Esmail Zehtab

Born: Tabriz

Executed by firing squad in Tabriz on 29 July 1981


Esmail Zehtab was born in a Muslim family in Tabriz.  He embraced the Baha’i Faith as a youth and left Tabriz to pioneer first in Ardebil then in Khalkhal, Azerbaijan. In parallel to these efforts he managed to establish a reputable dental clinic.  He was involved in Baha’i community life where he was elected to the Local Spiritual Assembly[1] of the Baha’is of Khalkhal.  After 13 years of service facing numerous persecutions he was forced to return to his birth place in Tabriz.  In Tabriz he was elected to the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Tabriz where he was the treasurer.

On October 1979 he was arrested and imprisoned. After 6 months he was released on bail.  He was rearrested and imprisoned on 18 July 1980 in Tabriz.  On 29 July 1981, Esmail along with seven other members of the Local Spiritual Assembly and Auxiliary Board member[2] Mr Masrour Dakhili were executed by firing squad. The seven members of the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Tabriz were; Allah-Vardi Misaghi, Hosein Asadollah-Zadeh, Manouchehr Khazei, Abdol-Ali Asadyari, Parviz Firouzi, Mehdi Baheri and Habibollah Tahghighi.  A day after their execution their families were informed.  Their bodies were buried at Rahmat cemetery in accordance with Baha’i law.


(This brief biographical note is based on the best available information. If you find any inaccuracies, or any important facts omitted, please email us through the Contact page.)





[1] Local Spiritual Assembly: a nine-member administrative body elected annually by the Baha’is of a particular area, tasked with overseeing the affairs of the Baha’i community of that area.

[2] Auxiliary Board Members: group of individuals appointed by the Continental Board of Counselors for a five year term.  Their responsibility is to encourage individuals and strengthen Baha’i communities in their area of service - usually smaller regions within a country.  Auxiliary Board Members have a consultative role in relation to the Local Spiritual Assemblies.