[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
12 Bahman 1359 [1 February 1981]
In the Name of God
Distinguished Minister of Health,
Regrettably and surprisingly, a Directive with number 7560, dated 10 Dey 1359 [31 December 1980], addressed to the Head Office of Personnel, regarding the dismissal of all the Baha’i employees of the Ministry of Health and its affiliated organizations, was recently signed and issued at your instruction. [It] ignores the rightful entitlements of hundreds of physicians, dentists and specialized personnel in other medical sciences—midwives, nurses, nursing attendants, physiotherapists and [those in relevant] professions—who believe in the God of Blessing and Exaltation, His Prophets, His divine Books, His Holiness Mohammad Mostafa (peace be upon Him) as the Messenger of God and the Seal of the Prophets, the Holy Imams (peace be upon Them) as His rightful successors and consider the Holy Qur’an a revelation of God issued from the Heaven of His Divine Will, and who have spent their lives in sincere service to the Muslim population of this land. [This directive] ignores many years of their efforts—merely because of their belief in the new Baha’i religion.
Dear respected Minister: You, better than anyone else, know that firstly, the Directive issued is contrary to Islamic standards and the holy verses of the Qur’an, where it clearly states: “Surely, We have sent down to you the Book for mankind with the truth. Whosoever is guided is guided for himself, and he who goes astray, it is only for his own loss. You (Prophet Muhammad) are not their (compulsory) Guardian. [(Sura 39 -Verse 41) and, “To you your religion, and to me my religion”. [Sura 109: Al-Kafiroon (the disbelievers) – Juz’ 30], and “There is no compulsion in religion.” [Sura 2: Al-Baqara) (the cow) – Juz’ 3 – 256].
And secondly, this Directive is against the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, since, according to Article 22 of the Constitution, “…the honour, life, property, rights, shelter [residence] and employment are to be immune from objection” , and according to Article number 23 “…inquisition [of beliefs] is forbidden” , and Articles 28 and 29 oblige the government to give equal treatment to individuals, not only to assign to [the individuals] a proper employment, but also to provide them with social security in terms of retirement, disability and unemployment .
Thirdly, reference to Article 14 of the State Employment Act, which states that “a competent court can convict a person of corruption of belief” has no relevance to Baha’i individuals, whose beliefs in the unity of God, His divine Messengers and their Books are firmly established. Baha’is love the sacred country of Iran and consider themselves as true servants of humanity, Islam and this land; their good ethics, behaviour, speech and thought, are evident to all their co-workers at the Ministry of Health and affiliated organizations. Therefore, it is requested that you consider ordering the annulment of this Directive, since this Directive [of yours] will not only deprive me of my individual rights, but also will deprive hundreds of individuals of their rights who have sincerely served for many years [or] their entire lives.
With respect and appreciation,
Dr. Ezzatollah Forouhi
Copy: Office of the President