Authorities Silent About Closing 102 Baha’i Shops in Mazandaran




Translation by Iran Press Watch

HRANA – After more than three weeks since the closure of 93 Baha’i-owned shops in Mazandaran province, in addition to the closure of 9 Baha’i-owned in Tonekabon over several months, authorities have not given any official or legal response to the owners of these stores. According to verbal statements made by the relevant authorities, the order to close the shops of the Baha’is of Mazandaran province was approved by the Provincial Security Council. However, none of the plaintiffs could meet with the governor of Mazandaran, Dr. Rabie Falah Jelowdar, during these three weeks. The prosecutor of Mazandaran, Asadullah Jafari, and the head of the judiciary in Mazandaran province, Hojjat al-Islam Mohammad Ali Taghavi Fard, have stated that the sealing of Baha’i-owned shops does not have any relation to the judiciary of the province. After repeated visits to the Governor’s office, even their letters to the Governor have not been registered there. The respective unions for these shops either pretend to be unaware of the closure of these units or they just deny responsibility towards the sealing of these businesses.   The Commission of the Supervision of the Chamber of Guilds responsible for keeping track and monitoring individual visits of trade owners has refused to accept or register their complaints.

According to HRANA News, the Human Rights Activists organization in Iran, despite the passage of about a month since the widespread closure of Baha’i shops in Mazandaran province, the judiciary and administrative authorities have been silent, and even the provincial judiciary has claimed that investigating this activity is unrelated to it.

It has been reported that, in the course of Baha’i citizens’ efforts to solve this problem, even some officials in the office of the Governorate prevented them from meeting with the Governor. Efforts to prevent a meeting of Baha’i business owners with the governor is such that five of these Baha’i citizens from Qaemshahr, who had their shops sealed on November 1 and 2, were arrested during a visit to the Governorate. Actions taken during their arrest and before was filmed by officers, but no evidence to suggest that they formed a demonstration or shouted slogans or raised placards, was ever presented by the respective agents. Behnam Mirzaie, Arsham Golpour, Nima Noukhah, Shahrouz Zamani, and Soheil Haghdoost are the citizens who were arrested on November 8 when visiting Mazandaran Governorate; they were released on bail of 20 million Toumans (approx $6,230) each on November 17, after nine days of incarceration.

Officials from the Office of Public Places have expressed the condition for reopening Baha’i-owned, sealed businesses to be to sign a pledge saying:

I ……… vow to close my business during the country’s official holidays, and I will respect the rules of the guild system. A week before my religious holidays I will inform the trade union, the Chamber of Guilds and the Office of Public Places, if agreed, that I will close my business. Otherwise, I shall be treated according to the law.

However, according to paragraph B of Article 28 of the Commercial Law, any trade unit owner may shut down 15 days a year without coordination with the trade union. Also, trade unions are the authorities who process closings during holidays, while the Office of Public Places in Mazandaran province in fact acted directly to seal the shops. It should be noted that the Office of Public Places is only an administrative enforcer. But in Mazandaran province, all issues related to sealing Baha’-owned businesses is referred to this organization, and other authorities ‒ even the Commission of Monitoring Unions ‒ refuse to accept complaints from Baha’i citizens or discuss them with the Ofice of Public Places for follow-up on their claims.

List of the Mazandaran citizens’ shops which were sealed on November 1 and 2, which coincided with the birthday of the Bab and Baha’u’llah, are as follows:

Noushahr (7 Shops)

  • Behshad Derakhshan: security systems business
  • Riazullah Heravi: watch repair shop
  • Manib Mansur: optician shop
  • Bahman Rouhani: photography business
  • Raki Yousefi: optician shop
  • Arastou Asadi: welding shop
  • Arash Derakhshanian: auto mechanic shop

Qaemshahr (31 Shops)

  • Fariborz Sabeti: appliance repair shop
  • Naim Samimi: auto body repair shop
  • Rezvaneh Samie: clothes boutique
  • Akbar Goli: confectionary equipment shop
  • Nima Miri: beauty and medical shop
  • Fazel Asadi: mobile phone repair shop
  • Shayan Ghedami: paint store
  • Zekrullah Akbari: welding shop
  • Shahin Akbari: metal sales business
  • Fariborz Sanaie: plastic store
  • Zekrullah Baba’ie: grocery store
  • Atrullah Movafagh: refrigeration repair shop
  • Dariush Bakhtiari: automotive design shop
  • Saeed Asadi: auto repair shop
  • Jalal Attaeian: medical supply shop
  • Shahrokh Asadi: refrigeration repair shop
  • Zahra Golabian: optician shop
  • Jobin Yousefi: security alarm shop
  • Sohrab Laghaie: optician shop
  • Farzad Sabeti: auto service shop
  • Changiz Derakhshan and Nima Va’dehkhah: toy store
  • Kourosh Ahmadzadegan: security systems shop
  • Alla-eddin Mirzaie: security systems shop
  • Houman Rostami: security alarm shop
  • Shahram Zamani and Shahrouz Zamani: auto parts shop
  • Soheil Haghdoost: optician store
  • Baha-eddin Samimi: stationery store
  • Behnam Shirvani and Behdad Shirvani: appliance repair shop
  • Nurullah Attaeiyan: electric motor winding shop
  • Bahram Senfi: electronic repair shop
  • Soheil Ahmadzadegan: glue sales shop
  • Mehrpoya Fadaie: appliance repair shop

Sari (42 Shops)

  • Mansour Mohrchi: sanitary supplies shop
  • Zatullah Darabi: carpentry
  • Sohrab Zahedi: stationery store
  • Sae’d Andakhs: clothes boutique
  • Golverdi Movafaghi: carpentry
  • Nima Shabrokh: sanitary supplies shop
  • Yaghoub Akbari: appliance repair shop
  • Arman Safaie: stationery store
  • Adel Samimi: security door shop
  • Nourgol Goli: auto repair shop
  • Farhad Rezghi: sanitary supplies distribution
  • Kamaleddin Akbari: woodturning shop
  • Amanullah Zahedi: carpentry
  • Kourosh Ahmadi: auto front-end repair shop
  • Kourosh Moradi: carpentry
  • Asghar Movafagi: carpentry
  • Hussein Ahmadi: carpentry
  • Mehryar Ghanbari: security system installation shop
  • Ziaullah Khoshbin: paint store
  • Ashkan Khalili: electric motor winding shop
  • Naim Kamali: home appliances repair shop
  • Ramin Mousavi: building decorative accessories
  • Ehsan Sanie: sanitary supplies shop
  • Bahman Zabihi: arts & crafts store
  • Behzad Zabihi: optician store
  • Shahryar Foroughian: electric motor winding shop
  • Behrouz Yousefi: home appliance repair shop
  • Vahid Golpour: clothes boutique
  • Jahanbakhsh Movafaghi: woodturning shop
  • Mohammad Movafaghi: carpentry
  • Akbar Hosseini: Wood & lumber yard
  • Ghavameddin Sabetian: carpentry
  • Hesam Yousefi: carpentry
  • Zargham Zamani: clothes boutique
  • Nima Mahinbakht: security system shop
  • Pejman Roshankohi: hardware store
  • Shahram Noubakht: hardware store
  • Shahab Noubakht: hardware store
  • Behrouz Yousefi: home appliance repair shop
  • Aramesh Andakhs: clothes boutique
  • Zekrullah Rahmanian: owned an optician store (died several days after the closure at the hospital)

Tonekabon (Six Shops)

  • Misagh Esmaeilzadegan: phone repair shop
  • Noushin Masoudian: clothes boutique
  • Sirous Nasiri: cabinet manufacturing
  • Saleh Ashkurian: home appliance store
  • Sina Garshasbi: carpet & rug store
  • Naim Khalajabadi: upholstery shop

Feraydoun Kenar (one Shop)

  • Afshin Azadi: clothes boutique

Behnamir (Two Shops)

  • Ahmad Nikounejad: propane-burning appliance sales & repair shop
  • Feizullah Nikounejad: bicycle repair shop

Amol (Four Shops)

  • Ser’ullah Hekmatshoa’r
  • Afshin Sobati: shoe store
  • Dariush Talaei: optician store
  • Farsheed Kian: optician store

It is almost a year since four shops in Tonekabon and Nashtaroud were sealed. The names of the stores are as follows:

  • Ruhullah Eghani: refrigeration repair shop
  • Michele Esmaielpour: air conditioning store
  • Khalil Naghipour: air conditioning store
  • Sanahiyyeh Kandi: home appliance store
  • Omid Ghaderi: security systems store

Also, four stores have been sealed since April 2016:

  • Mehryar Lutfi: home appliance store
  • Jamaluddin Esmaielpour: refrigeration parts store
  • Mahvash Khazei: home furnishings store
  • Soroush Garshasbi: home appliance store



2 Responses

  1. K. Dawson

    December 5, 2016 1:28 am

    The quiet and silent acquiescence of Non-Bahai Iranians living abroad is a sad testimony to complacency! If no authority is willing to meet or discuss WHY these ships were sealed I would suggest that en mass every shop owner remove the seal and ignore the sealing and escalate the action. Enough with quiet subservience!

  2. Brooks Garis

    December 6, 2016 2:05 am

    Dear friends in Iran, we Baha’is around the world are astonished and instructed by the quality of your selfless devotion to the high standard of conduct Baha’u’llah asks of his followers. This has drawn the eyes of the world to witness the shallowness of those government officials who are so confused by their own hypocrisy and unjust behavior that they can neither acknowledge the acts they have committed nor confront the honorable citizens whose livelihoods they have destroyed. They are well described! 74:50-51.


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