the statement said. — jta