[Newspaper:] Canberra Times

[Date:] Monday, 24 May 1982


Iran 'executing' Baha'i officials

By John Bryant


A Canberra woman, whose father-in-law was executed by Iranian authorities last year and whose mother-in-law has been held in prison in Iran since 1980, says the Iranian regime is systematically executing all those in the administrative bodies of the Baha'i religious faith in Iran.

She is Mrs Therese Vahdat, information officer for the Baha'i faith in the ACT.

Mr and Mrs Vahdat, who are British citizens, have lived in Australia since 1967. Her husband is a public servant in Canberra.

Her husband's parents lived in Shiraz and last year the father was executed after being accused of being a "Zionist leader".

Mrs Vahdat described the charge as ridiculous and said it was part of the persecution and execution of Baha'i followers by the regime of the Ayatollah Khomeini.

She said the regime's Constitution gave no recognition to the Baha'i faith, which had 200,000 adherents in Iran, where it originated and was the biggest religious minority.

The faith began in Shiraz in 1844 and the three central figures in it were Iranian nationals.

Their martyrdom, persecution and banishment had led to Palestine becoming their headquarters and the burial place of the three, Siyyid 'Ali-Mohammad (the founder), Mirza Husayn 'Ali and Abbas Effendi, was at Mount Carmel, Haifa.

Haifa was now the universal headquarters of the Baha'i world faith, which had houses of worship in several countries including Australia.










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