[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
The Ministry of the Interior
Regional Government of Kashan County
Date: 24 Bahman 1322 [14 February 1944]
Ministry of the Interior,
Mr. Haji Seyyed Ne’matollah Mortazavi, one of the clergy in Natanz, has sent a report to the governor’s office regarding the following:
For a while now, groups of outsiders comprising 40 people from Isfahan, Yazd, and Tehran, have entered Natanz under various guises and are occupied in different professions.
After investigation, it became known that these people were Baha’is, who, for the purpose of teaching and spreading the Baha’i sect, have scattered and are residing here. They are determined to make every effort to lead simple-minded villagers astray and invite them into their way of life.
This situation has aroused in the people of Natanz, who are fanatically devout Muslims, an adverse reaction causing hatred and public revulsion—so much so that during Ashura the general population of Natanz decided to start a disturbance to run the above-mentioned individuals out of this area. However, Mr. Mortazavi, who is a very important cleric in Natanz, was able to convince people, through good advice and counsel, to forgo their plans. He has requested the regional government to keep the peace and prevent the spread of corruption by taking appropriate actions to remove these people, who are effective at sowing superstitions and creating blasphemy and heterodoxy.
As it happens, similar religious strife occurred between the residents of Barzok and a few Baha’is. Their grievances reached the governor’s office; it was tactfully arbitrated and conflict was prevented between them. However, to this day, there has been no resolution to the underlying problem.
What is well-known and clear is that, in recent years, Baha’is have followed a mandate from their leaders to pioneer, and for the purpose of teaching their faith have spread out to various localities, including villages. Continuation of such behaviour will probably cause greater conflict in the future and will result in such turmoil that extinguishing it will become more dangerous and difficult.
Based on this information, the governor of the District of Natanz has been emphatically directed to protect the order and discipline in the area, until appropriate directives of the Ministry are received.
The Governor General of Kashan – Adl Esfandiari [signature:]
[Handwritten note 1:] Law Enforcement Department, 1 Esfand 1322 [21 February 1944]
[Handwritten note 2:] Stamp: registered in the ledger of the Ministry of the Interior, number 60986, dated 4 Esfand 1322 [24 February 1944]
[Handwritten note 3:] Number 14284/N – 6 Esfand 1322 [26 February 1944]
[Handwritten note 4:] To be presented. 7 Esfand 1322 [27 February 1944]
[Handwritten note 5:] Mr. Hafizi, a directive from the vice-minister requests a joint report of the Department of Political Affairs and the Department of Public Security to be compiled for the minister of the interior.
[Handwritten notes 6:] Would respectfully report that: “The [allegation] of the Baha’is’ pioneering to the villages seems to be true. Since you are fully aware of Mahallat and other places, the Baha’is have scattered, and this same story is heard everywhere, which may cause unlawful events to occur. The Law Enforcement Department believes that the government’s attention is necessary in this matter and requires clear decisions. 12 Esfand [3 March], Emad Momtaz.
[Handwritten notes 7:] Get information from the Department of Political Affairs. There is much background material on it. Because the material is there, transfer this case to them. [Signature:] Head of the Public Security Department. 16 Esfand [7 March]
[Handwritten notes 8:] Noted, it has been archived in the Baha'is’ files.
[Handwritten notes 9:] stamp: The Ministry of the Interior, Department of Political Affairs, number 8082, dated 17 Esfand [8 March]