Ahmad Shah Qajar

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Ahmad Shah Qajar
Shah of Persia
Reign16 July 1909 – 15 December 1925
Predecessor Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar
Successor Reza Shah Pahlavi
Regent Ali Reza Khan Azod al-Molk
Abolqasem Naser ol-Molk
Prime Ministers
Born(1898-01-21)21 January 1898
Tabriz, Azerbaijan, Persia
Died21 February 1930(1930-02-21) (aged 32)
Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris, France
Spouse Badr al-Molouk
Among others...
Fereydoun Mirza
Full name
Soltan Ahmad Shah Qajar
Dynasty Qajar
Father Mohammad Ali Shah
Mother Malekeh Jahan
Religion Shia Islam
Tughra Ahmad Shah stamp.jpg

Ahmad Shah Qajar (Persian : احمد شاه قاجار; 21 January 1898 – 21 February 1930), was Shah (King) of Persia from 16 July 1909 to 15 December 1925, and the last ruling member of the Qajar dynasty. [1]

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian subdivision of the Indo-European languages. It is a pluricentric language predominantly spoken and used officially within Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan in three mutually intelligible standard varieties, namely Iranian Persian, Dari Persian and Tajiki Persian. It is also spoken natively in the Tajik variety by a significant population within Uzbekistan, as well as within other regions with a Persianate history in the cultural sphere of Greater Iran. It is written officially within Iran and Afghanistan in the Persian alphabet, a derivation of the Arabic script, and within Tajikistan in the Tajik alphabet, a derivation of Cyrillic.

Shah Persian title

Shah is a title given to the emperors, kings, princes and lords of Iran. It was also adopted by the kings of Shirvan namely the Shirvanshahs. It was also used by Persianate societies such as the rulers and offspring of the Ottoman Empire, Mughal emperors of the Indian Subcontinent, the Bengal Sultanate, as well as in Afghanistan. In Iran the title was continuously used; rather than King in the European sense, each Persian ruler regarded himself as the Shahanshah or Padishah of the Persian Empire.

Qajar Iran Qajar Empire

Qajar Iran, also referred to as the Qajar Empire, officially the Sublime State of Persia and also known then as the Guarded Domains of Persia, was an Iranian empire ruled by the Qajar dynasty, which was of Turkic origin, specifically from the Qajar tribe, from 1789 to 1925. The Qajar family took full control of Iran in 1794, deposing Lotf 'Ali Khan, the last Shah of the Zand dynasty, and re-asserted Iranian sovereignty over large parts of the Caucasus. In 1796, Mohammad Khan Qajar seized Mashhad with ease, putting an end to the Afsharid dynasty, and Mohammad Khan was formally crowned as Shah after his punitive campaign against Iran's Georgian subjects. In the Caucasus, the Qajar dynasty permanently lost many of Iran's integral areas to the Russians over the course of the 19th century, comprising modern-day Georgia, Dagestan, Azerbaijan and Armenia.



On 16 July 1909, Mohammad Ali Shah was overthrown by rebels seeking to restore the 1906 Constitution. The rebels then convened the Grand Majles of 500 delegates from different backgrounds, which placed Ahmad Shah, Mohammad Ali's six-year-old son, on the Sun Throne.[ citation needed ]

Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar Shah of Persia

Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar, was the sixth king of the Qajar Dynasty and Shah of Persia (Iran) from 8 January 1907 to 16 July 1909.

Triumph of Tehran

The Triumph of Tehran refers to the entrance of the pro-constitutionalists in Tehran on 13 July 1909, which led Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar to seek refuge at the Russian legation in Tehran, before he would be sent in exile.

Islamic Consultative Assembly Legislative body in the Islamic Republic of Iran

The Islamic Consultative Assembly, also called the Iranian Parliament, the Iranian Majles, is the national legislative body of Iran. The Parliament currently has 290 representatives, changed from the previous 272 seats since the 18 February 2000 election. The most recent election took place on 26 February 2016 and the new parliament was opened on 28 May 2016.

The Grand Majlis enacted many reforms. They abolished class representation and created five new seats in the Majlis for minorities: two seats for Armenians, and one seat each for Jews, Zoroastrians, and Assyrians. The Majles also democratized the electoral system, diminished the electoral dominance of Tehran, and even lowered the voting age from twenty-five to twenty.

Armenians ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland

Armenians are an ethnic group native to the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia.

Jews Ancient nation and ethnoreligious group from the Levant

Jews or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and a nation, originating from the Israelites and Hebrews of historical Israel and Judah. Jewish ethnicity, nationhood, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the ethnic religion of the Jewish people, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance.

Zoroastrians in Iran Religious minority in Iran

Zoroastrians are the oldest religious community of Iran. Prior to the Muslim conquest of Persia, Zoroastrianism was the primary religion of the Persian Empire.

Not much is known about Ahmad's early life before his succession to the throne. Due to his young age, his uncle, Ali Reza Khan Azod al-Molk, governed as regent.

Ali Reza Khan Azod al-Molk Iranian politician

Ali Reza Khan Azod al-Molk was an Iranian politician who acted as regent for the last ruling member of the Qajar dynasty.

Ahmad Shah was formally crowned on 21 July 1914, upon reaching his majority. [2] He attempted to fix the damage done by his father by appointing the best ministers he could find. He was, however, an ineffective ruler who was faced with internal unrest and foreign intrusions, particularly by the British Empire and Russian Empire. Russian and British troops fought against the Ottoman Empire forces in Persia during World War I.

British Empire States and dominions ruled by the United Kingdom

The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, and by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2 (13,700,000 sq mi), 24% of the Earth's total land area. As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.

Russian Empire former country, 1721–1917

The Russian Empire was an empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917.

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa

The Ottoman Empire, historically known to its inhabitants and the Eastern world as Rome (Rûm), and known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. Although initially the dynasty was of Turkic origin, it was thoroughly Persianised in terms of language, culture, literature and habits. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

The Second Majlis convened on November 1910 and just like the First Majlis, did not lead to any relevant accomplishment. The Majlis was rendered ineffective because the central government was weak and did not have enough influence to rein in the changes that it had proposed.

Ahmad Shah (center) as a child, pictured with Haj Seyed Gholamhossein Majd Mojabi (above) and guards in 1901. Ahmad Shah Qajar.jpg
Ahmad Shah (center) as a child, pictured with Haj Seyed Gholamhossein Majd Mojabi (above) and guards in 1901.

In 1917, Britain used Persia as the springboard for an attack into Russia in an unsuccessful attempt to reverse the Russian Revolution of 1917. The newly born Soviet Union responded by annexing portions of northern Persia as buffer states much like its Tsarist predecessor. Marching on Tehran, the Soviets extracted ever more humiliating concessions from the Persian government – whose ministers Ahmad Shah was often unable to control. The weakness of the government in the face of such aggression by an atheist foreign power sparked seething anger among many traditional Persians – including the young Ruhollah Khomeini, who would later condemn both Communism and monarchy as treason against Persia's sovereignty and the laws of Islam.

Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War

Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War consisted of a series of multi-national military expeditions in 1918. The stated goals were to help the Czechoslovak Legion, to secure supplies of munitions and armaments in Russian ports, and to re-establish the Eastern Front. Overthrow of the new Bolshevik regime was an additional, covert motivation.

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a Marxist-Leninist sovereign state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

Tehran Capital and largest city of Iran

Tehran is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.7 million in the city and 15 million in the larger metropolitan area of Greater Tehran, Tehran is the most populous city in Iran and Western Asia, and has the second-largest metropolitan area in the Middle East. It is ranked 24th in the world by the population of its metropolitan area.

A picture of Ahmad Shah Qajar AhmadShahQajar.jpg
A picture of Ahmad Shah Qajar

By 1920, the government had virtually lost all power outside the capital and Ahmad Shah had lost control of the situation. The Anglo-Persian Agreement, along with new political parties, further immobilized the country. The Moderates and Democrats often clashed, particularly when it came to minority rights and secularism. The debates between the two political parties led to violence and even assassinations.

The weak economic state of Persia put Ahmad Shah and his government at the mercy of foreign influence; they had to obtain loans from the Imperial Bank of Persia.[ clarification needed ] Furthermore, under the Anglo-Persian Agreement, Persia received only a small fraction of the income generated by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. On the other hand, the Red Army along with rebels and warlords ruled much of the countryside.

On 21 February 1921, Ahmad Shah was pushed aside in a military coup by Colonel Reza Khan, Minister of War and commander of the Persian Cossack Brigade, who subsequently seized the post of Prime Minister. During the coup, Reza Khan used three thousand men and only eighteen machine guns, a very bloodless coup that moved forward quickly. Reza Khan was a self-made man who climbed his way up through the military ranks and appeared to be the right man to take back control of Persia. One of his first actions was to rescind the Anglo-Persian Agreement, and this was seen as a very successful diplomatic move since the treaty was very unpopular. In addition, he signed the Russo-Persian Treaty of Friendship. This agreement canceled all previous treaties between the two countries and also gave Persia full and equal shipping rights in the Caspian Sea.

Ahmad Shahi Pavilion was built at the end of the Qajar era as Ahmad Shah's dwelling among Niavaran garden. Ahmad Shahs Pavilion.jpg
Ahmad Shahi Pavilion was built at the end of the Qajar era as Ahmad Shah's dwelling among Niavaran garden.

Stripped of all his remaining powers, Ahmad Shah went into exile with his family in 1923. Ahmad Shah's apparent lack of interest in attending to the affairs of the state and poor health had prompted him to leave Persia on this extended "European Tour". He was formally deposed on 31 October 1925, when Reza Khan was proclaimed Shah by the Majlis, as Reza Shah Pahlavi. This terminated the Qajar Dynasty and established the Pahlavi Dynasty.


Ahmad Shah Qajar on stamp 10 shahis. Ahmad Shah Qajar stamp-10 shahis.jpg
Ahmad Shah Qajar on stamp 10 shahis.
Reza Khan (later Reza Shah Pahlavi) behind Ahmad Shah with the prominent prince Abdol-Hossein Farmanfarma. Hmd shh w rD khn.jpg
Reza Khan (later Reza Shah Pahlavi) behind Ahmad Shah with the prominent prince Abdol-Hossein Farmanfarma.

The coup of 1921 rendered Ahmad Shah politically weaker and less relevant. In 1923, Ahmad Shah left Persia for Europe for health reasons. Later, the formal termination of the Qajar Dynasty by the Majles turned Ahmad Shah's 1923 European tour into exile.

Ahmad Shah died in 1930 at Neuilly-sur-Seine, outside Paris, France, and was buried in his family crypt in Kerbela, Iraq. [3] His brother, former crown prince Mohammad Hassan Mirza, assured the continuation of the dynasty through his descendants.

Personal life

Ahmad Shah Qajar married five times. His first wife was Lydia Jahanbani. He had four children, each by a different wife.

He had 12 grandchildren, who respectively carry the last names Albertini, Faroughy, Panahi and Qajar (also spelled Kadjar).

List of Prime Ministers




See also

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  1. "AḤMAD SHAH QĀJĀR – Encyclopaedia Iranica". www.iranicaonline.org. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  2. "16-year-old Shah of Persia Sworn In", The New York Times , 22 July 1914.
  3. "Portraits and Pictures of Soltan Ahmad Shah Qajar (Kadjar)". qajarpages.org. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  4. "Children of Soltan Ahmad Shah Qajar (Kadjar)". Qajarpages.org. Retrieved 21 January 2014.

Further reading

Ahmad Shah Qajar
Born: January 21 1898 Died: 21 February 1930
Iranian royalty
Preceded by
Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar
Shah of Persia
Succeeded by
Reza Shah Pahlavi
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar
Head of the Imperial House of Qajar
Succeeded by
Fereydoun Mirza Qajar
(de facto)
Mohammad Hassan Mirza
(de jure)