TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Ahmad Salek, chairman of Iran's parliamentary cultural commission, on Tuesday accused his country's Baha'i community of spying for Israel and the United States. "I declare very explicitly that Baha’ism is an espionage organization which gathers intelligence for the CIA and Mossad, and there are abundant documents to prove this," the Fars news agency quoted Salek saying.
Israeli media, Jerusalem Post, wrote on Wednesday, The Baha’i community faces intense persecution from the regime. Last October, Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, issued a report that included a section on the persecution.
Dr. Ahmed Shaheed wrote: "The special rapporteur continues to observe what appears to be an escalating pattern of systematic human rights violations targeting members of the Baha’i community, who face arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment, national security charges for active involvement in religious affairs, restrictions on religious practice, denial of higher education, obstacles to state employment and abuses within schools."
In August 2013, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued an edict – or fatwa – calling on all Iranians to ostracize the Baha’is. After Khamenei issued the fatwa, Ataollah Rezvani, a popular Baha’i leader, was murdered. It is unclear who killed Rezvani.
Earlier this month, the Baha’i World New Service reported a stabbing attack on a Baha’i family in Birjand in eastern Iran. According to the report, the three victims – husband, wife and daughter – survived the attack. "The attacker – who was masked – entered the home of Ghodratollah Moodi and his wife, Touba Sabzehjou," the news service wrote.
Diane Ala’i, the Baha’i International Community’s representative to the United Nations in Geneva, said: "There can be no doubt that this crime was religiously motivated. Mr. Moodi was well-known as a leader in the Baha’i community in Birjand. She hopes the Iranian authorities will investigate the crime and bring the perpetrators to justice."
Diane said there had been over 50 physical attacks to the Baha’I community in Iran since 2005 and not one attacker has ever been prosecuted.
JERUSSALEM POST | ABDUL MANAN