In the wake of the illegal arrests of 6 Baha’i leaders, Grand Ayatollah Hoseynali Montazeri, a founding father of the Islamic Republic of Iran, proclaimed that while the Baha’i faith is not recognized in the constitution, adherents to the faith have the right of full citizenship.

The news was met with much enthusiasm by Baha’is not only in Iran – the land where the faith was born – but throughout the world.

A comment posted in the Radio Zamaneh website (Persian) attributed a further clarification to the Ayatollah.

‘Right of Citizenship’ is a general term, and its limits should be defined according to public customs and the constitution of which the majority are approving. However, if any person is trying to be the enemy of country’s people, or cooperate with external enemies [of the nation] and their cooperation is proved in a credible court, they must be punished. And their citizenship is not a barrier to the law being enforced. And attention should be paid so as the youth do not get trapped by their malicious propaganda; and if doing business or having companionship with them works as a mean strengthening their position, it should be avoided.

The full text of the translated response can be read here.