Two Historical Documents


Editor’s Note:  In our continual effort to document the mistreatment of the Baha’is of Iran and the regime’s role in bringing about systematic discrimination against the Baha’is, two official documents by Iranian authorities relating to the Baha’is of that nation are shared below by Iran Press Watch in translation (originals of both documents are posted on the Persian page of this site).

           The first is a memorandum to government offices and agencies written by Mr. Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who served as the fifth and last Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran from 1981 to 1989, before the constitutional changes which removed the post of prime minister:

            The second document is written by Hojjat ol-Eslam Seyyed Mohammad Ali Abtahi who is an Iranian theologian, scholar and chairman of the Institute for Interreligious Dialogue. He is a former vice president of Iran and a close associate of former President Mohammad Khatami:


Mideast Iran ElectionsFirst Document

In The Name of God

Section seven/Minorities 

Number 11-4462

February 1, 1989


Memorandum to all Ministries, Organizations, Government Agencies, Islamic Revolutionary Foundations, and Governors of all Provinces across the country:

Based on the reports received, there have been no coordinated, unified instructions for confronting members of the misguided Baha’i sect available to the executive branch .  Therefore, with the approval of the respected President of the Islamic Republic, it is necessary that all ministries, organizations, government agencies, Islamic revolutionary foundations and governors of all provinces across the country to implement the guidelines outlined below as the official policy of the government.

Spies should be sternly confronted based on established laws and regulations, but with respect to other citizens, regardless of their beliefs, they should be treated as ordinary citizens in a manner consistent with the latter part of Article 23 of the Constitution.  However, attempts should be made to correct their beliefs.

No official or representative of the Islamic Republic is permitted to deprive citizens of their civil or social rights unless they have been proven to be spies, or as stipulated by laws established by the official legal authorities of the country.

It should be noted that based on Article 13 of the Constitution, Zoroastrian, Jewish and Christian Iranians are the only religious minorities that are free to practice their religious duties within the framework of the laws of the country.  They are permitted to conduct their personal lives and activities based on their respective religious laws and ordinances.

Mir Hussein Mousavi

Prime Minister



mohammad-ali_abtahiSecond Document

The weighty responsibility of supervising the implementation of the constitution

In The Name of God

Number 80-7662

December 31, 2001


Dearly esteemed brother, Mr. Sayed Mohammad Khatami, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

With Greetings:

Based on a report presented at the official meeting of the respected Committee of the Islamic Parliament on December 30, 2001, which I attended, with respect to principals 88 and 90 of the Constitution, some of the Baha’is employed in government offices and agencies will lose their rights as citizens of the country due to their belief and their association with the Baha’i religion.

I remind you that on February 1, 1989, the respected former Prime Minister [Mir Hussein Mousavi] with the approval of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran issued a memorandum to all ministries, organizations, government agencies, Islamic revolutionary foundations, and governors of all provinces across the country indicating:

“No official or representative of the Islamic Republic is permitted to deprive citizens of their civil or social rights unless they have been proven to be spies, or as stipulated by laws established by the official legal authorities of the country.”

By presenting the above-mentioned background information and with respect to Article 23 of Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, your views and recommendations as the President of the country and the authority responsible for the implementation of the Constitution will provide us with guidance regarding the necessity of considering the civil rights of the Baha’i sect workforce.


Seyyed Mohammad Ali Abtahi


7 Responses

  1. Admin

    July 22, 2009 6:52 pm

    We had planned on posting them a couple of months ago, but they never made it to the site.

    We’re gradually working through our backlog of such documents and hope to post more in the weeks to come.

  2. Tami

    July 22, 2009 11:39 pm

    With aching hearts, Baha’is of the world focus on the events unfolding in Iran, the birthplace of their religion
    We entreat God to deliver the light of equity and the sun of justice from the thick clouds of waywardness, and cause them to shine forth upon men. No light can compare with the light of justice. The establishment of order in the world and the tranquillity of the nations depend upon it. – Baha’u’llah

    • On 25 July 2009, in more than 60 cities around the globe, well-wishers of the people of Iran will mark a Global Day of Action “to demand respect for the human rights of the Iranian people and to demonstrate worldwide solidarity with the civil rights movement in Iran”. This action has been designated by the organizers as “a non-partisan collaborative of individuals and human rights organizations”. Full details concerning the genesis and aim of this initiative may be found at

    Bahá’ís from countries across the planet join the swelling chorus that calls for the internationally recognized human rights of all Iranians to be upheld and safeguarded, wholeheartedly supporting those gatherings and other forums that seek through non-partisan means to draw attention to this pressing humanitarian issue.

  3. Bijan Masumian

    July 23, 2009 2:33 am

    Actually, Mr. Mousavi currently has no political party. The color green was suggested to Mr. Mousavi by a young Iranian in one of Mousavi’s presidential campaign trips. The color represents the Green Movement for democracy in Iran, a non-partisan movement that belongs to ALL Iranians who seek justice and equal rights for all their citizens.

  4. Nasser

    July 23, 2009 10:36 pm

    “The Great Being saith: The heaven of statesmanship is made luminous and resplendent by the brightness of the light of these blessed words which hath dawned from the dayspring of the Will of God: It behoveth every ruler to weigh his own being every day in the balance of equity and justice and then to judge between men and counsel them to do that which would direct their steps unto the path of wisdom and understanding. This is the cornerstone of statesmanship and the essence thereof.
    Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Baha’u’llah (Publication information not available). pp. 166-167. E-text from Ocean Library, http// “


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