[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:] Adyan News
[Date:] 1 Farvardin 1393 [21 March 2014]
Why Baha’is Are Restricted [With Regard] to Some Citizenship Rights
According to Adyan News, the Student News Agency, “Baha’ism is one of the sects that have been created in the last two hundred years, and in the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran there is a lot of sensitivity towards it.”
Why is There So Much Sensitivity Towards Baha’ism in Iran? Can We Not Look at Them as Human Beings Who have Their Own Beliefs?
Rouzbahani: The Baha’i sect still has the right to life if it is merely a different religion or denomination, even if it is not defined in the constitution and is not considered an official religion. For example, now there is a sect in the south of Iran, in the Khuzestan region, that is an ancient religion. They attribute [their sect] to John the Baptist and His Holiness Zechariah. There are also other small groups living in some parts of the country who have different beliefs.
Baha’ism is an Anti-Social Sect
We do not deprive a group of certain rights merely [because they hold] different beliefs. But the Baha’i sect is, in fact, a cult. Religion and belief are intra-social phenomena, but a cult is an anti-social phenomenon, like other anti-social phenomena such as currents on drugs, prostitution, gangs, murder, etc., that exist in society. The sensitivity of the holy Islamic Republic system to Baha’ism is also based on the fact that it is a cult, not a religion or a belief.
How Did the Late Imam and the Supreme Leader Treat the Baha’is?
Basically, the elders of our religion have the same opinion; for example, the late Ayatollah Borujerdi, who entered the confrontation with Baha’ism, or the late Imam Khomeini, when he took the reins of the revolution, never ordered the destruction of Baha’ism and did not treat it like the Monafeghin organization. In my opinion, as an expert and scholar, the Baha’i sect is no different from the Rajavi sect, but the late imam and the supreme leader’s concept of them was that some people had joined them, and as long as they do not engage in destructive social activities, they could live in their own space.
Why Are Baha’is Restricted With Regard to Some Citizenship Rights?
Rouzbahani: I speak as an expert on the Baha’i sect, not as an official of the Islamic Republic; however, the officials of the Islamic Republic have imposed a series of restrictions on this sect in accordance with what has been revealed to them. They have to answer for themselves to what extent this is right or, God forbid, is wrong.
Why is the Islamic Republic Sensitive to the Baha’i Sect?
The Baha’i sect strives to expand, but attracts certain individuals so that it can take advantage of them. In principle, sects and cults have membership restrictions; therefore, they are looking for expansion. Thank God, they have not been so successful. The fact that the regime and its cultural elements have a special sensitivity and give attention to the perverse Baha’i sect is due to the fact that people who do not know this sect do not fall into its trap; on the other hand, the beliefs of the society are strengthened under the pretext of Baha’ism.