[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[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]

 

[Newspaper:] Kayhan Havaei

[Page:] 8

[Date:] Wednesday, 5/1/1366 – 25 March 1987

 

Interview: Discussion with Hojjatol-Islam Majid Ansari, Head of the Prison Management Organization

 

“Prison Management Organization” and the legal rights of prisoners

 

... But in the case of Baha’ism, there are two aspects to the problem and it is this:  that in the view of the officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Baha’ism is not a religion; [rather] it is a political affiliation between Imperialists and Zionists. We see the root cause of Baha’ism in Haifa and Occupied Palestine and we believe that this is a political movement that was created by Britain and Tsarist Russia over one hundred years ago, which today is guided by the same powers and specifically, their organizational base and their guidance [to their followers] is directed by Israel. And if all the political gangs in the world are to hide behind the name of religion and [accept that religions] be immune, then dreadful organizations like the “Mafia” or “CIA”[1] mercenary agents will also have the right to adopt the name of the religion and call their leader also a religious one and to be immune in this way.

 

First, we do not recognise the Baha’ism as a religion, and the other point is this, that the confrontation with Baha’is is not due merely to beliefs. We have many Baha’is in Iran who have businesses. Of course, Baha’is are not recognized within the category of officially recognized religions and minorities for the reasons indicated above, and this is clear in our Constitution. And we respect the recognized religion minorities mentioned in the Constitution. For these [Baha’is], too, we are not simply confronting them just because of their beliefs, but when we see that this destructive political group is trying to establish a relationship with the enemy of the Islamic nation, meaning Israel, and that they form spy networks, we have no choice but to deal with these networks. There are no Baha’is in Iran’s prisons with the exception of those who are affiliated with the international Zionist network, and we explicitly declare that we are an enemy to the Zionists and not only do we fight with their agents inside the country, but also with Zionism and Israel outside the borders of Iran and our struggle against the Baha’is affiliated with Israel is not separate from our struggle with Israel itself. One of the proofs of the dependence of the Baha’is on Israel, is the crocodile tears that the leaders of infidel countries shed for them. When Reagan or the Israeli authorities formally shed crocodile tears for the Baha’is, we are certain that they are in practice the agents of Zionism because Reagan and their likes do not care for human rights...

 

What is your answer as the head of the prison administration to the foreign media’s announcement of violations of the rights of the Baha’is and other official minorities of the country?

 

Hojjatol-Islam Ansari:

 

There is no Baha’i person is in Iran’s prisons except if he is affiliated with the International Zionist network. If all the world’s gangs of spies are to call themselves religious in order to be immune, then it should be that dreadful organisations like the "Mafia" and "CIA" will have the right to do the same!

 

 

 

[1] [Central Intelligence Agency]