[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]
[Adapted from website:] Kheyzaran
[Date:] 25 Khordad 1387 [14 June 2008]
Citizenship Rights of the Baha’is, An Ordered Discussion
One of the maija’-i-taqlid [religious jurisprudential authorities] made an interesting point during our visit today. Ayatollah Safi Golpaygani said, “With regard to the Baha’is’ citizenship rights, they should not expect more from the Islamic Republic’s government than they did during the shah’s reign.”
Ayatollah Safi Golpaygani probably said these words in reaction to an istifta [seeking religious advice], which was recently attributed to Ayatollah Montazeri. Without mentioning anyone’s name, he described a similar incident that took place at the beginning of the revolution, at the time when he was a member of the Council of Guardians of the Constitution.
Ayatollah Safi said, “A group from the Baha’i sect were insisting on their citizenship rights (by citizenship rights they meant more their personal situations such as their marriage, divorce and so on). Some of their leaders, like Dr. X and …., came to a meeting. I asked them what Baha’is did during the time of the dethroned shah. He said that they had signed a contract at the notary public office, which indicated that they were married. Ayatollah Safi Golpaygani added, “I told him that the Islamic Republic would definitely not treat [them] any better than the dethroned shah. So [they should] not expect their citizenship rights to be recognized.”
But why the issue of Baha’i citizenship rights has now arisen is another matter.
Until recently, it seemed that the Ruhi Plan had succeeded in spreading the Baha’i propaganda; however, the useful but late arrest of some of the prominent trained leaders of this sect has inflicted a relatively heavy blow on them, which has led to a temporary retreat, albeit without the knowledge of the House of Justice in Haifa. If the House of Justice is informed of this temporary withdrawal, there will be severe reactions.
With this in mind, the discussion of citizenship rights and the mentioned istifta from Ayatollah Montazeri, in a coordinated manner, with the influence of his office, shows a temporary change in the centralist Baha’i approach in Iran for restoration and reconstruction.
And finally, today, with the statements of Ayatollah Safi Golpaygani, this policy will not go anywhere with the official stance of the religious jurisprudential authority.