[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]


Date: 20 Shahrivar 1359 [11 September 1980]


Dr. Abol-Hasan Bani Sadr, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

It is respectfully conveyed that seven oppressed Baha’is from Yazd, who had been sentenced to death by the ruling of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Yazd, will be executed in the dawn hours of this month on 17 Shahrivar [8 September], which will cause grief, worry and anxiety for thousands of Baha’i families in the beloved country of Iran.

In an announcement issued by the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Yazd, which was published on the last page of the Kayhan Newspaper on 18 Shahrivar 1359 [9 September 1980], with utmost regret and with reference to the reports of the National Documentation Centre of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, none of which has been exposed for public judgment, the Baha’is have been identified as infidels, self-promoters, enemies of Islam, traitors to the Holy Quran, servants of the United States and Israel, spies against the Islamic Revolution of Iran; more importantly, the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Yazd has been described as an agency for espionage. These allegations are strongly and vehemently denied by the Baha’i Community.

The Baha’i Community of Iran has always, and especially after the Islamic Revolution of Iran, cited the Baha’i writings, and, repeatedly and sincerely, in writing and orally, expressed the principles of [the Baha’is’] belief in the oneness of God, the oneness of the foundation of religions and belief in the Holy Manifestations of God, particularly the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and the blessed Imams—may the blessings of God be bestowed upon Them all—and the necessity to adhere to religion and spirituality, and has conveyed that, although Baha’is are promoters of unity of the world of humanity, universal peace, unity and brotherhood among all the people of the world, based on their beliefs, they have a strong attachment to their own country and homeland and consider service to their country and nation as their absolute duty.

Despite the challenges and protests of the critics, they are completely forbidden from interfering in political affairs, and are free from any conspiracy, collusion and treason. They are not affiliated with any party and do not seek recourse to or engage in any relations with foreign governments, but according to the guidance of the Founder of the Baha’i Faith, Who says [from the Baha’i Writings regarding the guardians of the affairs and the refuge of the people][1], at times of hardship, calamity and affliction, they plead for justice to the esteemed authorities. If their rights are [upheld], that is well and good. If not, they endure what happens with utmost trust and submission and leave the matters to the will of Almighty God.

You, sir, who are now sitting on the throne of justice and fairness and are considered among the authorities in charge in the beloved country of Iran, acknowledge that, despite enduring all kinds of oppression, including physical violence, looting of properties, destruction of buildings and murdering of people, the Bahá’í Community of Iran has, thank God, not deviated a hair’s breadth from these Teachings in the past 19 months, since the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and has taken no path other than pleading for justice, submission and contentment.

In view of what was mentioned, does Islamic justice and fairness make it [appropriate] that people who hold such beliefs according to the Baha’i teachings and writings be identified as infidels, self-promoters, servants of the United States and Israel, traitors to the Holy Quran, enemies of Islam and spies against the Islamic Revolution of Iran? And in addition to the previous accusations, should such strange and severe accusations be [made against] them that pollute the minds of our dear compatriots in relation to this oppressed and defenseless community? More than sixty years ago, the [appointed] Interpreter of the Baha’i teachings stated that a true Baha’i, at all times and in all frontiers, lands and countries where he might reside, must bear the following words in mind and abide by them, and that statement is: [from the Baha’i writings][2].

In addition to the above-mentioned accusations against individuals within the Baha’i community, the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Yazd has identified the [Local Spiritual] Assembly of Yazd as an espionage element, which is a cause for [sadness] and surprise because the Spiritual Assembly has no right to interfere in political and national affairs. It is responsible [only] for administering the spiritual and social affairs and resolving the problems of members of the Baha’i community in that locality.

In the Baha’i writings, which are, fortunately, available to the esteemed officials of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the [qualities and] duties of the Baha’i [Local] Spiritual Assemblies and their members are described and determined as follows:

Sincerity and purity of character; non-aggression against the government; non-interference in politics and continuous encouragement of Baha’is to obey the government; service to the country and the nation and forbidding what causes sedition and corruption; unwavering love and service and friendship with all; educating children and teaching beneficial sciences; establishing schools and managing the means of industry, business and agriculture; [providing for the] subsistence of the poor, assistance to the weak and supporting the expenses of minors, orphans, widows and the sick; improving and managing the affairs of individuals; protecting people; maintaining honour and strengthening the spirit of cooperation and collaboration among members of the community.

Now, would it be fair to regard a Baha’i Spiritual Assembly which carries out such duties, and its nine members who have no station or office and are elected by the Baha’is of each locality for a period of one year, as an agency for espionage? Currently, in the beloved country of Iran and around the world, thousands of Baha’i [Local] Spiritual Assemblies are performing the spiritual duties which were stated above, and so far, they have not deviated in the slightest from their spiritual duties; neither have they, God forbid, been accused of conspiracy, sedition, espionage or treason against the homeland or the nation.

[We] beg that esteemed, honourable official, according to the Quranic verse “Deal justly; that is nearer to your duty”[3], to view this oppressed, obedient community, which serves and loves the beloved country of Iran, which has experienced oppression for many years and is now under the protection of the government of Islamic justice, through a lens of justice and fairness; that you make the securing of their human and civil rights and the protection of their lives, property and honour the focus of your efforts, and relieve the hearts of thousands of anxious and concerned Baha’i families and not allow the reflection of such actions in other countries of the world to damage the prestige and credibility of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

On behalf of the Baha’i Community of Iran,





[1] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

"علیکم بولاة‌الامور و ملاذ‌الجمهور"

[2] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

 "هر ذلتی را تحمل توان نمود مگر خیانت بوطن و هر گناهی قابل عفو و مغفرت است مگر هتک ناموس دولت و مضرت ملت "

[3] [The Quran (Pickthall tr.), 5:8]