[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:] Ettelaat

[Date:] Saturday 5- 2- 1360 [25 April 1981]

[Issue No:] 16411


Court Hearing for the Chairperson of the Baha’i Assembly of Karaj Commenced Deliberations

Branch One of the Central Islamic Revolutionary Court has commenced proceedings to consider the file of Farhang Mavaddat, who is accused of being a Baha’i and active in the promotion of this false and perverse ideology. H Gilani is the presiding judge.

First, the indictment issued against the accused was read, stating that:

Farhang Mavaddat, son of Feizollah, born in 1304 (1925); religion Baha’i; Iranian citizen; married with children; no criminal record; resident of Karaj; has admitted that he was employed after graduation as a chemist in the sugar factory of Abkuh, and was later employed in factories and companies in the private sector. He is one of the active leaders of the perverse Baha’i sect and has served for 10 years as the chairman of the Baha’i Assembly of Karaj until 1359 [1980]. He has been very effective and active in propagation of this perverse ideology, and has made significant financial contributions to the office of the Baha’i Assembly and the Nawnahalan Company.

Subsequently, the charges set against Farhang Mavaddat in the indictment were read as follows:

1. Intellectual and financial support of Bahaism, and promoting Bahaism with intent to divert public opinions;

2. Effective efforts in the Baha’i Assembly of Karaj by being its chairman for ten years;

3. Participation in the publication of a provocative journal of a counter­revolutionary nature against the Islamic Republic of Iran;

4. Keeping a number of cassette tapes with contents in violation of public virtues and Islamic standards.

Subsequent to reading the indictment, Hojatoleslam Gilani, presiding religious judge, began to exhort the accused, saying, “It is my humanitarian obligation to ask you to study other schools of thought and remind you that you are not being put on trial solely on the charges of being a Baha’i.” 

The accused, in response to the exhortations and statements of the religious judge, said, “As you have indicated, we firmly believe in the exalted Quran. I have, in fact, three copies of the Quran in my home, one of which is always within my reach. I have visited the holy places, including Karbala, many times.”

The trial prosecutor then asked the accused to identify his stocks in different companies. In response, the accused listed the following:

15 x 10 tuman in Kermanshah Milk Factory;

30,000 tuman in Kermanshah Sugar Factory;

190,000 tuman in Karaj Sugar Factory;

200,000 tuman in Mazandaran Textile Factory; and

12,000 tuman in the Nawnahalan Company

The prosecutor then asked the accused about his family. To which the accused replied, “I have a wife and three children. My wife used to work in the Customs Office, but I believe they have discharged her. Two of my children are studying in America, and another one in Austria.”

In regard to other items on the indictments, the accused stated, “Until 1359 (1980) I was a member of the Baha’i Assembly, but I have never distributed any publication against the Islamic Republic. Concerning the tapes, I must mention that you may play all of them right here, and if you find in these tapes anything except classical Iranian music, then you may execute me.”

The prosecutor then asked the accused to elaborate on that item of indictment which relates to “intellectual and financial support of Bahaism.” The accused stated, “We needed funds to maintain the cemetery and buildings of the Baha’i community; therefore, we asked people for their financial support. In regards to Baha’i children’s classes, I must say that there were classes held, but the attendance in these classes was limited to my children and their friends, and no discussion ever took place except on the topics of development of virtues and high moral standards.”

The presiding judge again emphatically said, “I give you counsel to study other ideologies and schools of thought and choose the best”. The court then began its deliberations in order to issue final verdict.