Well, I can see the Iranian Baha'is not wanting to stick out their heads. Iran is definitely not what we'd call a modern liberal democracy.
Baha'is in more friendly places, I agree, it is a bit more telling how they position themselves regarding equal rights, within their own ranks and in general, for women, lgbtq people, and non-believers.
I'm not sure the top level of the Baha'i hierarchy would find itself justified within Baha'i beliefs to change the Most Holy Book. That might be asking too much.
But as with other religions, and especially ones claiming to be tailor made for present times, and which find themselves unable to express themselves in addressing our current situation, but instead resort to suppressing what they cannot face - I find them lacking, weighed and found too light, as one ancient text puts it. To my ear, they speak to the past, and an idealized past that would not have been recognizable to its inhabitants, at that.
Denial and suppression, which the Baha'is in Iran are facing : terrible! And yet, their spiritual hierarchy is busy denying and suppressing basic human rights: equality before the law, regardless of the shape of one's body parts, or the stirrings of one's heart.
I really wouldn't want to live in Iran, don't know anybody who would, it is as much an enemy of 'the West' as, say, Afghanistan; but I've known about Bahai for over 50 years now and I just cannot take much that it claims for granted, neither its history nor its politics. In my opinion I think that a Bahai governed country would be just as shocking as Iran.
I've come to believe that if a Bahai received a parking ticket he'd make the call 'They did it because I'm a Bahai!' and the average westerner would think about Bahai claims, would consider Iran, and think 'Probably!'
I've known a Bahai in the UK that committed a serious crime (he pled guilty, circa 1979) and went to prison for 2-3 years, at least that was the court's sentence, now just imagine that happening in Iran and I seriously wonder how that would be reported (If at all).
We've read on this forum from a Bahai that Iran has been more aware because of international 'watch' over treatment of Bahais for 15 years now and yet the incident at Roshan Kuh where the Mazandaran Province of natural resources and forestry has destroyed three houses ...this has been claimed to be an action against Bahai rather than a legal action due to illegally building on a green belt of forestry land. I cannot believe them.
We've read about the ankle gating of three Bahai women after criminal convictions and this has been claimed as yet another action against Bahai. Well, not if Iran is keeping its human rights violation profile as low as possible. IMO The one country in the World that could put some pressure upon Bahai to 'do stuff' for it is ...Israel, and just now Israel isn't getting a wonderful press about upholding all human rights. Israel is such a diplomatically delicate situation for Bahai that afaik no Bahai is allowed (by Bahai) to enter the country of Israel without special clearance from the Bahai World office. So claims that Bahais have committed offences in Iran for Israel....it's not impossible.
When I first knew about Bahai very very few English speaking people knew anything about it, yet they had been attracted to a religion where every other religion and way of life was accepted
, where love and understanding came before all else. Yeah, right! As the translations of Bahaullah's books were shown to the World, then the serious questions began. I think Juan Cole translated books which upset Bahai...that's what I think.