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Message from the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United Kingdom

We have received news of further disturbing developments in Iran.

In recent days there has been a widespread assault on Bahá'í educational activities in Iran. According to reports just received, thirty-two faculty members of the Bahá'í Institute of Higher Education, sometimes called the Bahá'í Open University, have been arrested. The Open University represents an effort of the Iranian Bahá'ís to provide education for Bahá'í youth who are prevented from completing their high school education and from attending universities in Iran.

Moreover, the properties of the arrested Bahá'ís, including books, papers and furniture, have been plundered, together with the properties of other Bahá'ís unconnected to the Open University. These actions have been carried out across the country by government officers under the direction of the Ministry of Information, an intelligence agency of the Iranian Government.

It appears that the object of these assaults on the faculty members is closure of the Open University. Of those arrested, one was released in Teheran. He reported having been told by an official that the Bahá'í educational institution must be closed. However, there seems to be a greater reason: this surge of attacks is consistent with the aim of the Iran Supreme Revolutionary Cultural Council to eradicate the Iranian Bahá'í community, as set forth in the secret document it adopted in 1991. (Often referred to as the "Gulpaygani Document, its existence is well established, indeed the National Spiritual Assembly has copies and has previously shared them with the media and with government officials. Despite this documentary evidence Iranian spokesmen continue to deny that there is any official programme of action against the Bahá'ís.)

©Copyright 1998, National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United Kingdom

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