[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

[Emblem]

[National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran]

 

Date: 12 Mulk 103 [29 Bahman 1325] [18 February 1947]

Number: 9449

 

Honourable Ashraf[1], distinguished Prime Minister of Iran,

 

We respectfully convey that on 21 Mordad 1325 [12 August 1946] a detailed and lengthy submission, containing some of the pleas of the Baha’i community of Iran, was presented to your office, which we assume has been brought to your attention and that you have kindly considered it. One of the requests of this Assembly, on behalf of all the Baha’is of the beloved country of Iran, was lifting the present restraints on Baha’i literature, which was clearly mentioned in that letter and contained the following:

 

Firstly: Publishing Baha’i books and literature currently has multiple hindrances and deterrents in Iran; yet, as it may well be clear to His Honour Ashraf, such literature confirms the reality of all the religions and disseminates the principles of peace and security; heralds the establishment of the unity of mankind, [and enjoins] good morals and divine qualities.

 

Secondly: At the border crossings of Iran, the Baha’i literature from abroad addressed to different recipients is confiscated most of the time by the customs authorities and is occasionally being burned up.

 

Thirdly: Some publishers of journals and magazines, and some ill-intentioned and fanatical individuals, publish insulting essays and anti-Baha’i articles, filled with abuse and offence towards the Baha’i Holy Figures. The Baha’is are confronting [a great deal of] disrespect and discourtesy, which is embarrassing even to mention.  They do not even have the right to resolve the misunderstandings in the minds of the compatriots, and are not allowed to tell the truth.

 

Because His Honour Ashraf has been busy with other important issues of the country, and his precious time has been spent on more significant and [weighty] matters of the beloved nation, this Assembly did not insist on obtaining an answer to its petitions, lest his valuable time be taken. In comparison, God willing, there is some relief now, thus we want to reiterate our previous plea regarding the Baha’i literature, and this time we approach the very person of the honourable Ashraf not as respected head of the government, but as a person of knowledge, thought, wisdom and sagacity, and as a statesman who, skilfully and with ingenuity, has solved many national problems. With utmost respect, we plead [with you], on this important and vital matter, regarding a large group of honest subjects of the imperial nation, to guide us with moral support, intellectual assistance and thoughtful leadership, finding a solution in this regard for the Baha’is of Iran to become free from these oppressive constraints, by the grace of his honour, becoming eternally and wholeheartedly thankful for this historic effort.

 

What this Assembly contemplates is submitted here as a suggestion to your threshold; that is, to permit the Baha’i literature to be published only for the Baha’i population of Iran by one of its private publishers, and the members of this community, which is the largest religious minority in Iran, at least not to be deprived from reading the tenets of their own Faith, which, in reality, is the spiritual nourishment for their souls. In all the civilized countries of the world, even the Islamic country of Egypt, the publication of Baha’i literature is totally free. Also, kindly issue pertinent orders to the border [agents] to refrain from confiscating Baha’i books and literature coming from abroad, in their areas of jurisdiction.

 

This Assembly knows for a fact that His Honour, with such intelligence and insight, is capable of solving this obstinate problem, and His Honour Ashraf has the valour to free a large group of its honest subjects, lovers of the imperial country of Iran, in the present situation. It all depends on the will of His Honour as to how to rule on this subject. At the end, we humbly request that this Assembly be informed of the result of your prudent judgement. We plead with the Almighty for blessedness and glory for His Honour.

 

With utmost respect, 

Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran, Ali-Akbar Furutan,

[Signature]

[Stamp: The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran – Year 91 (1934)]

[Stamp: Registered at the Office of the Prime Minister, number 16879, date: 8 Esfand 1325 (27 February 1947)]

[Handwritten 1:] Please bring to the attention of His Honour, 11 Esfand 1325 [2 March 2947]

[Handwritten 2:] It was brought to the attention of His Honour.

[Handwritten 3:] To be archived, 19 Esfand 1325 [10 March 1947]

 

[1] [Ashraf means “The Most Noble”, it is the title of Prime Minister Ahmad Ghavam; it was given to him by the Iranian shah, Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi].