[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
Dated 12 Dey 1358 [2 January 1980]
His Holiness Ayatollah Beheshti, continued be his blessed emanations,
With utmost respect and reverence, and with regard to our last week’s face-to-face discussions, I wish to submit for your attention that, although Islamic criteria in every instance calls for equity and justice, and the supreme leader, His Holiness Grand Ayatollah Imam Khomeini, has, time and again, issued strict orders regarding protection of rights for every class and every minority; and also according to the constitutional law, which has been ratified and enacted―Article one [cites]: “Governance of the right, justice and the Quran”; and in the second Article [it states that the] Islamic Republic of Iran is established on faith and divine justice (paragraph 4), and [mentions] removal of wrongful discrimination and provision of fair opportunities for everyone, in all material and intellectual aspects (paragraph 9), to guarantee full human rights for all, men and women, impartial judicial protection for everyone and equal treatment by law for all (paragraph 14); and considering that this defenceless community has proved its absolute obedience and sincere services by its words and deeds in every situation―the unfair and wrongful dismissal of the Baha’i officers has prompted this minority [group] to submit this petition.
As you are aware, Baha’is have been in this country for 136 years and form its largest religious minority. They confess to the oneness of God and believe in all the Prophets, the Messengers and the pure Imams―the peace and blessings of God be upon Them all―and testify to the truth of all the heavenly books, including the holy Quran. They follow the principle of oneness and fellowship with all mankind, obey the government and law of the land at all times, and do their utmost to preserve the interests of their homeland under all conditions.
Now, as shown in the attached document, and according to a singular by-law, a large group of officers who have spent all their lives [demonstrating the] utmost sincerity, honesty and determination in service to the state and its people, have been dismissed from their jobs. They are even considering depriving the retired and salaried officers of their pension―a fund towards which they have contributed a fixed amount of their own monthly salary over the period of their services. What crime have these people, who honestly and emphatically expressed their belief, committed to deserve such injustice, resulting in their public and open indignity? Don’t they have wives and children entitled to maintenance? Would it be fair for someone, in a country with Islamic justice, to spend all his youthful years, material powers and intellectual capabilities, [observing] the highest standards and [with] utmost integrity, when [he] reaches his old age and becomes helpless, to be deprived of his pension, a fund towards which he himself had contributed?
Article 23 of the [Constitution] explicitly forbids inquisition and persecution of belief and no one should be persecuted solely because of his belief.
This community, therefore, as prescribed by the divine law, “Let there be no compulsion in religion, for the truth stands out clearly from falsehood.” and “You have your way, and I have my Way,” wishes to request the pension of the retired and salaried officers [to continue] to be paid, as before. Regarding currently employed people, should the government authorities be determined to dismiss them from their services, then at least grant them the right to [their] pension and treat them on the basis of a fair and deserving justice.