[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]


[Adapted from website:] Hawzah News Agency

[Date:] 12 Bahman 1399 [31 January 2021]


The History Researcher Submitted in the Programme of Ye-Rouz-e-Tazeh [A New Day]:

Many Baha’is Are Active as Spies in Iran / Hoveyda’s Cabinet Consisted of Members of the Baha’i Sect

Hawzah – In the morning programme of the IRIB TV5 network, the history researcher said, “The Baha’is have a slogan that says, take pride not in where your homeland is, take pride that the world is your homeland. Since the constitution, many Baha’is have been active in Iran as spies for other countries.”

According to Hawzah News Agency, Maryam Sadeghi, a writer and researcher in history, said, “Esfand Farrokhrou Parsa was born in 1301 [1923]. Her parents were both Baha’is [sic] and active journalists at the time. Her mother was Fakhr Afagh Parsa and her father was Farrokhdin Parsa. Her mother was active in the westernization and removal of women’s hijab since the 1290s [1910s]. In Tir 1293 [June/July 1914], at the time Ahmad Shah [Qajar] was crowned, she was the first woman without a hijab to participate in the ceremony.

Farrokhrou Parsa’s mother was the editor-in-chief of the women’s journal Jahan-e Zanan [Women’s World]. She was severely criticized by the clergy for her anti-Islamic rhetoric and feminist propaganda. The government of the time forcibly exiled Farrokhrou Parsa’s mother and father to one of the villages of Qom. Farrokhrou was born in this village and had the same view of Islam and women as her mother. She studied at the University of Tehran, graduated in natural sciences, and became a teacher at Reza Shah High School.”

Sadeghi said, “A contract was to be signed between Iran and the United States as part of the Fulbright [Scholar] Program. In 1329 [1950/1951], Farrokhrou Parsa was one of the first students to go to the United States. During the American effort to attract elites, she became trained by them. Dr. Isa Sedigh makes mention of Farrokhrou Parsa in his book Yadegar-e Omr as one of the successful examples [of students in] the Fulbright programme. After returning from the United States, Farrokhrou Parsa started working in schools and became the principal of several schools. Along with her cultural activities, she started writing articles.”

[Sadeghi] added, “Due to her connection with various networks and American investment, she entered the Ministry of Education. From the Iran Novin Party, she became the first woman to became a member of the 21st term of the National Consultative Assembly; she even became a member of the executive board of the parliament during this period. In 1346 [1967], during the premiership of Amir Abbas Hoveyda, she entered the cabinet. Hoveyda was a member of the Baha’i sect [sic] and included many Baha’is in his cabinet, including Farrokhrou Parsa. Despite severe protests in 1347 [1968], after becoming deputy minister of education, she became minister of education. As the first female minister, she headed the most important ministry, and for about seven years she worked in this cabinet.”

This historian emphasized, “Two factors are important in the success of Farrokhrou Parsa; these two factors were membership in the Rotary Club and membership in the Ethical Association. The Rotary Club was one of the American-affiliated associations that continued Freemasonry activities. During the neo-colonial era, colonial countries established special centres to recruit members. She was mostly anti-Islamic and worked in the spirit of Baha’ism.”

It is worth mentioning that the programme Ye-Rouz-e-Tazeh is a morning news journal prepared by the social group of IRIB TV5 channel, which airs from Saturday to Wednesday from, 7:00 to 9:00 in the morning, with different segments, such as political, social, economic, cultural, sports, etc., performed by Vahid Ronaghi, Fariba Bagheri, Hafez Kazemzadeh, Mehdi Vaezi, Sedigheh Moradi and Ali Moradkhani.