[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

30 Khordad 1320 [20 June 1941]

 

He is God, may my life be a ransom for your respect presence

 

With servitude and devotion I submit the following:

 

The Baha’i population in Khorramabad is close to fifty people, some of whom are office workers and some are businessmen and shopkeepers from Hamadan, Yazd, Isfahan, and so forth. One of them is Sayyid Javad Mohajer Isfahani, who came to Khorramabad twelve years ago and runs a pharmacy. 

The high quality of the soil and the abundance of water in Khorramabad [inspired] the good taste of this man from Isfahan to purchase a six thousand zar‘[1] [parcel of] land on the eastern side near the river; he has created a garden and has planted trees in it, with his unique sense of the taste of Isfahan. In [one] corner of it he has built three buildings of three or four bedrooms each; he is living in one building and has rented the other two.  One of the tenants is a second lieutenant by the name of Gohari.  Later, he brought Second Lieutenant Ajudani, and has made him his partner.  There is also another tenant in another building. 

Gradually, a relationship formed between the two lieutenants and the wife of the other tenant.  The lieutenants would have a bit to drink and would walk around in the garden on their times off and would act immaturely. For a while, they were not paying the rent.  The Baha’i, Sayyid Isfahani the owner of the house and the garden, reminded them that he would prevent them from drinking and other [inappropriate] actions but [told them] that they could do whatever they wanted in [the privacy] their own houses.  His saying this and asking for his rent caused the lieutenants’ anger and enmity, since the Sayyid Baha’i Isfahani is a Baha’i promoter and once or twice a week the Baha’is of Khorramabad would gather in his home and would conduct religious discussions according to their own customs. 

[In one incident,] the second of Ordibehesht [22 April 1941], which was the Baha’is’ Eid-e (Rezvan) was getting closer, and the lieutenants were planning on revenge and the abuse of the Baha’i Sayyid, the landlord. They made a report to 16 Division of the Khorramabad Army that the Baha’is were getting together at this Sayyid’s house and having meetings that were against the interests of the country, and that these few days—meaning the second of Ordibehesht, which is the (Rezvan) celebration for the Baha’is—knowing that they would be visiting and would have a crowd there, they would have a rally, and they suggested that the cost of this was being provided by the British or the Germans.  Major Panahi, who was in charge of the investigation of this case on behalf of 16 Division of the Khorramabad Army, went to the Sayyid’s house on the same day— the second of Ordibehesht which is the (Rezvan celebration)—and looked into it with the utmost precision.

The [money] for the expenses of these meetings came from the people as contributions; each person pays one quiran[2] or two quirans, or one tuman is contributed, and not from the British or the Germans, and the cheque stubs of the contributions are proof of that.  Major Panahi reported this to 16 Division of the Khorramabad Army after a complete and thorough examination.  After all this, because [there were disputes] between Mr. Moddaber Nouri, the former governor, and Mr. Imani, the head of the economy [Ministry of Finance] of Khorramabad, who was suspected of being a Baha’i, [Mr. Moddaber Nouri], either in order to take revenge on [Mr.] Imani—or maybe he intended to acquire benefits from the Governorate of Khorramabad—had limitations imposed on the Baha’i Sayyid Isfahani and put him in a difficult position.

 

This is the situation of the Baha’i community of Khorramabad and the truth of the matter.  Meanwhile, I will bring it to your respected attention that one of the religious tenets of the Baha’is is non-involvement in politics.  On another occasion, this servant had gone to the house of the Baha’i Sayyid to get more information, and found this person, who is at the top rank of the Baha’is of Khorramabad, not worthy or capable [of being involved in] political affairs, but his knowledge and interest in agriculture and farming is very good.

 

And now, about smuggling, according to the information we have received, so far, the stuff that the smugglers were taking to Iraq, smuggling in fabric in return, was opium and currency notes.  Because the [government] agents who were purchasing the opium made the owners of the opium wait for a long time, they smuggled this [opium] to Iraq and smuggled in other goods in return.  In Iraq, the exchange rate for every tuman is two [Iraqi] rials, or at most three rials, and they [the smugglers] instead bring back contraband goods illegally; in this way, the country suffers quite a bit.  More important than these is the issue of the [cooking] oil.  In Khorramabad, always, even last year at this time, the price of the oil was eighteen to twenty rials for one man[3] of oil. At the end of autumn or the beginning of winter, a man would cost twenty-five rials, but this year, due to the greed and the corruption of Mr. Modaber Nouri, the former governor, the price of the oil right now in Khorramabad is thirty-five to forty rials per man, and it would definitely affect the price of the oil in Tehran, as well.  Providing the minor details will cause your honour boredom and it can be provided upon your order or your permission.

 

In closing, I request an approval letter to be issued about the previous [unpaid] wages of this servant.  Please advise Mr. Varasteh, the deputy of the Ministry of the Interior, so that under the kind attention of His Honour [the prime minister], [these] servants may be able to reduce the debts of their household a little.  I beg God for dignity and splendour for the servants of His Honour and the blessed descendants.[4]

 

This insignificant servant

 

[Handwritten:] [Seal of registration at the Prime Minister’s Office, Number 4825 dated: 23 Tir 1320 (14 July 1941)]

 

 

[1] [An old unit of length measurement. A zar‘ is about 104 centimetres]

[2] [The qiran , also qerun or kran, was a currency of Iran between 1825 and 1932]

[3] [An old weight measurement unit. A (Tabriz) Man is equal to 3 Kilograms.  There are several version of this unit in Iran which are different]

[4] [Handwritten notes on the side paragraphs indicate that each paragraph has been referred to Ministries of War, Finance and Interior]