[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

The difficult task of overseeing the enforcement of the Constitution[1]

[Section 7, Minorities]

 

[Page:] 604

 

In the Name of God

 

Number 78-1232

Dated 4 Dey 1378 [25 December 1999]

 

His Honour Hojjatol-Islam Khatami

Esteemed President

 

With greetings and best wishes for your success

 

As you are aware, one of the problems and difficulties that the followers of unofficial religions are faced with is that their marriages are not recorded in notary public offices and their birth certificates, and this committee receives many complaints about this matter.

Upon investigation of the issue, it became clear that the refusal to record the event of marriage is based upon the memorandum issued by the head of the National Organization for Civil Registration in Esfand of 1357 [February /March 1979]. It had been stated that listing the religion (Islam, Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrian) in the affidavit of marriage, prepared for the purpose of recording the marriages, was mandatory, and recording marriages without listing a religion was declared prohibited.

The National Organization for Civil Registration insists on enforcing this memorandum and considers it to have originated from Article 13 of the Constitution and the bill permitting “The Civil Registration of Iranians of Non-Shia Background”, which was approved by the Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution in 1369 [1990/1991] (a copy of the memorandum and the letter of the Department of Personal Status Registration are attached).

However, in the opinion of this committee, dismissing the marriages of non-Islamic sects, even if they are unofficial, and not recognizing them is contrary to the provisions of Article 14 of the Constitution, and it is even contrary to Sharia principles, which has been explained in a letter to the minister of the interior, a copy of which is attached herewith. We do not infer any mandate from Article 13 of the Constitution, which [lists] the officially recognized religious minorities, or from the bill passed by the Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution (which could benefit from your order to be reviewed), that the marriages of unofficial groups should not be recorded or recognized (a copy of the resolution of the Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution is attached).

If Your Honour agrees with the opinion of this committee, kindly issue an order for the deputy to the president for legal affairs and the Ministry of the Interior to amend the memorandum and take the necessary actions.

 

Hosein Mehrpour

 

[Legal counsel] for the president and head of investigation and oversight of enforcement of the Constitution

 

 

 

 

[1] [From a book: Vaẓífih Dushvár-i Niẓárat bar Ijráíh Qánún-i Asásí, Majmú‘ih Mukátibát va Naẓaríát Ḥuqúqí Hía’t-i Paígírí va Niẓárat bar Ijráíh Qánún-i Asásí 13761384 (1997-2006). Dr. Ḥusyn Mirpúr, Tehran, Thálith Publication, 1384 (2005)]