Translation by Iran Press Watch
According to BahaiNews, the personal business of Rezvanollah Babaian, a Baha’i resident of Mahdasht in Karaj, has been closed by government agents. All of the merchandise in the store has been seized as contraband.
Per BahaiNews, agents of the Government Sanctions Office of Alborz (Karaj) Province, an inspector from the Trades Office of Alborz Province, two Law Enforcement officers, and a mobile judge went to the business of Rezvanollah Babaian. In addition to the closure and sealing of the premises, they seized all of his belongings as contraband. According to an informed source, “officers went to the business of Mr. Babaian and they inquired about his religious beliefs. After he said that he was a Baha’i, his workplace was sealed and his belongings confiscated as contraband. This, despite the fact that documents of legal purchase and receipts were available for all merchandise in the store. The agents designated some imported items, such as water pumps, as proof that the items were contraband, although all the merchandise was legally purchased and documented.”
According to this source, “the control agents witnessed that the business license was legal and valid.”
The closure of this Baha’i business took place on March 1st, 2017, in the presence of the Mobile Judge, Mr. Khanzadeh, two Law Enforcement officers, the inspector of the Trades Office, and representatives from the Government Sanctions Office of Alborz Province. On April 8th, 2017, Rezvanollah Babaian will have his court proceedings.
Over the last two months, the closure and confiscation of Baha’i citizens’ businesses have increased significantly.
According to certain informed sources and available news reports of BahaiNews, over the last two months, businesses and properties of at least 12 Baha’is in the province of Alborz were shut down, and their property confiscated.
BahaiNews has previously reported that the reason for the government closure of Baha’i businesses was opposition of the Intelligence forces against the recognition of the 9 Baha’i religious holidays as days off of work. We have witnessed closure of Baha’i businesses and the arrest of Baha’is across Iran, following Baha’i religious holidays. According to Trade Laws in Iran, those who have valid business permits are allowed to close their businesses for 15 days each year, and should they need to close for more than 15 days, they are to notify the Office of Properties.
- BahaiNews is an independent non-Baha’i initiative, and is not affiliated with any Baha’i institutions.