[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:] Kayhan Newspaper

[Date:] 20 Azar 1386 [11 December 2007]


The Baha’i Television of Baha’is in the Pahlavi Era

By: Ahmad Allahyari

Ehsan Yarshater is one of the Baha’i professors at the University of Tehran, who, after receiving a bachelor’s degree from the university, went to London on a scholarship awarded by the British government and received his doctorate in Avestan languages. After the retirement of Ebrahim Pourdavoud, he was elected as a professor of Avestan languages and his successor, and after a short time, he was selected to be a professor of Persian language and literature at an American university. Yarshater was a close friend of Asadollah Alam, and until the end of the Pahlavi regime, he was the head of the Book Translation and Publishing Company. After the victory of the revolution, he was commissioned to compile an encyclopedia called “Iranica” in which he distorted the historical and cultural issues of Iran. In this encyclopedia, he praises, in detail, the person of Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri (Baha’u’llah), the leader of the perverse Baha’i Faith.

It is worth mentioning that Amirkabir [Publications], which is a subsidiary of the Islamic Development Organization, translated and published three volumes of the [Encyclopaedia] Iranica (related to constitutionalism, etc.) in 1383 [ 2004/2005]. Yarshater is the head editor and editor-in-chief of Iranica, and the author of the first article in Abbas Amanat’s Journal of Constitutionalism, a prominent Baha’i figure in the West, who, in his article, named the Baha’i leaders as the intellectual founders of the constitution, along with Seyyed Jamal al-Din Asadabadi and Mirza Malkam Khan!

Another Baha’i who collaborated with the Kayhan Institute during the Pahlavi regime was Amir Golara, who was the head of the Kayhan Institute’s advertising organization for many years before the victory of the Revolution. He held this position until the late-1330’s [early 1960’s] after which he left Kayhan. Golara had a hand in writing; he was a follower of Sadegh Hedayat, and, even beyond that, he was a follower of Dadaism.

Lily [Leila] Kasra was another well-known Baha’i journalist. She was born in 1318 [1939] and completed her education in England. She received a bachelor’s degree in administrative sciences from King’s College, England. She started cooperating with the press around 1334 [1956] with the magazine Omid Iran, and for many years prepared articles for the magazine Roshanfekr and Ettelaat Banouan [Women’s Information]. She was supported by Iraj Nabavi; for this reason, Sattar Leghaei also welcomed her and published her writings and works.

Other Baha’i journalists include Mehrdad Shakouri. This person established a publishing organization with the funds provided to him by the Baha’i circles in Tehran. At a time when the predominant cultural policy was to pay attention to vulgar modernism, and all the media outlets, with one voice, were active in [expressing] vulgarity in the name of modernism, Shakouri began publishing a series of books on the subject and sought to publish low-level material under the pretext of “manifestations of modernism” and fed it to the youth.

The Baha’i sect had a cohesive and powerful organization on radio and television stations that was active and powerful from the first day of the establishment of Channel 3 broadcasting service―which was created with the capital of the Baha’is and Habib Sabet―and was active until the end of the Pahlavi regime on 22 Bahman [11 February 1979].

The vast majority of Channel 3 TV staff, from the general manager to the security guard at the entrance, the gardeners, and the workers responsible for cleaning lavatories, were Baha’is. When Habib Sabet sold this transmitter and the transmitter of Abadan TV Station to the government, all the Baha’is working for these two transmitters were hired by the National Iranian Television because they had experience, previously worked there and held all the key positions. They came together and created special organizations.

Among the prominent members of the Baha’i organization in the Iranian Radio and Television Station, which apparently functioned under a trade union called the Iranian Television Technical Workers Union, we should mention the mechanical engineer, Farshid Ramzi, Kambiz Azordegan, Jila Sazegar, Dr. Kambiz Mahmoudi and some other senior and middle managers of the National Television Station.