[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:] Bahaism in Iran
[Date:] 12 Azar 1396 [3 December 2017]
A Compassionate Speech By Mrs. Molaverdi
Bahaism in Iran – On 11 Azar 1396 [2 December 2017], the websites of BBC Persian and Radio Farda reported the comments made by Mrs. [Shahindokht] Molaverdi, the presidential aide for citizenship affairs. Obviously, the parts of the speech of the president’s aide were considered by these media, when she replied to a question about the sealing of the Baha’i businesses.
The [civil rights] aide to the Iranian president said that letters had been written to the relevant authorities about the closure of Baha’i businesses.
In explanation of the news, it is said, “In a meeting on citizenship rights at an Iranian university, in response to a question, Shahindokht Molaverdi said that the assistant for legal affairs of Hassan Rouhani had been asked―or in administrative terms ‘enquired of’―about the closure of commercial premises and the ban on Baha’i activities”.
According to Mrs. Molaverdi, the legal [affairs] assistant, Laya Joneydi, has also made “necessary correspondence” with “relevant authorities to receive a response.”
Hassan Rouhani’s aide for citizenship [affairs] did not elaborate on the authorities questioned but said she “thinks this correspondence will be finalized soon.”
In various provinces of Iran, Baha’i shops have been sealed many times due to their religious affiliation, but officials in the Islamic Republic of Iran usually do not comment on this issue.
Of course, in order to gain benefit from this statement, in favour of human rights and against the Iranian regime, at the end of the report it indicates: “In the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Baha’is are not recognized as followers of a religious minority, and since the revolution, they have been deprived of the right to education at a university and access to state positions.”
The Charter of Civil Rights, signed by Hassan Rouhani in Azar [December] last year and now implemented by Shahindokht Molaverdi, emphasizes that “All citizens, regardless of ethnicity, religion or gender” have the right to private property and employment. But the Charter does not explicitly mention the followers of the Baha’i Faith.
In this regard, we have a few words for Mrs. Molaverdi:
First) It would have been better if the honourable Mrs. [Molaverdi] had studied the religions and sects and, of course, the constitution, which is the covenant of the Iranian people. Certainly, the conclusion would have been that the schools of thought that emerged in Iran with colonial goals since the victory of the Iranian revolution were nothing but tools to condemn the Iranian regime.
Second) Mrs. Molaverdi, you should know that if the questioner was not a Baha’i, he/she had certainly entered the discussion with Your Excellency through the guidance from the Baha’is. Instead of implicitly acknowledging the audience’s perception that it was a legal violation of a sectarian minority, it would have been better for you to pursue the matter through the Legal Department (which was definitely not your opinion). You could have presented the betrayals of the perverse Baha’i movement and their betrayal of the Islamic society, especially in the second Pahlavi era, and you could have put yourself in the position of a plaintiff.
To address this issue, it would have been quite effective to talk about the Baha’i presence in the senior management of the Intelligence and Security Service and, of course, in the Iranian court and economy. Why should we treat with tolerance those whose hands are stained with anti-Pahlavi revolutionaries’ blood, and grant them citizenship rights?
Third) If you were unaware of the status and history of the Baha’i Faith, you should have postponed answering the question to an appropriate time, rather than leaving the questioner to a future that is certainly a matter of citizenship for a false and hostile movement against this regime.
Fourth) We must learn to say “I do not know” with all our might, in an area where we do not have knowledge.
The Iranian people have the position of the plaintiff, in regard to Baha’i issue, not the accused. This should be understood by all human rights circles. We do not consider the Baha’is as a religious minority, nor a sect, nor, God forbid, a religion. The Baha’is, with a record full of betrayal, crime and oppression of the Iranian people, are condemned. Their presence in Iran is due to the grace of the holy regime of Iran and nothing else.
12 Azar 1396 [3 December 2017]