[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]
[Newspaper:] Post-e Tehran
[Date:] 23 Mehr 1334 [16 October 1955]
[Issue No.:] 712
The National Consultative Assembly
At 10:15 in the morning today, a public session of the National Consultative Assembly was held ...
Minority Leader Statements
Mr. Speaker – Mr. Haerizadeh
Haerizadeh: May God have mercy on the late Mostashar al-Dowleh Sadegh, who had worked hard for the constitution at the beginning of [its development] and was very involved in the affairs, and in the agreement that Vosoughod-Dowleh wanted to make with the British in 1919 . One of the opponents was Mostashar al-Dowleh, who was sent to Kashan as exile....
The Yazd Incident
Mr. Haerizadeh added that these Baha’is were divided into several groups, each of which was the fifth pillar of a tyrannical state. Some Baha’is belonged to the Russians and others to the British.
[Haerizadeh:] At that time, I was a child and I was in Yazd, and I think there was a riot in Yazd and a murder; killings took place by provoking the sentiments of the majority. The killings and murders continued for some time until my father went to the pulpit and put out the fire, and gave advice. He said that the Baha’is should not be killed in this way; if there was an apostate, his [verdict] should be determined by the judge, not in this way, and there would finally be an end to the current. I understand today that these games have been [going on] every day in Iran to pursue a policy and to treat like this a weak minority who are ashamed of introducing themselves and who do not believe in patriotic and national principles. They are a set of the fifth foreign column. After the return of His Majesty the King from America and England, this religion was promoted and the emotions of the people were provoked by speeches, radio and newspapers. When a person had a dispute with another person―like the time when one was hostile to someone and would say that this person is from the Tudeh [Party]―at this time, it was said that this person was a Baha’i.
There is a village in Yazd called Poshtkuh, which is one hundred kilometres away from the City of Yazd. The means of civilization are very few and they do not have schools and cultural facilities. There was a farm there called “Hormozak”, which was owned half by the Baha’is and half by the Muslims and some events caused a conflict between them. Most of the gendarmerie agents were involved; local agents extorted money from the Baha’is, and the money was spent.
At the beginning of the situation, which was in the month of Ramadan, the radio broadcast this sound all over Iran, announcing the government’s interest in religious issues, and the photo of government officials, who headed the army headquarters and destroyed their Baha’i homes, provoked the feelings of the people of the cities and provinces.
A Mr. Khalkhali went there from Qom to a village called Marvast, where some people owned property. This gentleman had gone, and they had seen that there was propaganda, so they went from there to the city with a group of gendarmes and arrested this gentleman; the Baha’is also insulted him. And then he was deported to Qom under the Social Security Act. Then they said it was not appropriate and they deported him to the City of Khash. Government officials pretended to support the Baha’is; however they created a dispute between them.
The situation got to the point where a Baha’i resident of the Hormozak neighbourhood, whose wife was Zoroastrian and whose son was in the United States, went to the public bathhouse. And the manager said, “If I let you go in [since you are Baha’i], the Muslims will say that this bathhouse is unclean. Go somewhere else.” The behavior of these people led to obscenity. They went to the gendarmerie checkpoint and brought some of them, and said, “Why they do not let us enter the bathhouse and take a bath?” The gendarmerie officers called the bathhouse [manager] and said, “Why did you not let them in?” He said, “They are Baha’is and Zoroastrians.” The gendarmes beat the manager of the bathhouse and several others.
These people went to the next farm and the gendarmerie officer, because he was afraid of people making a fuss, went to the house of the headman of the farm, and this fueled the troubles. The headman of the village said, “Go to the telegraph office and complain.” The rest of those who had been beaten went to the village, where there were no more than seven or eight families. Six men and a woman were killed, and their homes were set on fire.
(Dr. Jazayeri - Is this trend new?) “I will say it now.”
(The speaker of the parliament: “You have only three minutes”)
[Haerizadeh:] “So, gentlemen, do not ask questions; this will cause riots and chaos! And before forces reached there from the police station, those who were in charge of the place ran away and left, and when [the gendarmes] entered, they stripped everyone who had some money. In the city, these few gendarmes left nothing; they arrested and tortured people, one of whom was a girl whose father and uncle were killed and who is still in prison. They arrested and imprisoned 63 people, and in retaliation for the murder of Abarghou, they insisted on torturing them in prison. Now we do not know what happened to them.
This is the policy of the United Kingdom in India, because a government that is elected by the people does not make these mistakes to provoke the feelings of the people and make the peace-loving people kill each other. Whatever they did was to annex us to them, and the government deliberately created this corruption against us; I wanted to make this known to the world.”