[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]


Your Highness, The Prime Minister,

Respectfully, I convey the following. It is not unknown to the authorities—indeed, it is more visible than the sun—that Baha’i individuals, according to the sacred teachings of their Faith, consider themselves obligated to obey their governments in all matters, and do not consider it permissible to disobey them, even by as much as a mustard seed. If anyone stands in opposition to this, just as he is considered guilty with respect to the laws of the government, he will also be violating the laws and ordinances of his Faith, for he has not followed the traditions and teachings of God, and would be censured by individuals and the community. Obeying the government is one of the certain and definitive obligations of every Baha’i.  There is no exception, and anyone violating it is at fault. Thus, each Baha’i considers opposition to the laws of the government contrary to the teachings of his Faith and, as much as it is in his power, tries not to be considered at fault by the representative of his religion, namely his conscience, nor by the laws of the government. Therefore, in accordance with all heavenly books, people need to get married based on the teachings of religion and nature and in order to maintain order in the world of humanity. The necessity of this is clear.

On that basis, this servant, Rostam Movaffagh, the head of the Oil Corporation of Zanjan, married Miss Parivash Azari on 22 Mordad 1315 [13 August 1936] according to the teachings of my religion. As required by the laws of the country, I went to the Notary Public Office number 1 of Qazvin and requested that the marriage be recorded. They refused and did not record it. I then reported the incident, with the certificate, to the authorities by sending two reports through the Post Office. Now, after three years have passed, on 3 Aban 1318 [26 October 1939] I was summoned by the Zanjan interrogator, and after a brief interrogation, they detained me for two days and nights, without regard to their responsibilities or respect for my situation, on the pretext of assigning an attorney and refusing bond. They did to me what they do to murderers and thieves.

I ask Your Highness, if someone considers himself a follower of religion and acts according to it, does he deserve to be jailed and tortured? In this illumined era of the Pahlavi kingdom, whose light of justice has brightened the world of humanity, I am sure that the esteemed members of the government will also not be satisfied that such aggressions and assaults are being inflicted upon the oppressed people under them.

The decision belongs to Your Highness.

Rostam Movaffagh


[Stamp: Receipt by the Office of the Prime Minister]

Number: 10937

Dated: 4 Azar 1318 [26 November 1939]