May 19, 2015
Translation by sen’s daily
Saham News has published an order from the chief of police, dating from April 8, 2010, which clarifies which economic sectors are forbidden for Baha’is. Because Baha’is in Iran are excluded from employment in the civil service, education and health, and other major sectors, many of them start small shops or workshops in sectors where this is permitted, but the rules they must obey have been kept secret. This order from the chief of police to police bureaus all over the country instructs them to constrain, limit and police the activities of Baha’is in the specified fields, and ensure the Baha’is do not constitute a significant presence in society.
The order specifies that Baha’is should not be allowed to earn high incomes, but may work or be employed at the standard minimum income. Baha’is may not work in cultural, educational or financial institutions, and are not to be allowed to work in the sectors of periodicals, jewelry, watchmaking, print-making, tourist agencies, car rentals, publishing and bookshops, photography, film-making, internet gaming, computers, or internet cafes. They may not own printing works or hotels and other accommodation for travelers, or teach tailoring skills.
The order refers to the widespread Iranian belief that Baha’is are unclean, and requires the police bureaus to block them from restaurants, cafeterias and catering, food ingredients and foodstuff sales, takeaways (Iranian-style), cafe, butchers shops, supermarkets, the production and sale of ice-cream, fruit juice, soft drinks, pastry and sweets, and coffee.
Since this order was issued, the optometry sector has apparently been added to the list, on or before December 2014. In addition to these limitations on where Baha’is may work, the Ministry of Intelligence has pressured Muslims to cut social and economic ties with Baha’is, and Baha’i businesses across Iran have been shut down where they close to observe the Baha’i Holy Days.