[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:] Tarikh-e Irani

[Date:] Monday, 13 Aban 1392 [4 November 2013]


Some Unknown Facts About the Life of Tayyeb [Haj-Rezaie] in an Interview with Bijan Haj-Rezaie

– Omid Iran-Mehr

Tarikhe Irani [Iranian History]:  Despite the passage of half a century since the bloody dawn of 11 Aban 1342 [2 November 1963], there are still very few people who do not know Tayyeb…

Tayyeb’s life is usually divided into two parts; one part is full of troublemaking, conflict, street fights, and extortion, which led to his imprisonment and exile to Bandar Abbas, and the other part is considered as a period of “character transformation” and returning to God. In this story, the height of Tayyeb’s new role coincides with 15 Khordad 1342 [5 June 1963] and his support of the religious incident in opposition to regime of the shah, under the leadership of Imam Khomeini. . . 

Bijan Haj-Rezaie, son of Tayyeb, [said that he] considers these stories to be inaccurate in the interview he gave to Tarikhe Irani. He, who is the third child of Tayyeb, in refuting the two-sided or two-staged life of his father, says, “I do not accept what people say about my father’s life’s consisting of two parts—one of troublemaking and the other of human virtue. He lived all of his life for Imam Husayn.”

You did not explain the tattoo. Is it true that your father had a tattoo of the shah’s likeness on his body?

Yes, but his lawyer did not say this. He said it himself. When my father was accused of treason in the court, he said, “…the term treason does not align with me. My goal in life was to change the conditions of life for the people.” It was at this point that he uncovered his belly and said, “During a time when some people were tattooing the pictures of Lenin and Stalin, I tattooed the picture of Reza Shah on my body. Someone who withstands that many needles to tattoo the picture of the country’s king on his body is not a traitor. It was only after changing the conditions of life for people; my motivation was to release one of the educators and scholars of the country from bondage.”

You said that the depiction of your father does not align with that of troublemakers and streetfighters.  But there is no shortage of street fights in Tayyeb’s background…

My father was a famous person in Tehran, and any time someone wanted to show off, they would be challenged to show that they could beat up Tayyeb. Many of the fights would happen this way…

[His] most notorious fight happened in 1332 [1953/1954]. That year he got entangled with a group of troublemakers in Bagh-Ferdows. The reason for the conflict was that these people were perverting the young people in places of drug use and gambling. They would make a bet with them in playing dice and cards, and when the kids would lose, they would harass them. My father went to shut down their business and got into conflict. He got close to losing his life. . .

Another one of the notorious actions that he took was to set the cemetery of the Baha’is in Mesgar-Abad on fire in 1337 [1958/1959].

Why did he do that?

He obeyed the order of Ayatollah Kashani. After that, he set fire to the Haziratu’l-Quds [Baha’i centre], which was the place of worship for such Baha’is as Abbas Effendi. He did this at the order of Ayatollah Kashani, who had said, “He who has no world does not want the Hereafter”.