Fazlollah Zahedi

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Fazlollah Zahedi
Fazlollah zahedi.jpg
36th Prime Minister of Iran
In office
19 August 1953 7 April 1955
Monarch Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Preceded by Mohammad Mosaddegh
Succeeded by Hossein Ala'
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
7 April 1953 29 April 1953
Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh
Preceded byAbdol-Hossein Meftah
Succeeded by Abdullah Entezam
Minister of Interior
In office
28 April 1951 5 August 1951
Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh
Preceded by Hossein Ala'
Succeeded by Amirteymour Kalali
Personal details
Born(1892-04-17)17 April 1892
Hamedan, Persia
Died2 September 1963(1963-09-02) (aged 71)
Geneva, Switzerland
Spouse(s)Motamen Molk
Children Ardeshir
Homa
Military service
Allegiance Imperial Iranian Army
Years of service1920–1953
Rank Lieutenant general
Awards Order of Zolfaghar (Imperial Era) Ribbon Bar - Imperial Iran.svg Order of Zolfaghar

Fazlollah Zahedi (Persian : فضل‌الله زاهدی, romanized: Fazlollāh Zāhedi, pronounced [fæzloɫˈɫɒːh zɒːheˈdiː] ; c. 1892 – 2 September 1963) was an Iranian general and statesman who replaced the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh through a coup d'état, in which he played a major role.

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.

Romanization of Persian or Latinization of Persian is the representation of the Persian language with the Latin script. Several different romanization schemes exist, each with its own set of rules driven by its own set of ideological goals.

Mohammad Mosaddegh Prime Minister of Iran in the 1950s

Mohammad Mosaddegh was the 35th prime minister of Iran, holding office from 1951 until 1953, when his government was overthrown in the 1953 Iranian coup d'état orchestrated by the United States' Central Intelligence Agency and the United Kingdom's MI6.

Contents

Biography

Early years

Born in Hamedan in 1892, Fazlollah Zahedi was the son of Abol Hassan "Bassir Diwan" Zahedi, a wealthy land owner at the city of Hamedan. During his service at the Imperial Russian-trained Iranian Cossack Brigade, one of his military superiors was Reza Khan, who later became the Iranian monarch. Zahedi was among the officers dispatched to Gilan to put an end to the Jangal movement of Mirza Kuchak Khan. At the age of 23, as a company commander, Zahedi led troops into battle against rebel tribesmen in the northern provinces. [1] Two years later Reza Shah promoted him to the rank of brigadier general.

Persian Cossack Brigade elite cavalry unit formed in 1879 in Persia

The Persian Cossack Brigade or Iranian Cossack Brigade was a Cossack-style cavalry unit formed in 1879 in Persia. It was modelled after the Caucasian Cossack regiments of the Imperial Russian Army. Until 1920, it was commanded by Russian officers, while its rank and file were composed of ethnic Caucasians and later on Persians as well. During much of the Brigade's history it was the most functional and effective military unit of the Qajar Dynasty. Acting on occasion as kingmakers, this force played a pivotal role in modern Iranian history during the Revolution of 1905–1911, the rise of Reza Shah, and the foundation of the Pahlavi Dynasty.

Reza Shah Shah of Iran, Founder of the Imperial state of iran

Reza Shah Pahlavi, commonly known as Reza Shah, was the Shah of Iran from 15 December 1925 until he was forced to abdicate by the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran on 16 September 1941.

Pahlavi dynasty Dynasty that ruled Iran from 1925 until 1979

The Pahlavi dynasty was the last ruling house of the Imperial State of Iran from 1925 until 1979, when the Persian monarchy was overthrown and abolished as a result of the Iranian Revolution. The dynasty was founded by Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1925, a former brigadier-general of the Persian Cossack Brigade, whose reign lasted until 1941 when he was forced to abdicate by the Allies after the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran. He was succeeded by his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran.

He was also involved in the overthrow of Seyyed Zia'eddin Tabatabaee's government in 1920. It was Colonel Zahedi who arrested Sheikh Khaz'al Khan and brought him to Tehran.[ citation needed ]

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.

During Reza Shah's reign, General Zahedi was named (1926) military governor of Khuzestan province, his first important government position, and in 1932 chief of national police, one of the nation's top internal posts. During World War II he was appointed (1941) commanding general of the Isfahan Division. Following the forced abdication of Reza Shah in 1941, the British came to believe that Zahedi was planning a general uprising in cooperation with German forces, and as one of the worst grain-hoarders, was responsible for widespread popular discontent. [2] [3] [4]

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Nazi Germany The German state from 1933 to 1945, under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler

Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.

In economics, hoarding is the practice of obtaining and holding resources in quantities greater than needed for one's immediate use.

Arrest and internment

Following the forced abdication of Reza Shah in 1941, the British came to believe that Zahedi was planning a general uprising in cooperation with German forces, and as one of the worst grain-hoarders, was responsible for widespread popular discontent. [2] [5] [6] He was arrested in his own office by Fitzroy Maclean, who details the adventure in his 1949 memoir Eastern Approaches . On searching Zahidi's bedroom Maclean found "a collection of automatic weapons of German manufacture, a good deal of silk underwear, some opium, an illustrated register of the prostitutes of Isfahan," and correspondence from a local German agent. [2] Zahedi was flown out of the country and interned in Palestine. [2]

Sir Fitzroy Maclean, 1st Baronet Scottish soldier, writer and politician

Sir Fitzroy Hew Royle Maclean, 1st Baronet, was a Scottish soldier, writer and politician. He was a Unionist Member of Parliament from 1941 to 1974 and was one of only two men who during the Second World War enlisted in the British Army as a private and rose to the rank of brigadier, the other being future fellow Conservative MP Enoch Powell.

<i>Eastern Approaches</i>

Eastern Approaches (1949) is an autobiographical account of the early career of Fitzroy Maclean. It is divided into three parts: his life as a junior diplomat in Moscow and his travels in the Soviet Union, especially the forbidden zones of Central Asia; his exploits in the British Army and SAS in the North Africa theatre of war; and his time with Josip Broz Tito and the Partisans in Yugoslavia.

Mandatory Palestine A former geopolitical entity in Palestine occupied from the Ottoman Empire in WW1.

Mandatory Palestine was a geopolitical entity established between 1920 and 1923 in the Middle East roughly corresponding to the region of Palestine, as part of the Partition of the Ottoman Empire under the terms of the "Mandate for Palestine".

Return from Internment

Returned from internment in Palestine in 1945, during the reign of Mohammad Reza Shah (Reza Shah's son and successor), General Zahedi became Inspector of military forces in southern Iran. He became once more chief of national police ( Shahrbani ) in 1949, when Mohammad Reza Shah appointed him as chief of the Shahrbani Police Forces, in order to counter the growing threat of Sepahbod Haj Ali Razmara.[ citation needed ]

Shahrbani

Shahrbani formerly called Nazmiyeh was a law enforcement force in Iran, with police duties inside cities. Founded during Qajar dynasty, it was eventually merged with the rural and roads police Gendarmerie and Islamic Revolution Committees in 1991 to form Law Enforcement Force of Islamic Republic of Iran (NAJA).

Haj Ali Razmara Iranian politician

Haj Ali Razmara was a military leader and prime minister of Iran.

After 1945

1950s

After retiring from the army, he was named Senator in 1950. Zahedi was appointed Minister of the Interior (1951) in Hossein Ala''s administration, a post he would retain when Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh became Prime Minister. Zahedi actively supported the new government's nationalisation of the oil industry, which had previously been owned by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, now BP. [7] However, he was at odds with Mossadegh over his increasing tolerance for the outlawed communist party Tudeh, which had boldly demonstrated in favor of nationalisation. Both of these moves antagonised the Western Powers, especially the United Kingdom and the United States. Zahedi was dismissed by Prime Minister Mossadegh after a bloody crackdown on pro-nationalization protesters in mid-1951 in which 20 people were killed and 2000 wounded. [8]

Zahedi finally broke with Mossadegh, with the latter accusing him of fostering plans for a coup. Meanwhile, sanctions levied by the Western Powers significantly curtailed Iranian oil exports, leading to an economic crisis. Disorder among several ethnic groups in southern Iran and labor unrest among oil-field workers put further pressures on the government.

1953 Coup

At the behest of the British and American governments, the Iranian military carried out a coup d'état which put an end to Mossadeq's rule and the era of constitutional monarchy and replaced it by direct rule of the Shah. The newly formed CIA, along with the British intelligence agency MI6, took an active role in the developments, terming their involvement Operation Ajax. Zahedi and his followers, financed by the foreign intelligence services, planted newspaper articles in Iranian publications and paid agent provocateurs to start riots. There were such riots in Tehran and other cities. Fearing his arrest, Zahedi went into hiding.

On 15 August, after the first attempted coup d'état failed, the Shah fled first to Baghdad and then to Rome, Italy, after signing two decrees, one dismissing Mossadegh and the other naming Zahedi to replace him as Prime Minister. Both decrees were in accordance with clause 46 of the Iranian constitution, which stated that the Shah had the power to appoint all Ministers.

Backed by the United Kingdom and the United States, and encouraged by the intelligence agents Kermit Roosevelt Jr and Donald Wilber, Zahedi staged a second coup on 19 August 1953. Military units arrested Mossadeq at his home at night. The Shah returned from exile on 22 August 1953. [9]

Final years

General Zahedi's role as Iran's Prime Minister ended in 1955. His final post was Ambassador to the United Nations, in Geneva,[ citation needed ] where he died in 1963.

Family

Zahedi's Family Zahedifamily.jpg
Zahedi's Family

Zahedi was a descendant of the Sufi mystics Sheikh Zahed Gilani and Sheikh Safi-ad-din Ardabili, the eponym of the Safavid Dynasty, and through his mother, Djavaher Khanom, he traced his descent to the dynastic ruler Karim Khan Zand.

Zahedi married Khadijeh Pirnia, daughter of Hossein Pirnia (titled Motamen-ol-Molk), and granddaughter to Mozzafar-al-Din Shah Qajar (1853–1907). They had a son, Ardeshir, and a daughter, Homa.

His son Ardeshir became a politician and diplomat and married Princess Shahnaz Pahlavi, the daughter of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi from his first marriage to Princess Fawzia of Egypt, daughter of King Fuad I.

His daughter Homa Zahedi was a member of Parliament, representing the constituency of the region of Hamadan.

According to The New York Times report a day after the 1953 coup, "General Zahedi has been married twice, but it is not known here whether his second wife is living. By his second wife he had two sons, one of whom lives in Sydney, Australia, while the second son, an air force officer, was killed in a crash." [10]

See also

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References

Citations

  1. Kinzer, Stephen, All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, Stephen Kinzer, John Wiley and Sons, 2003 p.142
  2. 1 2 3 4 Maclean, Fitzroy. Eastern Approaches. 1949. Jonathan Cape, London. No ISBN.
  3. O′Sullivan, Adrian (2015). Espionage and Counterintelligence in Occupied Persia (Iran): The Success of the Allied Secret Services, 1941-45. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 120–131. ISBN   978-1-137-55556-4.
  4. Louis, Wm. Roger (2007). Ends of British Imperialism: The Scramble for Empire, Suez, and Decolonization. I. B. Tauris. p. 776. ISBN   978-1-84511-347-6.
  5. O′Sullivan, Adrian (2015). Espionage and Counterintelligence in Occupied Persia (Iran): The Success of the Allied Secret Services, 1941-45. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 120–131. ISBN   978-1-137-55556-4.
  6. Louis, Wm. Roger (2007). Ends of British Imperialism: The Scramble for Empire, Suez, and Decolonization. I. B. Tauris. p. 776. ISBN   978-1-84511-347-6.
  7. Kinzer, Stephen, All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, Stephen Kinzer, John Wiley and Sons, 2003, p.195-196
  8. Kinzer, Stephen, All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, Stephen Kinzer, John Wiley and Sons, 2003, p.102
  9. Kinzer, Stephen, All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, Stephen Kinzer, John Wiley and Sons, 2003
  10. "Royalists Oust Mossadegh; Army Seizes Helm". The New York Times.

Bibliography

Military offices
Preceded by
Aboulfazl Sa'datmand
Chief commander of Imperial Army
19381942
Succeeded by
Haj Ali Razmara
Preceded by
Haj Ali Razmara
Chief commander of Imperial Army
19501951
Succeeded by
Mohammad Khatam
Political offices
Preceded by
Hossein Ala'
Minister of Interior of Iran
1951
Succeeded by
Hossein Ala'
Preceded by
Abdol-Hossein Meftah
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran
1953
Succeeded by
Abdollah Entezam
Preceded by
Mohammed Mossadegh
Prime Minister of Iran
19531955
Succeeded by
Hossein Ala'