[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]

 

[Newspaper:] Danesh-e Emrouz

[Date:] 2 Khordad 1334 [24 May 1955]

[Issue No.:] 124

 

The Detailed Account of the Destruction of the Haziratu’l-Quds [Baha’i Centre]: The Chief of Staff of the Army Took Part in Demolition of the Centre of Corruption

The green banner of “There is no God except Allah” was raised on top of the Haziratu’l-Quds.

Three nights ago, the commander of Tehran’s military governorate, Brigadier General Bakhtiar, ordered the demolition of the dome of the Hazirat’ul-Quds. For this reason, since Sunday morning, the military governor’s officials have been busy destroying the dome, and from 10:00 a.m. that day, a number of clergy and religious scholars came gradually to the Haziratu’l-Quds to witness the destruction of its dome. About 50 crew members began demolishing the vaulted foundations around it and some carpenters and builders were busy laying boards to crack the roof and open its bolted iron.

At about 11:00 a.m., Mr. Falsafi, accompanied by several of his companions, entered the Haziratu’l-Quds; they visited the great hall and saw how it was being destroyed. According to the information, the order had been issued only for the destruction of the dome of the Haziratu’l-Quds. Currently there is a large amphitheatre and several large halls in the Haziratu’l-Quds that can be used in many ways. After the Haziratu’l-Quds was occupied by the law enforcement officers, the idea of its destruction arose, too. Since it was not advisable to demolish the building completely, it was decided to destroy only its large dome and change its current form. Therefore, a few days ago, some engineers came to the place and examined the dome closely to determine how to destroy it. After the engineers had expressed their opinion, the order to demolish the dome was issued.

At the time of the demolition, a woman who seemingly belonged to the Baha’i sect, while signs of sorrow and regret could be read in her face, reached out to the guards at the Haziratu’l-Quds and asked why they were destroying the place. The soldiers immediately told the woman and other passers-by who had gathered there to leave. An interesting incident took place at the time of the destruction of the Haziratu’l-Quds. When the officers were destroying it and people were gathered in front of its gate, the fire department was informed that a place near the Haziratu’l-Quds had caught fire. The fire trucks, which had left their headquarters to carry out their mission, had to cross the street in front of the Haziratu’l-Quds, but since the crowd was gathered in front of it, the passage of the firefighters was delayed for a few seconds and this created the illusion for those around that the Haziratu’l-Quds had been set on fire, causing the multitude of people to come there and to see why it had been set on fire. But when the crowd heard the true story, they went back to their business.

While the destruction of Haziratu’l-Quds was beginning, a number of clergies were present, including Mr. Falsafi, the renowned preacher. The photographers and media reporters also came to the scene after learning about the situation and started photographing different areas of the Haziratu’l-Quds with great enthusiasm. At 1:30 p.m., Major General Batmanghelich, the chief of staff of the army, accompanied by Brigadier General Bakhtiar, the governor of Tehran, and Colonel Ahmad Vaseghi, chief of the Third Pillar [Division – Department of Security] of the Military Governorate, arrived at the scene.

Major General Batmanghelich, after passing through the area of the Haziratu’l-Quds, went up on the roof and started destroying a point of the dome. Afterwards, the chief of staff of the army, together with Brigadier General Bakhtiar and his entourage, visited its various halls and the necessary explanations were provided by Mr. Colonel Hariri, the commander of the forces occupying the Haziratu’l-Quds.

The visit of Major General Batmanghelich and Brigadier General Bakhtiar to the Haziratu’l-Quds lasted for about half an hour. After the visit, the chief of staff of the army stated that, in order to speed up the work, it would be better to use army engineering equipment, such as cranes.

At 2:00 p.m., the green flag of Islam with the symbol of the sword was hoisted on top of the Haziratu’l-Quds, amidst the expressions of the spectators’ great emotions. At 2:15 p.m., the chief of staff of the army and the military governor of Tehran left the Haziratu’l-Quds area. Thus, began the destruction of the centre of the Baha’is in Tehran.