In a recent surge of repression against the Baha'i community Iranian security have arrested nine citizens in Tehran and closed 40 drugstores and warehouses owned by Baha’is.
The Ministry of Intelligence of the Islamic Republic divulged details in a formal statement on Sunday, revealing the nature of the arrests. "The detained Baha'i family and their accomplices were engaged in the realm of medicines and cosmetics, " according to the Ministry.
Baha'i activists shared additional insights with Radio Farda, the Persian Service of Radio Free Europe in Prague, identifying those affected by the crackdown. These sources indicated that the Ministry of Intelligence agents conducted visits to the Tabibian family's pharmacies and warehouses, during which, they also confiscated communication devices belonging to some employees.
The ministry cited various accusations against the detained individuals, including "drug smuggling and hoarding, money laundering, and tax evasion." As a result, the security agency reported the seizure of "20 pharmacies and 3 cosmetics companies and warehouses" linked to the Tabibian family. Usually in such cases seized assets end up in the hands of regime organizations and insiders.
Over the years, the Islamic Republic's security entities have subjected adherents of the Baha'i faith to undue pressure, often under the pretext of security concerns. These actions have frequently culminated in the confiscation or seizure of their properties.
The ongoing plight of Baha'is in Iran continues to raise international concerns. Presently, three members of Yaran-e Iran, a Baha’i community group remain incarcerated under security-related orders.
The Islamic Republic of Iran refuses to acknowledge the Baha'i faith, and the followers of this religion have been subjected to extensive restrictions and hardships since 1979.