[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]
[Adapted from website:] Tasnim News Agency
[Date:] 26 Azar 1397 [17 December 2018]
Ayatollah Montazeri’s Assistance to the Families of Monafeghin and Baha’is With the Share of the Imam
According to the political group of Tasnim News Agency, on Wednesday, 30 Aban [21 November], a debate entitled “Bayt [office] of Ayatollah Montazeri and the 1360s [1980s]” was held in the presence of Abbas Salimi-Namin, Morteza Bagheri, Mostafa Izadi, relatives of the late Montazeri, and Mojtaba Lotfi, a member of the office of Ayatollah Montazeri.
The controversial point of this meeting was the reference of a student of Ayatollah Montazeri to an issue that had not been raised before by Ayatollah Montazeri’s followers, and that is his assistance to the Mojahedin-Khalq (Monafeghin) and even the Baha’is. During the meeting of the Bayt of Ayatollah Montazeri and the 1360s [1980s], Hojatoleslam Mojtaba Lotfi, a member of the office of Ayatollah Montazeri, said, “Ayatollah Montazeri did only one humane thing, and that was to help the families of prisoners, including Baha’is, Muslims, Mojahedin and the Communists, before and after the Revolution. His daughter, Ashraf Montazeri, was Ayatollah Montazeri’s liaison to help the families of the prisoners. The head of Ghezel Hesar Prison asked her why she was helping them, and she answered, “Aren’t you feeding the prisoners? Well, their wives and children are also human beings.”
Lotfi’s words were echoed, and received many reactions. Mr. Hussein Saffar-Harandi, in a note entitled “This Stain Does Not Stick to the Robes of Religious Authority”, wrote, “Since the convicts of the perverse Baha’i sect and their families are directly under the protection of the global network of this colonial sect and the Israeli regime, concern about the fate of their families is unwarranted and a sign of naivety; also, this concern about the family of the Monafeghin is unfounded due to the organizational actions of the Monafeghin organization, and if the responsibility is to be directed somewhere, it should be [directed] to the government institutions and not the religious authority.”
Didar News emphasizes in its article that proving a big claim related to Ayatollah Montazeri’s help to the Monafeghin in the years after the revolution, and even worse, to the Baha’is, requires an independent reason and documentation, and these careless and inaccurate words of those around him cannot be considered as an important document. Certainly, Mojtaba Lotfi’s words were a polemical statement in that emotional atmosphere of the debate, and he himself has no reason to prove Ayatollah Montazeri’s help to “Zoroaster, Baha’i, Mojahed and the Communist” in the years after the revolution.
Abbas Salimi-Namin, director of the Office for the Study and Compilation of Iranian History, also told Didar News about the note entitled “What Is the Story of Ayatollah Montazeri’s Helping the Families of the Mojahedin and the Baha’is?” He remarked and wrote, “In the last part of the note, you have said, ‘Proving the big claim as to Ayatollah Montazeri’s help to the Monafeghin in the years after the revolution, and even worse, to the Baha’is, requires independent proof, and the careless and inaccurate words of those around him cannot be substantiated. Mr. Mojtaba Lotfi, as a legal person, and not a real [spokesman] on behalf of the House of Ayatollah Montazeri, has made this claim, and I have only quoted his words. Meanwhile, I am not in Ayatollah Montazeri’s office to have access to the documents. On the other hand, is it logical for me to provide a document and evidence for the claim they have made?”
Of course, it should not be forgotten that it was Ayatollah Hussein-Ali Montazeri, in Khordad 1388 [May/June 2008] who stressed the need to protect the civil rights of Baha’is in the country, and, based on media reports including the foreign news outlets, including foreign new agencies and the office of Ayatollah Montazeri, even confirmed the accuracy of Ayatollah Montazeri’s answer. Even this marja-i-taqlid [religious jurisprudence authority] in Shahrivar 1388 [August/September of 2008] claimed about this sect that, “According to the conditions and characteristics of the two titles of fighter and corruptor in jurisprudence, these two titles do not apply to the mentioned sect; this sect does not accept the finality of the Prophet of Islam, and they are infidels, and in relation to socializing and trading with them, the law must be followed.”
Source: Sobh-e No Newspaper