[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
Islamic Republic of Iran
Ministry of Interior
In the Name of God
Economic Resilience, Production – Employment
Honourable Director of the General Board of the Court of Administrative Justice
Re: Statement of defence of Shahriar Foroughian
Greetings and salutations;
Respectfully, concerning case reference 9609980905800665 in regard to the judicial request of Mr. Shahriar Foroughian against: 1- Office of the Governor General of Mazandaran; 2- Amákin Office in Sari, pertaining to 1- Nullification of the minutes of [the Commission on] Religions and Sects in Mazandaran Province; 2- Request for the removal of seal, as indicated in the text of the grievance statement, the following is submitted as a counter-defence:
- The commercial business of the appellant has been sealed since 11 and 12 Aban 1395 [1 and 2 November 2016], due to non-compliance with the trade union regulations as well as the constitution of Amákin. The reason and motivation for such trade infringements is primarily to carry out the institutional objectives issued by the centre of the sect, known as the House of Justice, established within Israel’s regime [sic]. Given that the appellant and his kind have repeatedly closed their shops (200 businesses) concurrently across the province, and ignored the cautions and warnings of Amákin’s inspectors of the Disciplinary Forces, ultimately, when the issue was raised at the session of the Provincial Security Council, a bill was ratified by the Council to seal the shops of those who repeat such infringements. It should be noted that the shops of more than half of his fellow sectarians are open in this province.
- Article 28 (e) of the Trade Union Act stipulates:
Breach of responsibilities by commercial units shall result in the closure of the commercial unit operating with a licence. The responsibilities noted in the Trade Union Act are binding. Furthermore, Article 17 of the said Act binds the owners of commercial units to abide by and observe all the rules and regulations issued by the relevant legal authorities.
- Given that the organization of commercial units and order of the bazaar is under the jurisdiction of Amákin, all commercial units, at the time of obtaining a licence of operation, must provide a written undertaking to observe and respect the provisions of the executive bylaw of Amákin, as well as follow the rules set by the Disciplinary Force to ensure security and order for individuals and the public. The criteria for public order, as noted in Paragraph 10 of declaration number 8990504, dated 23 Shahrivar 1389 [14 September 2010], which was announced to all unions and trades, states: “Cooperation with the officers of the disciplinary forces is essential to ensure and maintain public safety and security.”
- Hence, the appellant’s shop was sealed because the appellant is an adherent of the illegal Baha’i administration, members of which close their shops on days other than official holidays, with the aim of propaganda for their sect. Notwithstanding the fact that commercial businesses of some Baha’i shop owners were unsealed after a few days, by their providing an undertaking with the Amákin, the appellant, in following the illegal orders of the so-called centre of the sect (House of Justice), refused to give an undertaking, which, in a way, promotes opposition to the regime and civil disobedience.
- It is evident that the widespread illegal activities of sects, and the concurrent province-wide closures of commercial units, causes disturbance in the financial course of the bazaar and affects public order and coherence. Therefore, for security considerations in the province, the decisions of the Security Council, in two phases—on 8 Aban 1395 [29 October 2016] and 31 Tir 1396 [22 June 2017]—were declared to judicial authorities to be enforcement as legal and binding directives.
- Therefore, in light of the above, the Constitution, as the bedrock of social order and a guideline for the government and most people, explicitly recognizes in Articles 26 and 27 the freedom of parties and associations—of course not absolute, but conditional—based on which [political] parties and groups that do not violate the principles of Islamic independence, freedom, and national unity and do not breach the foundation of the Islamic Republic can be legally recognized. Of course, it is not binding that those who make up such assemblies necessarily believe in these principles, but it is vital that they respect them. Thus, assemblies without a constitution or charter authorized by the government are not allowed to operate. Furthermore, according to Article 22  of the Constitution “…no one may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief.” Therefore, holding a belief is [unintelligible], but openly sharing it with the aim of diverting others and intent to propagate, to cause confusion and disturbance in public opinion, etc., will not be allowed.
- Fundamentally, real persons and entities recognized in the Constitution and civil laws have freedom of action. However, any activity (be it individually, in groups, or organized) that might jeopardize national security or compromise the entirety of the state, will obviously be confronted by the authorities, as the government will use its power to safeguard its national interest and the interest of the public.
Evidence indicates that the said administration is in direct contact with external enemies of the people of Iran, and with Israel, and that they have strong ties with the Zionist regime that go back a long time, a clear example of which is [its] involvement in the 2009 uprising and the recent visit of Netanyahu to Baha’i administration buildings in Haifa and [his] discussions with the heads of the sect.
It is obvious that any consideration and negligence in this regard is against public interest and national unity, and will contribute to foreign goals and Zionism, with direct accountability before the Almighty God. Furthermore, in accordance with the respected views of the points of imitation—the ascended Imám and the Supreme Leadership—in their practical statements, clearly described the illegality of the Baha’i administrations.
Therefore, in light of the above, it is hereby declared that the rights of Iranian tradesmen, in accordance with what has been prescribed by the Constitution and in other laws, are under consideration before the Office of the Governor General and other government organs and related provincial institutions. Consequently, the actions that were taken were in the best interest of the public and for the safeguarding of national interest; thus, a decision to dismiss the judicial request of the appellant is sought.
Director General of Inspection, Performance Management and Legal Affairs
[Signature and official stamp]
Mr. Púrmahmúd, respected Deputy of Legal Affairs Office, with all related enclosures, for information
28 Dey 1396 [18 January 2018]
[stamp: Ministry of Interior]
 [Amákin (Public Places Supervision Office): Responsible for the enforcement of accepted moral codes in places of work and other offices.]