Source: Baha'i World News Service
In an ominous move, 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.
The Ministry's order came in a letter dated 19 August 2006 and addressed to provincial deputies of the Department of Politics and Security in Offices of the Governors' General throughout Iran.
The 19 August letter, which was recently obtained by the Baha'i International Community, asks these deputies to order "relevant offices to cautiously and sensitively monitor and supervise" all Baha'i social activities.
The letter is the latest in a series of threatening documents that outline a secret national effort to identify and monitor Baha'is in Iran.
"The emergence of this new letter highlights the gravity of the situation facing Iranian Baha'is," said Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha'i International Community to the United Nations.