[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]


The Difficult Task of Monitoring Constitutional Compliance[1]

Section 7, Minorities

[Page:] 623, 624


In the Name of God


Number 80-3126

Dated 16 Khordad 1380 [6 June 2001]


Hojjatol-Islam Mr. Abtahi

Esteemed Head of the President’s Office


Pursuant to letter number M/80-1063, dated 29 Ordibehesht 1380 [19 May 2001], enclosed with letter number 420/1-1326, dated 23 Ordibehesht 1380 [13 May 2001], from the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, and also enclosed with letter number M/80-280, dated 1 Ordibehesht 1380 [21 April 2001], containing the postscript of the honourable president, and enclosed with letter number M/S/102, dated 20 Farvardin 1380 [9 April 2001], from the head of the National University Entrance Examination Administration, regarding denial of higher education to a female Baha’i university student at Yazd’s College of [Her] Holiness Rughayyah[2] [Praise be upon Her],  we convey the following. 

The details of the matter and the legal basis of the aforementioned decision were announced previously through letter number M/79-2586, dated 9 Esfand 1379 [27 February 2001], and naturally there is nothing new to present in this regard.  In the letter from the National University Entrance Examination Administration, reference has been made to the policy approved by the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution in 1376 [1997-1998] regarding identifying evidence of enmity, including promotion of materialism and manmade religions, which results in the disqualification of the applicant.  The Secretariat of the Supreme National Security Council has also issued the guidance that if a Baha’i student promises not to express that they are a Baha’i and refrains from teaching [their Faith], they can continue their education.  While the wisdom of this decision, which is referred to in section 3 of the letter—namely, the misuse by international human rights organizations of the issue of getting a promise [from a person] not to express their belief—will continue to remain in question; in any case, it is a solution that, if acceptable, can be enforced in other similar cases.  However, it appears that the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, which is headed by the president and considers its policies as equivalent to other laws that need to be enforced, must clarify the ruling on the policies passed in 1363 [1984-1985] and 1369 [1990-1991] regarding the Baha’i sect—which makes the sole selection to be a Baha’i a cause for deprivation [of a student] from entering the university, and if they do enter, to be denied continuation of education—and announce it to the Department of Higher Education, so that it can be enforced uniformly everywhere.  If it is the opinion of the authorities that teaching [one’s Faith] is cause for denial of education, and not solely the belief and public knowledge of it, it would be best, as mentioned above, to issue an amendment to the policy so that the path of action can be clarified.  Otherwise, the problem will continue to persist, and, naturally, the criticism of the human rights legal organizations will also continue.


Hosein Mehrpour

[Legal] Counsel of the President and Head of the Committee for Investigation and Overseeing the Enforcement of the Constitution



[1] From a book: The Difficult Task of Monitoring Constitutional Compliance- Vazifeh Doshvar-e Nezarat bar Ejraeh Ghanoon-e Asasee 1376 – 1384 (1997-2006). Dr. Hosein Mehrpour, Tehran, Saales Publication, 1384 (2005)

[2] [Sukaynah, also known as Ruqayyah bint Al-Ḥusayn, was the daughter of Husayn ibn Ali, the third Imam]