[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:] Iran

[Date:] Tuesday 24 Dey 1387 - 16 Moharram 1430 - 13 January 2009

[Issue No.:] 4120

[Page:] 3

 

Once Again London is Providing Special Service to the Perverse Sect

Iran [Newspaper] Report, From Behind the Scenes of British Persian Television

Iran News Network – Two and a half years ago, the then British Minister of Finance, during a speech at the Chatham House Research Institute in London, announced the allocation of an annual budget of 15 million pounds for the launch and operation of the BBC Persian language television network.

The British finance minister then said in the speech that the budget was allocated after a plan to launch the television network was put forward by the BBC’s guidance directors and approved by the board of trustees and the British Foreign Office. The allocation of funds by the British government to a media outlet that purports to inflict psychological influence on its Iranian audience was so suspicious that even the British Prime Minister noticed it and requested a plan to investigate it.

This was especially important as the British officials were aware of the grudge held by the Iranian people against British policies.

In this regard, the British Minister of Finance, in his speech, claimed that although the BBC Persian TV, is supposed to receive government funding, it will act completely independent of the British government regarding its news policies.

The BBC, meanwhile, has had similar intentions in the field of audio media for years. But research shows that the BBC Persian-language radio was launched under the direct influence of Iranian-born Baha’is, and over the years has sought to influence the implementation of British government policies in Iran.

Even up to recent times, Baha’i influence in the media has not diminished and remains pivotal.

In the period before the nationalization of the oil industry, the policies of this media were clearly against the interests of the Iranian nation and in favour of British rule. After the revolution, the BBC Persian language radio tried to influence the regime’s opposition media.

Although no precise information is available from the TV network’s founders and policy makers, a look at the content of the programs affiliated with this company can reveal what has not been said and will probably remain hidden. It may be inferred, given the Baha’i leadership’s concentration in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, that close ties exist between the BBC Persian, the Zionist regime, and the Iran’s political opposition parties.

This article intends to answer a fundamental question. Considering that the BBC Persian Service was established by one of the Baha’i sect leaders, to what extent is the Baha’i influence in the BBC Persian language media, and can this media be considered the mouthpiece of the Baha’is?

***

The BBC Persian Radio was established to counter the propaganda of the Persian-language radio station in Berlin, Germany, as well as to justify the military occupation of Iran by British and Soviet troops, plans which were made by the Allies months before the start of this radio. In fact, they established the Persian language radio to create a positive image of their future presence in the public opinion of the Iranian people. (1)

The BBC Persian Radio started broadcasting on 2 Dey 1319 [23 December 1940], exactly eight months before the Allied invasion of Iran in Shahrivar 1320 [August/September 1941]. (2)

But another point to clarify about the launching of the BBC Persian Radio is the role of Hasan Muvaqqar Balyuzi (3), (1908-1980), a prominent Baha’i leader in the BBC Persian language radio. According to the internal documents of the BBC World Service archive, his appointment had been based on the intervention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Since then, experience has shown that whether the Baha’is are influencing the policymaking of the Persian sector, or attracting desperate Iranian political dissidents, or the British Foreign Office’s is interfering in the media’s policies, in all of these ups and downs, the story remains the same.

One of the cases that both the officials of the BBC World Service and the reporters of the history of its Persian section, willingly or unwillingly have ignored or downplayed, is the undeniable presence and influence of Hasan Muvaqqar Balyuzi and other Baha’is over a long period of time, in seriously influencing the direction and policy of this media.

At the beginning of the establishment of the BBC Persian, Balyuzi was the first person to speak on the Persian radio. (4) He was a member of the Afnan family and a close relative of Mirza [sic] Ali Muhammad, The Bab and son of Muhammad Ali (Mahmoud) Muvaqqar al- Dowleh Balyuzi, then ruler of Bushehr and Ministry of Trade and Public Works in the cabinet of the coup d’etat of Zia’eddin Tabataba’i in late 1299 [1920] and early 1300 [1921]. (5) BBC hired Balyuzi a few months before he became a member of the Baha’i National Assembly known as Ridvan.

A few years after the establishment of the Persian section, Balyuzi was appointed as the closest adviser to Shoghi Effendi Rabbani, the last known Baha’i leader in the world. In 1956 Balyuzi was appointed as a so-called Hand of the Cause of God which, according to the followers of that perverse sect, is the membership in the highest administrative council of the Baha’is. (Roughly equivalent to a senior cardinal in the Catholic church).

In addition to writing about 10 publications on the history and propaganda of Baha’ism, for many years, Balyuzi was the chairman of the “Baha’i National Spiritual Assembly” of the British Isles, a position in which he served as the administrative and executive director of the Baha’is in Britain (6). For two decades of work for the BBC Persian, he became one of the principals and highly influential people of this network. (7)

During this time, Balyuzi influenced strongly both media and sectarian affairs, proving that the BBC officials, at least in the Persian section, were not committed to maintaining the neutrality of the producers regarding politics and religion. (8)

The prominent presence of Baha’is at various levels of the BBC World Service from top management of that network down, in addition to their subtle influences in the lower layers of the network, has had obvious manifestations. Among these were the fully endorsed and commissioned interviews with Mary Maxwell (by the title Ruhiyyih Khanum), the widow of former Baha’i leader Shoghi Effendi on 18 August 1981 (9). Reporting that resembles advertising is not limited to the BBC in recent years, and the publication of numerous news and reports, demonstrates that this policy continues the BBC’s promotion of Baha’ism against Iran.

We can provide examples by referring to a series of biased reports and advertisements by journalists from the Persian division in Israel and other Baha’i centres in Akko and Palestinian territories, which were prepared for the BBC Persian radio and their website in May 2007. In these articles, reporters accused the Iranian government of being anti-Baha’i and anti-Semitic (10).

Examining such articles, would lead us to not be surprised to learn that all the reporters and producers of such reports in Akko and other cities in the region, were quickly promoted in the BBC Persian, and in the recent changes and growths of this network, all of them have found a high position in television on the eve of its establishment.

Given that various sections of the BBC Persian are led by influential and prominent Baha’is, it is unclear how the BBC service directors could claim the independence of its editorial staff and the non-influence of outside currents. Today, the fact is that the Baha’is have no more trusted media in the world than the BBC Persian, and it has become a pretext for the group to exercise its preference and express sectarian exploitations of this group.

Postscript notes are available in the newspaper office.