While Khatami dazzled and wooed some of the British academics, think tanks, diplomats and journalists with his lovely words about inter faith dialogue, Iran's Ministry of Interior has ordered officials throughout the country to step up the surveillance of Iranian Baha'is focusing in particular on their community activities.
The Ministry has requested provincial officials to complete a detailed questionnaire about the circumstances and activities of local Baha'is, including their "financial status," "social interactions," and "association with foreign assemblies," among other things.
Over the last two years, at least 129 Baha'is have been arrested, released on bail, and are now awaiting trial throughout the country. The bail demands have been high, in most cases requiring the Baha'is to hand over considerable sums of money, deeds to property, business or work licenses.
See translation of the document.
28 Murdád 1385 [19 August 2006]
Islamic Republic of Iran
Ministry of the Interior
In the Name of God
To the honourable political-security deputies of the offices of the Governors’ General of the country
Respectfully, we have received reports that some of the elements of the perverse sect of Bahaism are attempting to teach and spread the ideology of Bahaism, under the cover of social and economic activities. In view of the fact that this sect is illegal and that it is exploited by international and Zionist organizations against the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, we therefore ask you to order the relevant offices to cautiously and carefully monitor and manage their [the Bahá’ís’] social activities. In addition, complete the requested information on the enclosed form and forward it to this office for its use by 15 Shahrívar [6 September 2006].
Siyyid Muḥammad-Riḍa Mavválízádih [Seyyed Mohammad-Reza Mavvalizadeh]
Director of the Political Office