[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:] Tebyan Cultural Institute

[Date:] 23 Esfand 1395 [13 March 2017]

 

Life and Times of Hoveyda

On 18 Farvardin 1358 [7 April 1979], Amir Abbas Hoveyda, the prime minister for thirteen years during the Pahlavi government, was executed following a public trial.

Amir Abbas Mamdouh, who later changed his surname to Hoveyda, was born in 1285 [1906] in Tehran. His father [was] Habibollah Ayn al-Mulk, and his mother [was] Afsar ol-Molouk, the great-granddaughter of Ezzat ed-Dowleh, who was the only sister of Naser al-Din Shah. His only brother was named Fereidoun; he later married Hassan Ali Mansur’s sister. When Ali Muhammad the Bab started the Babi sedition in Shiraz, Mirza Reza Ghannad, the father of Habibollah Ayn al-Mulk (grandfather of Amir Abbas Hoveyda), was among those who joined his circle of followers. After the Bab’s death, Mirza Reza was among those who accompanied Husayn Ali, titled Baha’u’llah, to Akka, Israel. Mirza Reza was one of the nine people present during the reading of the will of Abbas Effendi.

Habibollah Ayn al-Mulk also followed in his father’s footsteps; he joined the Baha’i ideology and became a supporter of Abbas Effendi. Amir Abbas was two years old when his father was appointed head of the Iranian consulate in Damascus, and the family moved there. Hoveyda left for Europe after completing his early education.

Hoveyda returned to Iran after graduating in 1321 [1942]; he was employed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and worked as an employee of the Ministry’s office.

After Hassan Ali Mansur became the prime minister on 17 Esfand [8 March] of the same year, Hoveyda was appointed minister of finance. Among Hoveyda’s actions while he was minister of finance were the passage of a $200 million loan, as well as the purchase of 25,000 tons of corn from the United States and the purchase of 60,000 tons of wheat from the Soviet Union. He also set up a modern computer system in the Ministry of Finance.

The duration of the acquaintanceship of Mansur and Hoveyda was about twenty years. At 10:00 a.m. on 1 Bahman 1343 [21 January 1965], Hassan Ali Mansour was assassinated by Muhammad Bokharaei in front of the National Consultative Assembly and was taken to Pars Hospital, headed by Dr. Manouchehr Shahgoli, a Baha’i physician and founding member of the Progressive Centre.

 

Letter from the late Imam Khomeini (RA) to Hoveyda

On 27 Farvardin 1346 [16 April 1967], in a letter to Amir Abbas Hoveyda, the then prime minister, Imam Khomeini enumerated the betrayals, mistakes, affiliations and crimes of the shah’s regime and condemned the government’s atrocities against the religion and the lives of the people.

Hoveyda preferred Baha’is to others; after taking office, he replaced one group of Baha’i ministers with another; for example, Farrokhrou Parsay was appointed minister of education. Hassan Arfa’s remarks about Hoveyda’s transfer from Turkey also show this. After Turkey, Hoveyda was very interested in going back to Damascus and working there to provide more facilities for the Baha’is, but he went to the National Oil Company to provide the necessary facilities for the oil consortium of Israel, which was the desired Mecca for the Baha’is. As long as Hoveyda was abroad, his services to the Baha’is inside the country were not very noticeable, but as he entered Iran and continued his activities, many eyes watched him. For example, Hosein Kei-Estavan exposed Hoveyda’s direct involvement in tax evasion in the amount of two million tomans by the owner of Pepsi-Cola, Habib Sabet Pasal, one of the famous Baha’is.

The regime decided to formally arrest a group of hated figures in order to reduce the anger of the people. Among these people was Amir Abbas Hoveyda, who was arrested on 17 Aban 1357 [8 November 1978].

On 18 Aban 1357 [9 November 1978], in Neauphle-le-Chateau,  the imam, in response to reporters about the detention of Hoveyda, said, “Hoveyda’s detention has no effect; this is also a maneuver that they think will have the effect of silencing the people.”

Hoveyda was sentenced to death on 18 Farvardin 1358 [7 April 1979], after two trials presided over by Mr. Khalkhali. On 24 Esfand 1357 [15 March 1979], the prosecutor of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Iran read out the Article 16 indictment with regard to Amir Abbas Hoveyda, the ousted prime minister of the Pahlavi regime, and requested his execution and confiscation of his property.