The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom condemned the Iranian regime on Wednesday for its reported threats to raze the tomb of Esther and Mordechai in Hamadan.
“USCIRF is troubled by reported threats to the tomb of Esther and Mordechai in Hamadan, Iran, and emphasizes the Iranian government’s responsibility to protect religious sites,” tweeted the US agency.
The USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan, federal government entity that monitors, analyzes and reports on threats to religious freedom.
The Alliance for Rights of All Minorities in Iran tweeted on Sunday that, “According to covering reports, members of the Iranian Basij attempted to raid the historic [tomb of Esther and Mordechai] site yesterday in an act of revenge against the Israelis Palestinian peace plan by US President Donald Trump.”
ARAM noted that “Iranian authorities are threatening to destroy the historic tomb of Ester and Mordechai in Hamadan and convert the site to a consular office for Palestine.”
The Jerusalem Post could not confirm the “covering reports” cited by ARAM.
ARAM promotes equal rights for women and religious and ethnic minorities in Iran, as well as the Iranian LGBT community.
Esther and Mordechai “were biblical Jewish heroes who saved their people from a massacre in a story known as Purim. Their burial site has been a significant Jewish landmark for Jews and history buffs around the world,” wrote ARAM.
The Iranian Christians News Agency (Mohabat) reported in early February that the Basij issued threats to the tomb. “The Council for the Exploration of Student Mobilization of Hamadan Universities said in a statement to the United States, Israel and the Arab countries in the region that they will turn the tomb into a Palestinian Consulate if any action is taken.”
According to the Mohabat report, the Basji militia said the plan to raze the tomb was in response to the unveiling of the Palestinian-Israeli peace plan. The Basij termed Trump’s peace plan a “vicious act of treachery,” adding “You will no longer find the place as a tomb in the land of Hamadan”.
The paper said the Iranian regime “with the help of God will defeat the recent conspiracy and fulfill the promise of the demise of the racist and childish Zionist regime to make this place a dear Palestinian Consulate… And you will see this promise come true.”