Editor’s Note: The following disturbing report is a translation of a news story appearing in Iran Press News (reference cited below).
An unknown group has used explosives to attack several Baha’i homes in Semnan in a deeply alarming assault.
In a continuation of recent persecutions and harassment of the Baha’is of Semnan, once again, at one o’clock in the morning on Wednesday, 25 February 2009, an appalling and brutal attack was carried out against the Baha’is of this town by an unknown group.
This attack started with makeshift hand-grenades (known as Molotov cocktails) being thrown. A number of individuals intended to fire-bomb two Baha’i residences by throwing these explosive materials through the windows of two apartments belonging to Baha’i families of Semnan by the names of Pirasteh and Pur-Husayni. Luckily, their bombs hit the edges and did not enter through the windows.
It should be noted that on 15 December 2008, these same apartments were raided by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence, when a large quantity of personal affects, such as documents and papers, were confiscated by the Security forces.
Subsequent to that incident, on 1 February 2009, a similar attack took place against the residence of another Baha’i of this city by the name of Mr. Khanjani. In that incident, once again, his home was assaulted using explosive materials.
These attacks have taken place in an environment charged by the Imam Jum’ih of Semnan, Ayatollah Siyyid Muhammad Shah-Cheraqi, who in the course of his sermon on Friday, 20 February 2009, spoke about the letter of the country’s Attorney General to the Minister of Intelligence in which he requested severe and final confrontation with the Baha’is through legal channels. The Ayatollah declared, “The same way that the people were able to throw out the Shah from Iran, they can rid this nation of the Baha’is.” He also stated that according to religious rulings, business transactions and marriages with the Baha’is are not permissible.
Of recent attacks on the Baha’i community of Semnan, the following can be enumerated:
- A widespread attack on the homes of many Baha’is on 15 December 2008.
- Arrest of Mrs. Sahba Rezvani (Fana’ian), one of the Baha’i organizers in Semnan, on 15 December 2008.
- Arrest of Mr. Adel Fana’ian, Mr. Abbas Nurani (who were both among the present Baha’i organizers in Semnan) and Mr. Taher Eskandarian (a former Baha’i organizer in Semnan) on 4 January 2009.
- Attack with a Molotov Cocktail on 1 February 2009 on the home of Mr. Khanjani, one of the Baha’is of Semnan.
- Destruction and burning of the Baha’i Cemetery of Semnan on 15 February 2009.
Given the intensity of these recent assaults, it can be said that the condition of the Baha’is of Semnan is most disturbing.
[Story originally published on Wednesday, 25 February 2009 at http://hra-iran.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=592:564&catid=84:502&Itemid=219. Translated by Iran Press Watch.]