A letter to the leaders of the United States

My name is Angela Shortt, and I am a member of Baha'i Faith, a citizen of the United States and a resident of California. I am writing to you because of the increased oppression and tyrannical treatment that the Islamic-led government has been inflicting on the Baha'is and other religious "minorities" living in Iran. The situation has escalated to intolerable levels, and I am asking that, in the name human decency, begin some sort of dialogue with Iranian government concerning the imprisoned Baha'is immediately.

While I realize that the United States has had no formal diplomatic relations with Iran since the Islamic Revolution of the 70s, I feel that this situation requires immediate attention beyond the usual channels of governmental communication. Even letters of condemnation from our government are useless, as the zealous, fundamentalists leaders consider themselves beyond the reaches of the opinions and actions of foreign "infidel" governments. I implore you to fully investigate the perilous situation faced by Iranian Baha'is and other groups targeted by Islamic regime. My prayer is that some swift resolution will come about with the cooperation of other world leaders. These law-abiding citizens of Iran are being imprisoned for tissue-thin, illegitimate reasons, save for the fact that they are Baha'is. They are forbidden by laws set forth by the founder of our Faith, Baha'u'llah, to disobey the laws of their country or participate in any cause that would cause division between their countrymen. The only exception is that we cannot recant our faith, even when faced severe persecution.

Yet, Iranian Baha'is have quietly borne these affronts to their basic rights with an uncommon faith in God and the inevitable triumph of justice . More importantly, Baha'is all over the world are extorted to be of service to humanity in whatever way they can. Baha'is in Iran often set up schools for poor children whose parents could not pay for their education and were neglected by government attention, and they have donated their time, expertise and money (what little they now have since they are often forced out of their occupations) to numerous service projects and charities. For this, they have been imprisoned? It is unconscionable!

Please take the time to click on the links below to find out more information about the plight of Iranian Baha'is. I hope the posts will convince you to at least make some inquiry into the situation.
Seven Baha'i Leaders

ISNA report with statement by deputy prosecutor-general of Tehran announcing the trial

Statement from the Baha’i International Community categorically denying the charges
Lives of Service: Profiles of the seven Baha’i leaders

God bless you, and thank you for reading this message.

Angela D. Shortt
California, USA
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