Gholam Ali Oveissi

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Gholam-Ali Oveissi
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General Gholam-Ali Oveissi
Nickname(s)Butcher of Tehran [1]
Born(1918-04-16)16 April 1918
Fordo, Iran
Died7 February 1984(1984-02-07) (aged 65)
Paris, France
Allegiance Iran
Service/branch Imperial Iranian Army
Years of service1934–1979
Rank IIArmy-Arteshbod.png General
Commands heldCommander of the Iranian Imperial Army
Awardssee Medals

Arteshbod Gholam-Ali Oveissi was an Iranian general and the Chief Commander of the Imperial Iranian Armed Forces under Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. He was the last general to head the Imperial Army of Iran. He is regarded as one of the most powerful and adept military generals in Iran’s modern history. [2] [3] [ full citation needed ]

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Last shah of Iran

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, also known as Mohammad Reza Shah, was the last King (Shah) of Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979. Mohammad Reza Shah took the title Shahanshah on 26 October 1967. He was the second and last monarch of the House of Pahlavi. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi held several other titles, including that of Aryamehr and Bozorg Arteshtaran ("Commander-in-Chief"). His dream of what he referred to as a "Great Civilisation" in Iran led to a rapid industrial and military modernisation, as well as economic and social reforms.


Early life

Oveissi’s family from his father’s lineage goes back to Shah Qara Yusuf Muhammad, the ruler of the Ghara Ghoyonlu dynasty (Black Seep Turkomans) and descends through Uzun Hassan when he defeated Jahan Shah in a battle near the sanjak of Çapakçur [4] [5] in present day eastern Turkey on 30 October [6] (or 11 November [7] ), 1467, resulting in a merger of the Ghara Ghoyonlu and the Agh Ghoyunlu dynasty (White Sheep Turkomans). He is a direct descendant of Eskandar Beik Torkaman,the Minister, head of army (Iraq campaign) and personal advisor to Shah Abbas the Great.[ citation needed ] On his mother's side he was the grandson of Hossein Ali Mirza, the eldest son of Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar.[ citation needed ] In 1937, Oveissi married Sharafat Baniadam, the daughter of Sharif Doleh Baniadam, and granddaughter of Sharif Doleh Bozorg. They were married until her passing in 1972. The Baniadams were members of the Ghaffari family of Kashan.[ citation needed ]

Qara Yusuf Kara Koyunlu ruler

Abu NasrQara Yusuf ibn MohammadBarani was the ruler of the Kara Koyunlu dynasty from c.1388 to 1420, although his reign was interrupted by Tamerlane's invasion (1400–1405). He was the son of Qara Muhammad, a brother-in-law to Ahmad Jalayir.

Kara Koyunlu

The Kara Koyunlu or Qara Qoyunlu, also called the Black Sheep Turkomans, were a Muslim Oghuz Turkic monarchy that ruled over the territory comprising present-day Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, northwestern Iran, eastern Turkey, and northeastern Iraq from about 1374 to 1468.

Muzaffar al-Din Jahan Shah ibn Yusuf was the leader of the Kara Koyunlu Oghuz Turks dynasty in Azerbaijan and Arran who reigned c. 1438 – 1467. During his reign he managed to expand the Kara Koyunlu’s territory to its largest extent, including Eastern Anatolia, most of present-day Iraq, central Iran, and even eventually Kerman. He also subjugated neighbouring states. He was one of the greatest rulers of the Kara Koyunlu. He was also allegedly fond of drinking and entertainment. During his reign Jahan Shah had the Gökmedrese and Muzafferiye theological schools constructed in his capital city Tabriz.


Oveissi received his diploma from Iran's Military High School.[ citation needed ] He attended the Officers Faculty in the same class as Mohammad-Reza Shah continuing his military training in the Military Academy in Tehran where he graduated first in his class.[ citation needed ] The top graduates of the class were selected by Reza Shah to go straight to the Imperial Guard, an honor given only to the top five graduates.[ citation needed ] Oveissi sought permission from Reza Shah to be stationed at Khuzestan instead where the government was involved in battle with rebel groups. He attended the Military organization in Fort Myers, Virginia and Fort Leavenworth Kansas in 1959.[ citation needed ]

From 1938-1939 he was chosen to command the Military Section of the 7th and 13th regiments positioned in Fars Province and replaced the commander of the 6th regiment from 1940-1941. From 1941 – 1943 he replaced the military commander of Fars Province, section 13.[ citation needed ]

From 1940-1960 he was chief of the military faculty in Tehran. After 1955 his military career progressed rapidly.[ citation needed ]

On 12 September 1954, he became a full colonel and served with that rank until 1960 when he was promoted to general in the Royal Iranian Army.[ citation needed ]

From 1958-1960 he participated actively in the military court prosecution of communist officers.[ citation needed ]

He continued his military studies in the United States periodically from 1960-1965, and became a full commander of the Royal Military division of the Imperial Guards.[ citation needed ]

Four Star General of the Army. From 1960-1965 he became a four star general of the Army, being the youngest of his peers to achieve the rank of four stars.[ citation needed ]

In 1965 General Oveissi became the Chief Commander of the security divisions of the Policy Academy.[ citation needed ]

In 1966 he served in the Committee of Information of the Imperial Iranian Army.[ citation needed ]

In 1969 he obtained the highest military rank.[ citation needed ]


General Oveissi received many military medals for his honorable and distinguished services in the Iranian Armed Forces, including:

1) Medals 1,2 and 3 for his aptitude;
2) Medal of Honor 1,2 and 3;
3) He was honored with a medal (level 2) for his exceptional effort in the counter coup d’etat of 1953 (28 Mordad).
4) He received a medal for being a master marksman;
4) He received the medal of (Taj) crown level 3 Medal of Homayoun level 3;
5) Medal of appreciation and acknowledgement levels 1,2, and;
6) Medal for his tireless efforts and highly praised work levels 1,2, and 3;
7) Medal for his services level 3;
8) Medal for his distinguished education.

Oveissi additionally obtained medals from various countries’ military organizations. He received medals from Italian, English, Lebanese, German, and Ethiopian militaries as well.

Later years and assassination

In January 1979, Oveissi was pressured to resign and leave the country. He settled in France just before the Iranian revolution on 11 February. [8] In the immediate aftermath of the revolution, Ayatollah Sadegh Khalkhali, a religious judge and then chairman of the Revolutionary Court, informed the press that the death sentence was passed on the members of the Pahlavi family and former Shah officials, including Oveissi. [8]

Oveissi was shot dead, along with his brother, Gholam Hossein, on 7 February 1984 in Paris, Rue de Passy. [8] [9] [10] Oveissi was at the age of 66. [9] The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the assassination. [9] His death was considered by many as the blow that dealt the most setback to opposition groups poised to overthrow the revolutionary regime in Tehran. Two days before his assassination he was expected to fly back to the border of Iran to lead a counter revolutionary army of officers and men from elite divisions of the late Shah's military that was quartered in 22 makeshift barracks in eight Turkish villages and at five clandestine bases inside Iran. Since Oveissi had strong ties and the support of powerful members of the clergy including Grand Ayatollahs Shariatmadari and Abu al-Qasim al-Khoei his elimination was priority number one for the newly established revolutionary government.

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  1. "Lodi News-Sentinel - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  2. Mansur Rafizadeh. Witness: From the Shah to the Secret Arms Deal
  3. National Defense University. Khomeini Incorporation of the Military.Jan 1996
  4. Alexander Mikaberidze (2011). Conflict and Conquest in the Islamic World: A Historical Encyclopedia, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 907. ISBN   9781598843361 . Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  5. Peter Jackson, Lawrence Lockhart (1986). The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 6. Cambridge University Press. p. 173. ISBN   9780521200943 . Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  6. Edward Granville Browne (2009). A History of Persian Literature Under Tartar Dominion (A.D, 1265–1502). Cambridge: The University press Publication. p. 89. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  7. Peter Jackson, Lawrence Lockhart (1986). The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 6. Cambridge University Press. p. 1120. ISBN   9780521200943 . Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  8. 1 2 3 "No Safe Haven: Iran's Global Assassination Campaign". Iran Human Rights. 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  9. 1 2 3 "Two Iranian exiles are assassinated in Paris". Lodi News Sentinel. Paris. UPI. 8 February 1984. Retrieved 5 August 2013.

Military offices
Preceded by
Fathollah Minbashian
Commander of the Imperial Iranian Ground Force
Succeeded by
Abdol Ali Badrei