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Baha’is of Iran

Reza Pahlavi Visits Baha'i World Center in Israel

April 21, 2023
2 min read
Reza Pahlavi and his wife Yasmine visited the Bahaʼi World Center in Haifa, Israel, on April 21
Reza Pahlavi and his wife Yasmine visited the Bahaʼi World Center in Haifa, Israel, on April 21

Iran’s former crown prince, Reza Pahlavi, has visited the spiritual and administrative heart of the Baha’i community in Haifa, as he wrapped up his five-day trip to Israel.

Baha’is in Iran have faced persecution and discrimination since the 1979 Islamic Revolution because of their religious beliefs.

Pahlavi, the son of the late Mohammad Reza Shah and an exiled opposition figure who has lived in the United States for decades, visited the Bahaʼi World Center with his wife Yasmine on April 21. 

“We were  touched by the serenity and the beauty of the Gardens, and by the Bahá’í message of unity and togetherness,” he wrote in a tweet.

Before traveling to Israel, the 62-year-old Pahlavi said that the Islamic Republic has been unsuccessful in its attempt to strip the Baha'is of their Iranian identity. He emphasized that in "a free future Iran, Baha'is will have the opportunity to participate in the reconstruction and development of the country once again, with full and equal citizenship rights."

The Iranian government has inflicted decades of arbitrary detentions and arrests on the Baha’i community, as well as confiscation of properties, denial of livelihoods and access to higher education, and constant official hate speech, attracting widespread criticism by the international community.

During his visit to Israel, which he described as a chance to deliver a “message of friendship from the Iranian people,” Pahlavi held talks with senior officials, met Israelis of Iranian descent and participated in Israel's annual Holocaust memorial ceremony.

Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran’s clerical establishment has refused to recognize Israel. Iranian leaders have called Israel a “cancerous tumor” that should be destroyed.

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