Gholam Reza Azhari

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Gholam Reza Azhari
Gholam Reza Azhari.jpg
44th Prime Minister of Iran
In office
6 November 1978 4 January 1979
Monarch Mohammad Reza Shah
Preceded by Jafar Sharif-Emami
Succeeded by Shapour Bakhtiar
Personal details
Born 18 February 1912
Shiraz, Iran
Died 5 November 2001 (aged 89)
McLean, Virginia, United States
Alma mater National War College
Military service
Allegiance Iran
Service/branch Imperial Iranian Army
Years of service 1935–1979
Rank IIArmy-Arteshbod.png General officer
Commands Commander-in-Chiefs of the Iranian Armed Forces

Gholam Reza Azhari (Persian : غلامرضا ازهاری; 18 February 1912 – 5 November 2001) was a military leader and Prime Minister 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.

Iran Country in Western Asia

Iran, also called Persia and officially known as the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), it is the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. The country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the country's capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center.


Early life and education

Azhari in 1978 Azhari.jpg
Azhari in 1978

Azhari was born in Shiraz in 1912 (or in 1917). [1] He was a graduate of Iran's war college. He was also trained at the National War College in Washington in the 1950s. [1]

National War College

The National War College (NWC) of the United States is a school in the National Defense University. It is housed in Roosevelt Hall on Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington, D.C., the third-oldest Army post still active.

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.


Azhari worked at the CENTO. [2] He was appointed chief of staff of Iran's armed forces in 1971 and his tenure lasted until 1978. [3] He served as interim prime minister of a military government until a civilian government could be chosen. He served as prime minister from 6 November 1978 to 31 December 1978. [4] [5] He formed the first military government in Iran since 1953. [3]

On 21 December 1978, Azhari, then the prime minister, told U.S. Ambassador to Iran William Sullivan that, "You must know this and you must tell it to your government. This country is lost because the Shah cannot make up his mind." [6] Azhari had a heart attack in January 1979 [7] and resigned on 2 January. [8] Then he was succeeded by Abbas Gharabaghi as the chief of the army staff. [9] Shapour Bakhtiar succeeded Azhari as prime minister. [9] [10] On 18 February 1979 Azhari was retired from the army in absentia . [11]

William H. Sullivan American diplomat

William Healy Sullivan was an American Foreign Service career officer who served as Ambassador to Laos from 1964–1969, the Philippines from 1973–1977, and Iran from 1977–1979.

Abbas Gharabaghi Iranian military chief

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His cabinet was composed of eight members (five military men and three civilians): [12]

Gholam Ali Oveissi Iranian Army general

Gholam-Ali Oveissi was an Iranian four-star 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.

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Amir Khosrow Afshar (1919–1999) was an Iranian diplomat, who served as the minister of foreign affairs of Iran during the Shah era from 1978 to 1979.

However, it is also reported that the government was of eleven men and six of them were military officers. [13]


Later years and death

Azhari suffered a heart attack while serving as prime minister. [7] After leaving office he went to the US in January 1979 for heart surgery at Bethesda Naval Hospital. [7] After surgery he did not return to Iran and settled in McLean, Virginia. [7] 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 Azhari. [14]

He died of cancer in McLean, Virginia, USA, on 5 November 2001. [7]

See also

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  1. 1 2 3 "Index At-Az". Rulers. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  2. Rubin, Barry (1980). Paved with Good Intentions (PDF). New York: Penguin Books. p. 220.
  3. 1 2 Raein, Parviz (6 November 1978). "Shah decrees military control in Iran". The Day. Tehran. AP. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  4. Mansoor Moaddel (January 1994). Class, Politics, and Ideology in the Iranian Revolution. Columbia University Press. p. 160. ISBN   978-0-231-51607-5 . Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  5. Nikazmerad, Nicholas M. (1980). "A Chronological Survey of the Iranian Revolution". Iranian Studies. 13 (1/4): 327–368. doi:10.1080/00210868008701575. JSTOR   4310346.
  6. Sullivan, William H. Mission to Iran. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1981. p. 212.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 "Gholamreza Azhari, 83; Briefly Served as Iran's Prime Minister". Los Angeles Times. 18 November 2001. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  8. "Iran Cabinet". The Telegraph. 2 January 1979. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  9. 1 2 "Shah selects chief of staff". The Palm Beach Post. Tehran. 5 January 1979. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  10. Jessup, John E. (1998). An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Conflict and Conflict Resolution, 1945-1996. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 46.  via Questia (subscription required)
  11. Roberts, Mark (January 1996). "Purge of the Monarchists". McNair Papers (47–48). Retrieved 29 August 2013.  via  Questia (subscription required)
  12. "General Gholam Reza Azhari meets the Foreign Press (1978)". Iranian. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  13. Jahangir Amuzegar (1991). The Dynamics of the Iranian Revolution: The Pahlavis' Triumph and Tragedy. SUNY Press. p. 255. ISBN   978-0-7914-9483-7 . Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  14. "No Safe Haven: Iran's Global Assassination Campaign". Iran Human Rights. 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2013.


Political offices
Preceded by
Jafar Sharif-Emami
Prime Minister of Iran
Succeeded by
Shapour Bakhtiar
Military offices
Preceded by
Feridoun Jam
Chief commander of Imperial Army
Succeeded by
Abbas Gharabaghi