Dariush Forouhar

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Dariush Forouhar
Dariush Forouhar photo.jpg
Minister of Labour
In office
13 February 1979 29 September 1979
Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan
Preceded by Manouchehr Azmun
Succeeded by Ali Espahbodi
Minister without Portfolio
for Provincial Inspection [1]
In office
29 September 1979 6 November 1979
Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan
Personal details
Born 1928
Isfahan, Iran
Died 22 November 1998(1998-11-22) (aged 69–70)
Tehran, Iran
Nationality Iranian
Political party Nation Party of Iran (1951–98)
Pan-Iranist Party (1951)
Other political
National Front (1951–79)
Spouse(s) Parvaneh Eskandari
Children 2, including Parastou
Cabinet Bazargan Cabinet

Dariush Forouhar (Persian : داریوش فروهر; 1928 – 22 November 1998) was an Iranian pan-Iranist politician and leader of Nation Party of Iran.

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran. It is written right to left in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script.

Pan-Iranism ideology advocating solidarity among and reunification of Iranian peoples, including the Persians, Azerbaijani, Lurs, Gilaks, Mazanderanis, Ossetians, Kurds, Zazas, Talysh, Tajiks, Pashtuns, and Baloch

Pan-Iranism is an ideology that advocates solidarity and reunification of Iranian peoples living in the Iranian plateau and other regions that have significant Iranian cultural influence, including the Persians, Azerbaijanis, Lurs, Gilaks, Mazanderanis, Ossetians, Kurds, Zazas, Talysh, Tajiks of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, the Pashtuns, the Baloch of Pakistan, etc.. The first theoretician was Dr Mahmoud Afshar Yazdi.

Party of the Iranian Nation or Nation Party of Iran or Iran Nation Party is an opposition party in Iran seeking to establish a secular democracy. Like the rest of the opposition parties, this party is presently banned from public activity in Iran, under the Islamic Regime.


Early life

Forouhar was born in Isfahan. His father was a general in the Army who was arrested in WW2 by the British during the Anglo Soviet Invasion of Iran after attempting to form an armed resistance.

Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran Invasion during World War II

The Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran, also known as the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Persia, was the joint invasion of Iran in 1941 during the Second World War by the British Commonwealth and the Soviet Union. The invasion lasted from 25 August to 17 September 1941 and was codenamed Operation Countenance. Its purpose was to secure Iranian oil fields and ensure Allied supply lines for the USSR, fighting against Axis forces on the Eastern Front. Though Iran was neutral, the Allies considered Reza Shah to be friendly to Germany, deposed him during the subsequent occupation and replaced him with his young son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Career and political activities

According to Ali Razmjoo in Hezb-e-Pan-Iranist (also see links here), Forouhar was one of the founding members of the original nationalist Pan-Iranist Party of Iran in 1951 with Mohsen Pezeshkpour. [2] During the Pahlavi era, he had been very active in the anti-Shah nationalist movement and was a strong supporter and close friend of the Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh. In the midst of post-revolutionary tensions in Iranian Kurdistan in 1979, Forouhar was part of a delegation sent by Tehran to negotiate with Kurdish political and religious leaders. Although this delegation's recommendations were never implemented by the central government and Kurdish revolt was dealt with harshly, Forouhar's attempts to reach a peaceful settlement with Kurds earned him respect among Kurds.

Mohsen Pezeshkpour Iranian politician

Mohsen "Pendar" Pezeshkpour was an Iranian pan-Iranist politician who served as a member of the parliament from 1967 to 1971, and 1975 to 1979. He was the co-founder and leader of the Pan-Iranist Party.

Kurdistan Region in Middle East home to the Kurds

Kurdistan or Greater Kurdistan is a roughly defined geo-cultural historical region wherein the Kurdish people form a prominent majority population and Kurdish culture, languages, and national identity have historically been based. Kurdistan roughly encompasses the northwestern Zagros and the eastern Taurus mountain ranges. The territory corresponds to Kurdish irredentist claims.

Forouhar served as minister of labor in the interim government of Mehdi Bazargan in 1979. [3]

Mehdi Bazargan Iranian politician

Mehdi Bazargan was an Iranian scholar, academic, long-time pro-democracy activist and head of Iran's interim government, making him Iran's first prime minister after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. He resigned his position as prime minister in November 1979, in protest at the US Embassy takeover and as an acknowledgement of his government's failure in preventing it.


Forouhar and his wife, Parvaneh Eskandari Forouhar, were overt opponents of Velayet-e-faqih (Shia theocracy) and under continuous surveillance. [3] They were assassinated in their home in 1998. The murders, which are believed to have been politically motivated, remain unsolved, although the general belief is that the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence was involved and had ordered the killings. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] It is thought that the murders were provoked by Forouhar's criticism of human rights abuses by the Islamic Republic in interviews with Western radio stations that beamed Persian-language programs to Iran. This "brought them to the attention of Iran's ubiquitous intelligence service." [9]

Under pressure from public opinion, the then Iranian president Mohammad Khatami formed a committee to follow up the case, which eventually asked for the resignation of the Minister of Intelligence, Ghorbanali Dorri-Najafabadi. One of the main characters behind the case, Saeed Emami, reportedly committed suicide while in prison.

Mohammad Khatami Iranian prominent reformist politician, scholar and shiite faqih

SeyyedMohammad Khatami served as the fifth President of Iran from 3 August 1997 to 3 August 2005. He also served as Iran's Minister of Culture from 1982 to 1992. He was a critic of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government.

Ghorbanali Dorri-Najafabadi Iranian politician

Ghorbanali Dorri-Najafabadi is an Iranian politician and cleric, previously the Minister of Intelligence of Islamic Republic of Iran. He is the current head of Supreme Administrative Court.

Saeid Emami, born Daniyal Ghavami (1958–1999) was the Iranian deputy minister of intelligence under Ali Fallahian, and adviser to the Ghorbanali Dorri-Najafabadi. He was appointed as deputy minister in security affairs and the second person of intelligence ministry when he was 32 years old. He is also considered as the designer and leader of many internal and extraterritorial intelligence operations during 90s, especially in the case of western countries, Israel and anti-revolutionary units. He was accused of having independently organized the assassinations of dissidents.

Shirin Ebadi, the lawyer of the Forouhars' relatives quoting Parastou says: "All evidence shows that my father was preparing himself to go to prison, because at the time of his slaying, his shoes had no laces, he did not wear his wrist watch and had his wallet emptied of its contents and papers except for some money."

Their murders brought to light a pattern known as the chain murders of Iran.

Personal life

Forouhar had two children. Son, Arash, and daughter, Parastou, are both politically active and continue to raise awareness of the plight of political dissidents in Iran. In 2009, Parastou signed an open letter of apology posted to Iranian.com along with 266 other Iranian academics, writers, artists, journalists about the Persecution of Bahá'ís. [10]

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Parastou Forouhar is an Iranian installation artist who lives and works out of Frankfurt, Germany. Forouhar’s art reflects her criticism of the Iranian government and often plays with the ideas of identity. Her artwork expresses a critical response towards the politics in Iran and Islamic Fundamentalism. The loss of her parents fuels Forouhar’s work and challenges viewers to take a stand on war crimes against innocent citizens. Forouhar's work has been exhibited around the world including Iran, Germany, Russia, Turkey, England, United States and more.


  1. Mohammad Heydari (2008), "اخراجی‌های دولت", Shahrvand Magazine (in Persian) (43)
  2. Rubin, Michael; Patrick Clawson (March 2006). "Patterns of Discontent: Will History Repeat in Iran?". Middle East Review of International Affairs . Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  3. 1 2 Alamdari, Kazem (2005). "The Power Structure of the Islamic Republic of Iran: transition from populism to clientelism, and militarization of the government" (PDF). Third World Quarterly . 26 (8): 1285–1301. doi:10.1080/01436590500336690. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 December 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  4. iranian.com
  5. Forouhar
  6. globalsecurity.org
  7. globalsecurity.org 1999
  8. iranian.com Forouhar 2002
  9. Sciolino, Elaine, Persian Mirrors, Touchstone, (2000), p.234, ISBN   0743284798
  10. "We are ashamed!". The Iranian . 4 February 2009.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Hassan-Ali Saremi Kalali
Secretary-General of the Nation Party of Iran
Succeeded by
Khosrow Seif
Title last held by
Mohammad Ali Keshavarz Sadr
Spokesperson of the National Front
Succeeded by
Asghar Parsa