[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM Persian]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]

 

[Newspaper] Jomhouri Eslami

[Date] 9 Bahman 1358 [29 January 1980]

[Issue No:] 198

 

Yesterday, Hojjatol-Islam Siyyid Ali Khamenei, representing the Imam (Khomeini) in Tehran University, was present as accustomed every week.

Military Dictatorship and Clerical Dictatorship

Question: At the beginning of the revolution some people said that military dictatorship has gone; instead, clerical dictatorship has replaced it. Is this theory correct and has this short period after the revolution proved such a claim to be true?

Answer: The pro-Russia Communists have several types of newspaper. The pro-China Communists also have several newspapers. The liberals, nationalists, and religious groups, too, have [their] newspapers.  Even the Baha’is have dared to publish declarations and express themselves and sign joint declarations with ten, twenty and one hundred signatures, and express their requests. In the newspaper, everybody can freely reflect his own demands, viewpoints or ideology. Where and in which free nation can you find a broader range of freedom, such that people can express their opinion? They even criticize the highest ranks of the government authority and sometimes they even slander, and nobody stops them or persecutes them. With such a level of liberty, talking about dictatorship is meaningless and it cannot even endure or progress. You are witness that some of our intellectuals and revolutionary figures—even those whose purity and righteousness the majority of you might not doubt—advised us a few months ago to limit this unlimited freedom, which has been granted to the press and the publications at the university, mosque and other places. They said that this unrestrained freedom will harm our democracy in the long run and will endanger our political future.