[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
Islamic Republic of Iran Revolutionary Council
With utmost respect, I wish to present to you that, as you are aware, at the early stages of the revolution in the Islamic Republic of Iran, various scholars of religious jurisprudence―in particular, Grand Ayatollah Khomeini, Ayatollah Shariatmadari and Ayatollah Taleghani, may they reside in God’s paradise―made unequivocal declarations through the media stating that the rights of all religious minorities, including those not recognized as official by the state law, should be fully preserved and protected against any violation. Based on the explicit verses, “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” and “You will never see any imperfection in the creation of the Most Compassionate”, the people of the country should enjoy equal rights. No doubt these declarations, presented by the highly qualified religious jurists, who, according to the utterances of Imam Sadeq (PBUH) are protectors and defenders of the religion, and who are free from passion and selfish desires and submissive to the law of the Lord, can in no wise be attributed to any political motives; therefore, compliance with their religious judgements has been and always will be the obligation of all establishments and authorities in the Islamic Republic. In addition, no devoted Muslim can voice any opinion contradicting the revealed verses of the Holy Quran, the Sublime Book. Further, based on the ratified regulations by the Assembly of Experts, Articles 3 (paragraphs 9 and 14), 22, 23 and 56, and based on the explicit verses of the Quran, the social and human rights of all the people of Iran are considered equal.
Unquestionably, no law or declaration contradicting the laws of the Quran or articles of the constitution can ever be ratified; yet, regrettably, it is unclear on what basis they can consider employment of adherents to other than the official religions (Islam, Zoroastrianism, Jewish and Christianity) to be categorically inadmissible in the armed forces. It is noteworthy that they have extended this policy to the retired and those entitled to pensions and other benefits; consequently, adherents to religions other than the ones mentioned above are categorically deprived of their social rights and other benefits recognized by the National and Military Employment Act. The above declaration of their inadmissibility indisputably contradicts the explicit verses of the Quran and violates the Constitution and National and Military Employment Act. By ratifying this declaration and the above-mentioned article, the Ground Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran intends to discharge all personnel who belong to other than the four mentioned religions.
Since the establishment of the Islamic revolution in Iran, the Baha’i Community of Iran has issued frequent statements to that sublime body and has declared that, first, Baha’is comprise the largest religious minority in Iran, and second, it is the only religious minority that attests to the truth of the pure religion of Islam and the Holy Quran. Violation of their rights, therefore, has no justification in a government with Islamic justice. In other words, the contents of the above declaration can be compared to a Christian government’s creating similar conditions for its Muslim citizens, which is an undertaking contrary to the principles of divine religions.
God’s utterance in the Holy Quran reads: “O believers! Stand firm for justice as witnesses for Allah, even if it is against yourselves”. Compliance with divine justice is the duty of every devoted Muslim. Submitting to the said decree is recanting one’s faith and is in contradiction to the holy verses of [the Quran] “Let there be no compulsion in religion”, and “You have your way, and I have My way.” No doubt, should the Baha’is, based on the above-mentioned declaration, be in need of guidance in their choice, then such guidance can in no wise be based on any intellectual or religious grounds.
At this period of time, in particular, no free person can ever accept any ideology or belief outside the realm of logic and reason. Regarding dismissal from our jobs, after years of official and loyal services during the most valuable years of our lives, providing dedicated services to the state and to the public under extremely difficult circumstances, and contributing part of our salaries to the pension fund according to the employment regulations, enactment of such a declaration, depriving us of all retirement rights and benefits, in a government based on Islamic justice, will not meet with approval from the Seal of the Prophets (PBUH) and the righteousness of the pure Imams (PBUT) and does not correspond to any divine law or ordinance.
We therefore wish to request that the above declaration be revoked, its traces removed and a strict order regarding return to service and safeguarding of our rights be issued.
[Handwritten notes at the bottom of the page]
Handwritten by Mr. Vahdat-i-Hagh