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.]
February 26, 2009 5:46 pm
Either Ayatollah Khamanei has lost control of Iran or he is personally behind these coordinated and well planned attacks. No attack of this magnitude occurs in Iran without the Ayatollah’s approval. I believe the latter to be true.
February 26, 2009 7:19 pm
This is state-sanctioned, whether he or many “he’s” control the state. In the end, they do this to preserve their reactionary, bigoted regime. But in fact it will lead to its demise. The world and good Iranians everywhere will no longer stay silent.
February 26, 2009 8:07 pm
As the Supreme Leader of Iran, Khamanie exercises “actual command authority” over the entire security and basiji forces of the Iran as well as the clerical run mobs.
Per well informed Majlis deputies from both sides of the isle, Khamanie exercises “direct individual control” of the Bahai portfolio and all arrests, imprisonments and persecutions of religious and ethnic minorities across Iran are reviewed and approved by him personally.
February 26, 2009 9:25 pm
Good God. I had forgotten about that. You are right Nicolas.
February 26, 2009 10:32 pm
A frightening development. I can’t help but wonder if worldwide humanitarian outcry has precipitated this act as a desperate attempt by a benighted government that only knows intimidation. I agree with Barmak’s sentiments, good people will arise and call this for what it is . . .
February 26, 2009 11:45 pm
Couple of days ago, Mollahs started burrying the Khomaini/Saddam war deads of the 1980s in Amir Kabir University. It was a mad house there with student opposing the Mollahs from turning their university into a cemetary. I guess desparate times calls for desparate measures and the desparate actions of Mollahs in Iran sure fit that bill. Any regime that glorifies the dead over the living is one to stay away from. With 50%+ inflation, rampant corruption among the Mollahs and Aghazadehs and high unemployment, if Iran was a stock, I would short it and do what some rather influential Mollahs and Majlis members have been quietly doing lately and get my money out to establish residency abroad while the going is good. There must be something these “influential” Mollahs and Aghazadehs know that average Iranians don’t. Otherwise we wouldn’t be having so many visa requests to process. Just thought I share that tid bit.
February 27, 2009 3:13 am
When mollas attack the meek like this, it’s because they want to use the meek as scapegoats. The more sever the attack, the broader the coverup and persecution of the meek.
We all die sooner or later and the final judge is God. Is it sane then to burn peoples’ homes, destroy their cemetaries, consider them heretics and kill them when we all die sooner or later anyway? This earth isn’t worth all these killing. What is worth is leaving behind a legacy of being a just ruler not a ruthless one. One who is loved.
Not one who is feared. I don’t think any of your Imams would have been remembered by your people if they had ruled as you do in your country. No where have I read they ordered what you so eagerly do in their names in Iran.
The meek are always under the protection of God. They have nothing to fear. It is
those who incite violance that have to fear God.