[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]


Date: 20 Shahrivar 1359 [11 September 1980]


Hojatoleslam Hashemi Rafsanjani, the Honourable Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran

With respect, it is hereby conveyed that in the early morning of 17 Shahrivar [8 September] seven of the wronged Baha’is of Yazd, who had been sentenced to death by the verdict issued by the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Justice of Yazd, were executed, causing sorrow, concern and anxiety for thousands of Baha’i families throughout the dear country of Iran.

In the notification issued by the Yazd Public Prosecutor’s Office, published in the last page of Kayhan Newspaper, dated Tuesday, 18 Shahrivar 1359 [9 September 1980], regrettably, and with reference to certain reports issued by the office of the Islamic Revolution [of Iran] Document Centre, and while none of the documents referred to had been subject to public [scrutiny], the Baha’is have been [labelled] as leaders of the infidels, venal and corrupt, enemies of Islam, betrayers of the Holy Quran, servants of the United States and Israel, and spies against the Islamic Revolution of Iran; above all, the Assembly of the Baha’is of Yazd was presented as an agency for espionage. These allegations are strongly and intensely denied by the Baha’i community.

The Baha’i community of Iran has always, and especially time and again since the Islamic revolution, conveyed to the authorities the principles of its belief. This has been done both verbally and in writing, in all sincerity and based on the Baha’i teachings and writings that uphold the belief in the Oneness of God; in the oneness of the basis of all Divine Religions; in the holy Manifestations of God, and specifically, the Seal of the Prophets (PBUH) and the pure Imams; and in the need to cling to spirituality and religion. It has also been clearly stated that although the Baha’is uphold the principles of the unity of mankind, universal peace, and unity and harmony between all peoples, according to their belief, they have strong ties to their homeland and country, and regard service to their nation and its people as an unfailing duty.

Despite the objections and criticism of the cavillers, they are strictly prohibited from interference in political matters, and they refrain from every conspiracy, scheming, and treachery. They are not affiliated with any [political] party, and do not resort or adhere to foreign governments. But rather, according to the guidance of the Founder of the Baha’i teachings stating that [Arabic verse][1], at times of intense tribulations and hardships, they appeal to the respected authorities, pleading for justice.

If their rights be safeguarded, well and good; and if not, they will bear and endure what comes to pass; they will willingly resign and commit their affairs to His care and to the divine decree. Your Excellency, who is now occupying the seat of justice and fairness, and who is considered the authority in charge and the defender of the masses in the beloved country of Iran, would confirm that, praise be to God, throughout the 19 months that have passed since the Islamic revolution in this country, and despite enduring all kinds of cruelty, persecution and oppression, be it beating and violence, pillage, plundering of belongings, demolition of Holy Places, and the execution of individuals, the Baha’i community of Iran has not deviated by a hair’s breadth from this commandment, and has not walked in any path other than appealing and pleading for justice, and has remained resigned and submissive.

Considering the above, would Islamic justice and fairness demand that individuals who, according to the Writings and Teachings of the Baha’i Faith, uphold such beliefs, be introduced as leaders of the infidels, venal and corrupt, enemies of Islam, betrayers of the Holy Quran, servants of the United States and Israel, and spies against the Islamic Revolution of Iran, and in addition to the allegations of the past, for them to be [subject to] such strange and heavy accusations, thus tainting the minds of our dear compatriots against this wronged and defenceless community? Over sixty years ago, Abdu’l-Baha clarified that at any time, a true Baha’i, in whatever country and land he may reside, will always have this statement in mind and will diligently observe it: [Persian verse][2].

In the announcement sent out by the Office of the Prosecutor of the Islamic Revolution of Yazd, in addition to the above-mentioned allegations brought against the members of the Baha’i community, the Local Assembly of the Baha’is in Yazd has been presented as a spy agency. This is the cause of much disappointment and surprise, especially as a Spiritual Assembly has absolutely no right to interfere in political affairs and matters of the state. Its duty is to administer the spiritual and social affairs and attend to the problems of the members of the local Baha’i community. The duties and functions of the Local Baha’i Assemblies and their members are explained and specified in the Baha’i Writings, which, fortunately, are available to the respected authorities of the government of the Islamic Republic. These duties and requisites are stated below:

Purity of motive and intentions; not to protest against the government; non-interference in politics; the constant encouragement of Baha’is to obey the government and serve the nation and its peoples; the prohibition against all that may lead to mischief and sedition; to serve all with selfless love and friendship; the education of children; instruction in useful sciences; founding of schools; developing means for crafts, business and agriculture; the relief of the poor, and the helping of the feeble ones; the provision for minors, orphans, widows, and the ailing; the rehabilitation and betterment of the affairs of people; the protection of the individuals, safeguarding their honour, and strengthening the spirit of cooperation and collaborative action amongst the members of the community. Is it fair and just that a Local Assembly with such duties, the nine members of which are elected by the Baha’is of each locality for a period of one year, and who have no rank and special post, be regarded as an organization for espionage? At present, in the beloved country of Iran as well as throughout the world, there are thousands of such Baha’i Spiritual Assemblies in every city and locality, carrying out the obligations that were mentioned above. They have never deviated to the least extent from their spiritual duties, and God forbid, none of them have been accused of conspiracy, scheming, espionage and treachery against the country and nation.

We ask and beseech your honourable and respected authority to act according to the blessed verse, “Be just! That is closer to righteousness.”[3], and to regard, with fairness and justice, this wronged, oppressed, obedient, service-oriented community that cares deeply for the beloved country of Iran, which has for years experienced oppression and cruelty, and which is now under the shadow and protection of the government of Islamic justice. [We ask that] you resolve to safeguard its human and social rights, and protect the lives, possessions and honour of its members, thus bringing peace and tranquillity to the hearts of thousands of anxious and perturbed Baha’i families, and not permit the reflection of these acts and deeds to harm and impair the good name and reputation of the Islamic Republic of Iran throughout the countries of the world.

On behalf of the Baha’i Community of Iran






[1] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

"علیکم بولاة الامور و ملاذالجمهور"

[2] [The authorized translation of this text is not available in English. The original text is as follows:]

 "هر ذلتی را تحمل توان نمود مگر خیانت بوطن و هر گناهی قابل عفو و مغفرت است مگر هتک ناموس دولت و مضرت ملت"

[3] [Quran 5:8] https://quran.com/5