[Newspaper:] Pittsburgh Press

[Date:] Sunday, 29 May 1983


Iran rejects Reagan appeal to cease persecuting Bahais

Beirut, Lebanon (UPI) – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini yesterday dismissed President Reagan's appeal for an end to persecution of members of the Bahai faith in Iran, charging the Bahais are agents for foreign powers, Tehran radio said.

"We wonder since when Reagan cares so much for the welfare of human beings and humanity?" the radio quoted Khomeini as saying.

"How come you support a bunch of people who do not even belong to any religion and are only here at the order of their masters to work for them?" Khomeini said.

"How come you care so much for humanity in their case but you never said anything about Iraqi crimes against Iranian and Iraqi people. Are they not human beings?" he said.

Khomeini's comments, monitored in Beirut, came in response to Reagan's appeal last week that Iran call off the executions of 22 Bahais who have been sentenced to death by the Islamic regime.

Reagan said the United States is "alarmed and dismayed" by Iran's persecution of members of the Bahai faith, a modern religion founded in Iran and which stresses principles of universal brotherhood and social equality.





















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