A week ago a young man by them name of Reza left a comment in my blog asking about joining Freemasonry. This isn’t all that uncommon, as I get e-mails of the same, but he said that he was living in Iran. I thought with all of the banter about regular, irregular, clandestine, co-masonry, that we need to reflect about 30 years ago when Freemasonry was banned from Iran and it’s supporters chased from the country under Islamic fascism.
For those that don’t know the 1978-79 revolution in Iran made Persian Freemasons vulnerable to the anti-Masonic sentiments and threats from the leaders of the revolution. The leaders identified Masons as American and Zionist agents, and where also greatly responsible for the woes of the country. The secretive nature of the Masonic order in Persia made it susceptible to conspiracy theories and of course their secret rule. The biggest blow to the Persian Freemasonry came when the Masonic archive and roster of members of the lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Iran was captured. From this point membership in Freemasonry was declared a crime and the roster was used by the Islamic Republic to persecute hundreds of Persian Masons whose names appeared on the list. After the firm establishments of the Islamic Republic Masons were executed, more were imprisoned, and a large number were purged from government offices and schools. During this time propaganda was published much like works in 1938 Germany accusing Freemasons of all kinds of conspiracies against the government and people of the Islamic faith.
Many master masons managed to leave the country legally or illegally and immigrated to Europe, Canada and the United States. In 1982 17 past masters of Persian lodges sent a petition seeking permission to continue their fraternity as members of the Grand Lodge of Iran. The request was accepted, and the meeting of the Grand Committee of the Lodge was convened later that year at the Grand Lodge of New York. In March of 1985, the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts granted approval to the Grand Lodge of Iran (in exile) to conduct Masonic activities in the City of Boston. There are now Persian lodges in Washington D.C., France and in California all under the Grand Lodge of Iran (in exile).
The current contact information for the Grand Lodge of Iran(in exile) is:
Grand Lodge of Iran (in exile)
P.O. Box 25017
Los Angeles, CA 90025, USA
Many thanks to the members of the Philalethes Society for helping me out, most of the information was heavily lifted from: http://www.iranica.com/articles/v10f2/v10f235d.html