[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:] Etemad Online

[Date:] 10 Mehr 1397 [2 October 2018]


Baha’is and Television Media During the Reign of the Shah

Etemad Online - The role and position of the Baha’is during the second Pahlavi era can be examined at both general and specific levels of analysis, and from different economic, political, and social perspectives. The Baha’i minority community, thanks to its close relations with the politicians and statesmen of the shah’s regime, prepared the ground for strengthening and propagating their ideas, which was accompanied by tolerance and interaction between the government and the court. Power and wealth are inseparable. Each can lead to the strengthening of the other and with a coherent organization and management can implement macro-plans and predetermined goals.

Habib Sabet, known as Habib Sabet Pasal, became a candidate for this important cause. This Baha’i businessman founded various companies, such as Pasal (Pasal stands for Ali Asghar Panahi, Emil Abboud, Habib Sabet, Mohsen Lak P.S.A.L) whose exceptional personality led to his name’s being accompanied by PASAL.

In order to uncover the exploitation by the Baha’is at the head of state and military affairs, as well as the existing support for the industrialists, we must consider the historical atmosphere of that era.

The economic situation and the policy of import substitution strategy, the close relations with the royal family, the establishment of a television station as a representation of the splendour of royal plays, and the spread of Western culture, can be components of this use in the second Pahlavi era.

The first image shown on national television in September 1337 [1958] was the shah’s message and the film of his trip to Japan. The shah, in his inaugural speech, said: “The establishment of television is satisfying, since it will assist in the expansion of the public’s knowledge and the education of children.” But the only task that television precisely has not done during its lifetime was to properly educate in accordance with the Iranian indigenous norms. In contrast, the prevalence of vulgarity and manifestations of modernity had emerged, thanks to the rapid modernization of the White Revolution and American plans.

One of the goals of the Radio and Television Station, since its inception in 1337 [1958] by Habib Sabet, has been to promote the Baha’i Faith.

The separate methods, but similar outcome, that existed between the anti-Islamic policies of the shah and the Baha’i sect paved the way for the triple exploitation of the representation of imperial glory, instilling an atmosphere of modernity, and strengthened Western thoughts and ideas.