Karim Sanjabi

Last updated

Karim Sanjabi
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
11 February 1979 1 April 1979
Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan
Preceded by Ahmad Mirfendereski
Succeeded by Ebrahim Yazdi
Minister of Culture
In office
28 April 1951 6 May 1951
Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh
Preceded byMahmoud Mehran
Succeeded by Mahmoud Hessabi
Personal details
BornSeptember 1904
Kermanshah, Persia
Died4 July 1995(1995-07-04) (aged 90)
Carbondale, Illinois, United States
Political party National Front
Other political
Iran Party
Motherland Party
Spouse(s)Fakhrolmolouk Ardalan Sanjabi
Alma mater Sorbonne University, Faculty of Law
Signature Sanjabi Signiture.png

Karim Sanjabi (Persian : کریم سنجابی; September 1904 – 4 July 1995) was an Iranian politician of National Front.

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.

National Front (Iran) political opposition party in Iran

The National Front of Iran is an opposition political organization in Iran, founded by Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1949. It is the oldest and arguably the largest pro-democracy group operating inside Iran despite having never been able to recover the prominence it had in the early 1950s.


Early life

He was born in Kermanshah in September 1904 to the chief of the Kurdish Sanjâbi tribe. [1] He studied law and politics at Sorbonne University. He worked as a law professor at the University of Tehran. [1]

Kermanshah City in Iran

Kermanshah, also known as Bākhtarān or Kermānshāhān, is the capital of Kermanshah Province, located 525 kilometres from Tehran in the western part of Iran. According to the 2011 census, its population is 851,405. A majority of the population speaks Southern Kurdish. Kermanshah has a moderate and mountainous climate. Kermanshah is the largest Kurdish-speaking city in Iran. Most of the inhabitants of Kermanshah are Shia Muslims, but there are minorities such as Sunni Muslims, Yarsanism and so on.


The Sanjâbi or Senjâwi, is one of the biggest Kurdish tribes in Zagros area. The Sanjabi dialect is a branch of southern Kurdish language family. The majority of Sanjabi people are Yaresan but some of them are muslim.

Sorbonne University french university located in Paris. Created in 2018 from the merger of Université Paris IV and Université Paris VI

Sorbonne University is a public research university in Paris, France, established in 2018 by the merger of Paris-Sorbonne University, Pierre et Marie Curie University, along with smaller institutions. The date 1257 on its logo refers to the founding of Collège de Sorbonne by Robert de Sorbon, part of the university's early legacy. With 32 Nobel Prize and Fields Medal winners, Sorbonne University has a long tradition of academic excellence.


Sanjabi and Allahyar Saleh led the Iran Party, a nationalist, progressive, leftist and anti-Soviet group, in the 1950s. [2] The party became part of the National Front. [2] Sanjabi was a loyal supporter of Mohammad Mossadegh and he later served as minister of education under Mossadegh in 1952. Mossadegh had led the movement to nationalize the British-controlled oil industry in Iran (which, after nationalization, became known as the National Iranian Oil Company) and after this was accomplished, he became engaged in a heated battle with the British (who had previously controlled the oil industry and wished to reassert control over it) and with the forces rallying around Mohammad Reza Shah (the king of Iran who was opposed to Mossadegh's policies vis-a-vis the British, as well as the prime minister's efforts at limiting the Shah's power and influence). After a CIA-MI6 coup d'état overthrew Mossadegh in August 1953 and reestablished the Shah on the throne, Sanjabi, along with other Mossadegh supporters, went into opposition against the Shah's regime. He was heavily involved in the formation of the Second National Front in 1960. The reconstituted National Front was to remain active for five years, but under increasingly worsening circumstances. Despite its moderate[ according to whom? ] demands for electoral reforms and a Shah that would "reign and not rule", the Shah refused to tolerate the Front's activities. His powerful security forces, most notably the infamous[ according to whom? ] SAVAK, silenced the likes of Sanjabi and other secular democrats. Due to this and a variety of other factors, it had dissolved by 1965. The Front was to remain dormant until the late 1970s. It was revived in late 1977 by Sanjabi as its leader. [3]

Iran Party

The Iran Party is a socialist and nationalist party in Iran, founded in 1941. It is described as the "backbone of the National Front", the leading umbrella organization of Iranian nationalists established in 1949. The party's total membership has never exceeded the several hundred figure.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

National Iranian Oil Company Oil And Gas company

The National Iranian Oil Company, a government-owned corporation under the direction of the Ministry of Petroleum of Iran, is a national oil and natural gas producer and distributor headquartered in Tehran. It was established in 1948 and reinforced under The Consortium Agreement of 1954. NIOC ranks as the world's second largest oil company, after Saudi Arabia's state-owned Aramco.

As the general secretary of the National Front during the revolutionary uprising of 1978–1979, Sanjabi and his colleagues initially wished to negotiate a peaceful solution with the Shah. However, on 3 November 1978, he met as representative of the National Front with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in France. [4] He had gone there hoping to convince Khomeini to support the creation of a coalition government headed by the National Front. Despite the rising revolutionary fervor, Sanjabi and many other liberals had remained loyal to the idea of a constitutional monarchy with the Shah as ceremonial figurehead and they wished to bring Khomeini over to their point of view. Khomeini, however, refused to budge and reiterated his demand for the overthrow of the monarchy. In the end, Sanjabi, acting as head of the National Front, capitulated to Khomeini's demands. In addition, he accepted the leadership of Khomeini and opposed to the alliance with the Tudeh party. [5] Sanjabi emerged from his meeting "with a short declaration that spoke of both Islam and democracy as basic principles", [6] and Sanjabi declared his support for Khomeini and joined his forces. [4]

Iranian Revolution overthrow of the last monarch of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi

The Iranian Revolution, also known as the Islamic Revolution or the 1979 Revolution, was a series of events that involved the overthrow of the last monarch of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and the replacement of his government with an Islamic republic under the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a leader of one of the factions in the revolt. The movement against the United States-backed monarchy was supported by various leftist and Islamist organizations and student movements.

Tudeh Party of Iran Iranian communist party

The Tudeh Party of Iran is an Iranian communist party. Formed in 1941, with Soleiman Mohsen Eskandari as its head, it had considerable influence in its early years and played an important role during Mohammad Mosaddegh's campaign to nationalize the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and his term as prime minister. The crackdown that followed the 1953 coup against Mosaddegh is said to have "destroyed" the party, although a remnant persisted. The party still exists, but has remained much weaker as a result of its banning in Iran and mass arrests by the Islamic Republic in 1982, as well as the executions of political prisoners in 1988.

After the overthrow of the monarchy on 11 February 1979, Khomeini "explicitly refused to put the same word, democracy, into either the title of the Republic or its constitution." [6] Sanjabi served as the foreign minister of the provisional government led by Mahdi Bazargan. Sanjabi was in office from to February to April 1979. [7]

Attacks and arrests

Sanjabi's house in Tehran was bombed on 8 April 1978. [4] The underground committee for revenge, a state-financed organization, proclaimed the responsibility of the bombing. [4] He was arrested on 11 November 1978 and freed on 6 December. [4]

Personal life

Sanjabi was married to Fakhrolmolouk Ardalan Sanjabi (7 September 1921 - 21 February 2011) and had four children, three sons and a daughter.Khosrow, Parviz, Saeed and Maryam [8]

Later years and death

Sanjabi left Iran in 1982 and went to Paris. [9] Later he settled in the US. [9] [10] He died on 4 July 1995 at his home in Carbondale, Illinois at the age of 90. [1]

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  1. 1 2 3 Saxon, Wolfang (7 July 1995). "Karim Sanjabi, Politician, 90, Foe of Shah and Islamic Militants". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  2. 1 2 Gasiorowski, Mark J. (August 1987). "The 1953 Coup D'etat in Iran" (PDF). International Journal of Middle East Studies. 19 (3): 261–286. doi:10.1017/s0020743800056737. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 May 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  3. Said Amir Arjomand (1988). The Turban for the Crown: The Islamic Revolution in Iran. Oxford University Press. p. 109. ISBN   978-0-19-504258-0 . Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  4. 1 2 3 4 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.
  5. Milani, Mohsen M. (April 1993). "Harvest of Shame: Tudeh and the Bazargan Government". Middle Eastern Studies. 29 (2): 307–320. doi:10.1080/00263209308700950. JSTOR   4283563.
  6. 1 2 Modern Iran Nikki R. Keddie, Yann Richard p. 233
  7. Rubin, Barry (1980). Paved with Good Intentions (PDF). New York: Penguin Books. p. 287.
  8. "Fakhrolmolouk Sanjabi". The Southern. Carbondale. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  9. 1 2 "Karim Sanjabi". Sarasota Herald Tribune. 7 July 1995. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  10. "Sanjabi, Karim (Dr.) (1904 - )". BBC. Retrieved 31 July 2013.


Political offices
Preceded by
Ahmad Mirfendereski
Foreign Minister of Iran
Succeeded by
Ebrahim Yazdi
Party political offices
Title last held by
Allahyar Saleh
Leader of National Front
Title next held by
Adib Boroumand