[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:]  Donyaye Iran

[Date:] 16 Ordibehesht 1359 [3 May 1980]

[Issue No.:] 31

[Page:] 4


Trial of the First Female Minister and Allegations Against Her of Membership in the Azali Sect

Dr. Farrokhrou Parsay, the minister of education of the previous regime, who is currently detained in Evin Prison and is going through a trial at the Revolutionary Court about the rumours of her being a Baha’i or Azali, says, “Because my mother was studying in a school where the principal was [a member] of the Baha’i sect, it has been spread everywhere that I am a Baha’i or born to a Baha’i family”. At the Revolutionary Court, the judge did not recognize her as a Baha’i, but instead recognized her as an Azali. 

Azal [was] the brother and twin of Baha; that is to say, Mirza Hossain-Ali Nouri, known as Baha’u’llah, had a brother known as Yahya Sobhe Azal, and they had both accepted the claims of Seyyed Ali Mohammad Shirazi, known as “the Bab”. After the execution of the Bab in Tabriz by Nasered-Din Shah, they created the lost sect of Bahaism. However, along the way and in practice, they disagreed while gathering their followers. This disagreement did not happen in Iran, but it manifested in exile, because Nasered-Din Shah, in negotiation with the Ottoman Empire, banished Mirza Hussein Ali and Sobhe Azal to the Mediterranean colony of the Ottoman government, meaning Cyprus, where there was a severe disagreement between the two brothers. They went their separate ways and the Ottoman government banished Mirza Hosein-Ali to their other colony, which was Palestine and the cities of Haifa and Akka. Sobhe Azal remained in Cyprus, and after the departure of his brother, created his sect (Azali) which, although it is no less [significant] than Bahaism, is more fanatical. The Azalis are far fewer in number than the Baha’is. Currently, the remaining families of Yahya Sobhe Azal live in the Turkish side of the Cyprus island and in the Famagusta Harbour, in an Iranian lifestyle similar to that of 150 years ago in Iran.

The father of Dr. Farrokhrou Parsay passed away a few years ago, and her brother, whose first name is Farvardin, was serving in the army. Farrokhrou Parsay is a physician. She graduated from the Tehran Medical School in 1324 [1945] along with nine other females, but she never practiced medicine; instead, she spent her whole life teaching high school classes and as the principal of a high school. Farrokhrou Parsay was the first woman who reached the position of a minister during the Shah’s regime. During the Shah’s time, there were two women altogether who had held a ministerial post. The second one was Mrs. Afkham Amir Ebrahimi, who was the ministerial adviser for women’s affairs in Hoveyda’s and Amoozegar’s cabinets. She currently lives as a fugitive outside of Iran. Altogether, there were 13 women who were appointed to these deputy ministerial positions