President Hassan Rouhani of Iran surprised Tehran’s only Jewish hospital with a generous donation on Thursday, reports the New York Times. His brother personally delivered $400,00 to the Dr. Sapir Hospital and Charity Center, along with the message that “the Health Ministry would give more attention to hospitals that traditionally serve Christian and Jewish Iranians,” according to the Mehr News Agency. Another news source, Tabnak, reported the amount as $200,000 but said a second installment would be coming.
A nurse said to the Times, “We are very happy. This is a good sign.”
Tabnak quoted the message delivered by the hospital by Hossein Fereydoon as saying, “Our government intends to unite all ethnic groups and religions, so we decided to assist you.”
This is the second time that Rouhani has donated to the hospital, reported the Times of Israel. His actions stand in stark contrast with his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, who notoriously denied the Holocaust.
Iran’s Jewish community is the largest group in the Middle East other than in Israel, numbering about 25,000.
Earlier this year, Rouhani sent a personal New Year’s message to Iran’s Jews via Twitter, wishing them “a blessed Rosh Hashanah.”