Rezā Shāh
Monarch, politician, military leader
Rezā Shāh
Rezā Shāh Pahlavi (born Rezā Khan, was the Shah of the Imperial State of Iran from December 15, 1925, until he was forced to abdicate by the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran on September 16, 1941. In 1925, Reza Shah overthrew Ahmad Shah Qajar, the last Shah of the Qajar dynasty, and founded the Pahlavi dynasty.
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Rezā Shāh's personal information overview.
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News
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The Islamic Roots of Democratic Rebellion and Liberty - Huffington Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
As Noah Feldman illustrated brilliantly, this process produced not the liberal democracy of the West, but various secular (and sometimes fiercely secularist) autocrats -- such as the Atatürk of Turkey, Reza Shah of Iran, or the Nasser of Egypt
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The hunt for Gaddafi: Where can a dictator seek refuge? - RIA Novosti
Google News - over 5 years
The first to fall was Iran's Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in February 1979. He fled to Morocco and then on to the Bahamas and Mexico. After visiting the United States in November 1979 for medical treatment, Islamic radicals seized the US embassy in
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Iran Owes Mullahs One Government - Iranian
Google News - over 5 years
The power of the clergy took a steep downturn when the Pahlavi Dynasty came to power in 1926 under a populist military officer called Reza Shah. He began a task of building a nation to his personal specifications, a revitalized Iran free from the
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Understanding the contemporary"Iranian" & realistic remedy 101 - Iranian (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Late Shah(bbhs) & his father Reza shah even with good intentions ignored this basic fact and tried to cosmeticaly change the socio-cultural terms of this modern web and thus alienating a huge portion of ethnic minorities ranging from Arabs to turks
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Ironies of history: 70 years since the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran - RIA Novosti
Google News - over 5 years
This was, of course, important, but what worried the Allies even more were the openly pro-German leanings of the Iranian monarch, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and his government. The Allies suspected that Tehran was seeking to join the Axis
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Remembering Mosaddeq - Payvand
Google News - over 5 years
Haj Hasan's solution was if they buried Reza Shah next to Naser el-Din Shah, nobody will pay anymore visits to the tomb. In my first encounters with foreign diplomats first I would meet them with ultimate cordiality and in proper attire and would
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Reports: Iran Seizes Thousands of Bibles; Destroys Church - Worthy News
Google News - over 5 years
St. Andaryas, or Andrew, Church was built in 1950 in the center of the city when Reza Shah Pahlavi was Iran's king, Christianssaid. "It was the place of worship for many people, thirsty for the Truth," explained Mohabat News, which published pictures
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REPORTS: Iran Seizes Thousands Of Bibles; Destroys Church - BosNewsLife
Google News - over 5 years
St. Andaryas, or Andrew, Church was built in 1950 in the center of the city when Reza Shah Pahlavi was Iran's king, Christianssaid. "It was the place of worship for many people, thirsty for the Truth," explained Mohabat News, which published pictures
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Persian Press Review - Tehran Times
Google News - over 5 years
In the statement the lawmakers wrote that the insult leveled at Islamic women's dress code (hijab), in a newspaper whose budget is provided from public funds, bring to mind what happened to religious females during the reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi
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Baha'is never give up on the power of divine justice - Iran Press Watch
Google News - over 5 years
The success of Tarbiat Schools irritated the clerics and the corrupt government authorities at the time; eventually, after many years of tremendous service to the Iranian community and due to relentless opposition from clerics, in 1934 Reza Shah issued
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Women voting for first time - Iranian
Google News - over 5 years
Between 1962 and 1978, the Iranian women's movement gained tremendous victories: women won the right to vote in 1963 as part of Mohammad Reza Shah's White Revolution, and were allowed to stand for public office, and in 1975 the Family Protection Law
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Iranian incursions into Kurdistan damage the credibility of Baghdad and the US - Kurdish Globe
Google News - over 5 years
For the best part, the Kurds had shaky relations with the shah's government and initially supported the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in favor of the Islamic revolution in hopes of achieving a new break and stronger political influence
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Top screenplays of children to be released as a book - Iran Book News Agency
Google News - over 5 years
Hamid-reza Shah-abadi said that screenwriters play a significant role in the film production process. Unfortunately the matter is ignored in Iranian cinema and the center is willing to raise their stance with holding such a contest
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+ Iran: Excellence in the heat of sa - Nigeria Daily Independent
Google News - over 5 years
The Islamic revolution in 1978 transformed Iran from a monarchy under Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi to an Islamic republic under Ayatallah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution and founder of the Republic. The period after the revolution and upwards
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The Forgotten Liberalism Within Islam - Huffington Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
In Iran, for example, the "modernist" Reza Shah, banned the veiling all women, ordered his police to patrol the streets to tear the chadors off, and executed the ayatollahs who protested his measures. As a response, the first modern Islamist terrorist
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'Erdoðan, Turkey, Muslim!' - Hurriyet Daily News
Google News - over 5 years
In Iran, for example, Reza Shah, who was a big fan of Atatürk, went even more extreme in the latter's idea of state-enforced modernization. In the 1930s he banned the veiling all women, ordered his police to patrol the streets to tear the veils off,
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Gallup poll: US Jewish support for Obama on the decline - Iranian
Google News - over 5 years
As for you other ignorant comments let me remind you that neither Reza Shah nor his Son were Fascists and did not share the ideological arguments of the Nazis or Italian Fascists but quite the contrary given the deep and old roots linking the Persian
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Rezā Shāh
    OTHER
  • 1944
    Reza Shah abdicated and the British forces quickly took him and his children to Mauritius, then to Durban, thence Johannesburg, South Africa, where according to his British captors, he died on 26 July 1944 of a heart ailment about which he had been complaining for many years.
    More Details Hide Details His personal doctor had boosted the King's morale in exile by telling him that he was suffering from chronic indigestion and not heart ailment. He lived on a diet of plain rice and boiled chicken in the last years of his life. He was sixty-six years old at the time of his death. After his death, his body was carried to Egypt, where it was embalmed and kept at the royal Al Rifa'i Mosque in Cairo, (also the future burial place of his son, the exiled Mohammad Reza Pahlavi). In May 1950, the remains were flown back to Iran, where the embalming was removed, and buried in a mausoleum built in his honor in the town of Ray, in the southern suburbs of the capital, Tehran. Satellite map The Iranian parliament (Majlis) later designated the title "the Great" to be added to his name. On 14 January 1979, shortly before the Iranian Revolution, the remains were moved back to Egypt and buried in the Al Rifa'i Mosque in Cairo.
  • 1941
    Like his son after him, his life in exile was short. After Great Britain and the Soviet Union invaded and occupied Iran on 25 August 1941, the British offered to keep his family in power if Reza Shah agreed to a life of exile.
    More Details Hide Details
    In his 1962 book, World War In Iran, Clarmont Skrine, a British civil servant who accompanied Reza Shah on his 1941 journey to Mauritius writes: "Reza Shah Pahlavi, posthumously entitled 'The Great' in the annals of his country was indeed, if not the greatest, at any rate one of the strongest and ablest men Iran has produced in all the two and a half milleniums of her history"
    More Details Hide Details
    Reza Shah was forced by the invading British to abdicate in favor of his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi who replaced his father as Shah on the throne on 16 September 1941.
    More Details Hide Details Reza Shah's main critics were the so-called "new intelligensia", often educated in Europe, for whom the Shah "was not a state-builder but an 'oriental despot'... not a reformer but a plutocrat strengthening the landed upper class; not a real nationalist but a jack-booted Cossack trained by the Tsarists and brought to power by British imperialists." His defenders included Ahmad Kasravi, a contemporary intellectual and historian of constitutional movement, who had strongly criticized participation of Reza Shah in the 1909 siege of Tabriz. When he accepted the unpleasant responsibility of acting as defense attorney for a group of officers accused of torturing political prisoners, he stated; "Our young intellectuals cannot possibly understand and cannot judge the reign of Reza Shah. They cannot because they were too young to remember the chaotic and desperate conditions out of which arose the autocrat named Reza Shah."
    His foreign policy, which had consisted essentially of playing the Soviet Union off against Great Britain, failed when those two powers joined in 1941 to fight the Germans.
    More Details Hide Details To supply the Soviet forces with war material through Iran, the two allies jointly occupied the country in August 1941. The Shah's reign is sometimes divided into periods. During the first period, which lasted from 1925–1932, the country benefited greatly from the contributions of many of the country's best and brightest, to whom should accrue the credit for laying the foundations of modern Iran. All the worthwhile efforts of Reza Shah's reign were either completed or conceived in the 1925–1938 period, a period during which he required the assistance of reformists to gain the requisite legitimacy to consolidate this modern reign. In particular, Abdolhossein Teymourtash assisted by Farman Farma, Davar and a large number of modern educated Iranians, proved adept at masterminding the implementation of many reforms demanded since the failed constitutional revolution of 1905–1911. The preservation and promotion of the country's historic heritage, the provision of public education, construction of a national railway, abolition of capitulation agreements, and the establishment of a national bank had all been advocated by intellectuals since the tumult of the constitutional revolution.
  • 1937
    Ali-Akbar Davar, his minister of justice, was suspected of similar charges and committed suicide in February 1937. The elimination of these ministers "deprived" Iran "of her most dynamic figures... and the burden of government fell heavily on Reza Shah" according to historian Cyrus Ghani In 1935, the Iranian ruler issued a letter to the League of Nations insisting the name Iran (the historical name of the nation dating back thousands of years) be used instead of Persia (Pars), which is the Greek name for Iran that is used in English and European languages.
    More Details Hide Details Persia (Fars) is also the name of one of Iran's significant cultural provinces and the Persian language (Parsi / Farsi). Although (internally) the country had been referred to as Iran throughout much of its history, many countries including the English-speaking world knew the country as Persia, a legacy of the Greeks who referred to the entire region after the province of Fars (Pars). While Persians are only one of several ethnic groups in Iran, their home province Pars (Fārs) was a center of political power in ancient times under the Achaemenid Empire and Sassanid Empire as well as other Iranian dynasties, hence the somewhat misleading usage of the name Persia (in other countries) up to 1935 when referring to Iran as a whole. Support for the Shah came principally from three sources. The central "pillar" was the military, where the shah had begun his career. The annual defense budget of Iran "increased more than fivefold from 1926 to 1941." Officers were paid more than other salaried employees. The new modern and expanded state bureaucracy of Iran was another source of support. Its ten civilian ministries employed 90,000 full-time government workers. Patronage controlled by the Shah's royal court served as the third "pillar". This was financed by the Shah's considerable personal wealth which had been built up by forced sales and confiscations of estates, making him "the richest man in Iran".
  • 1932
    In 1932 the Shah offended Britain by canceling the agreement under which the Anglo-Persian Oil Company produced and exported Iran's oil.
    More Details Hide Details Although a new and improved agreement was eventually signed, it did not satisfy Iran's demands and left bad feeling on both sides. To counterbalance British and Soviet influence, Reza Shah encouraged German commercial enterprise in Iran. On the eve of World War II, Germany was Iran's largest trading partner. The Germans agreed to sell the Shah the steel factory he coveted and considered a sine qua non of progress and modernity. Nevertheless, according to the British embassy reports from Tehran in 1940, the total number of German citizens in Iran – from technicians to spies – was no more than a thousand.
  • 1931
    The unveiling issue and the Women's Awakening are linked to the Marriage Law of 1931 and the Second Congress of Eastern Women in Tehran in 1932.
    More Details Hide Details Reza Shah was the first Iranian Monarch in 1400 years who paid respect to the Jews by praying in the synagogue when visiting the Jewish community of Isfahan; an act that boosted the self-esteem of the Iranian Jews and made Reza Shah their second most respected Iranian leader after Cyrus the Great. Reza Shah's reforms opened new occupations to Jews and allowed them to leave the ghetto. This point of view, however, may be refuted by the claims that the anti-Jewish incidents of September 1922 in parts of Tehran was indeed a well-planned plot by Reza Khan. He forbade photographing aspects of Iran he considered backwards such as camels, and he banned clerical dress and chadors in favor of Western dress. The conception of modernization in the epoch of Reza Shah has to be still researched and analyzed, because it was key to the process of Iran entering the free world, no longer being an almost lawless, third-world country. This epoch is considered a real re-awaking moment for Iran.
  • 1928
    In his campaign against foreign influence, he annulled the 19th-century capitulations to Europeans in 1928.
    More Details Hide Details Under these, Europeans in Iran had enjoyed the privilege of being subject to their own consular courts rather than to the Iranian judiciary. The right to print money was moved from the British Imperial Bank to his National Bank of Iran (Bank-i Melli Iran), as was the administration of the telegraph system, from the Indo-European Telegraph Company to the Iranian government, in addition to the collection of customs by Belgian officials. He eventually fired Millspaugh, and prohibited foreigners from administering schools, owning land or traveling in the provinces without police permission. Not all observers agree that the Shah minimized foreign influence. One complaint about his development program was that the north-south railway line he had built was uneconomical, only serving the British, who had a military presence in the south of Iran and desired the ability to transfer their troops north to Russia, as part of their strategic defence plan. In contrast, the Shah's regime did not develop what critics believe was an economically justifiable east-west railway system.
    As his reign became more secure, Reza Shah clashed with Iran's clergy and devout Muslims on many issues. In March 1928, he violated the sanctuary of Qom's Fatima al-Masumeh Shrine to beat a cleric who had angrily admonished Reza Shah's wife for temporarily exposing her face a day earlier while on pilgrimage to Qom.
    More Details Hide Details In December of that year he instituted a law requiring everyone (except Shia jurisconsults who had passed a special qualifying examination) to wear Western clothes. This angered devout Muslims because it included a hat with a brim which prevented the devout from touching their foreheads on the ground during salat as required by Islamic law. The Shah also encouraged women to discard hijab. He announced that female teachers could no longer come to school with head coverings. One of his daughters reviewed a girls' athletic event with an uncovered head. The devout were also angered by policies that allowed mixing of the sexes. Women were allowed to study in the colleges of law and medicine, and in 1934 a law set heavy fines for cinemas, restaurant, and hotels that did not open their doors to both sexes. Doctors were permitted to dissect human bodies. He restricted public mourning observances to one day and required mosques to use chairs instead of the traditional sitting on the floors of mosques.
  • 1926
    Reza Shah's coronation took place much later, on 25 April 1926.
    More Details Hide Details It was at that time that his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was proclaimed the Crown Prince of Persiato rule after his father. While the Shah left behind no major thesis, or speeches giving an overarching policy, his reforms indicated a striving for an Iran which—according to scholar Ervand Abrahamian—would be "free of clerical influence, nomadic uprisings, and ethnic differences", on the one hand, and on the other hand would contain "European-style educational institutions, Westernized women active outside the home, and modern economic structures with state factories, communication networks, investment banks, and department stores." Reza is said to have avoided political participation and consultation with politicians or political personalities, instead embracing the slogan "every country has its own ruling system and ours is a one man system." He is also said to have preferred punishment to reward in dealing with subordinates or citizens.
  • 1925
    The Majlis, convening as a Constituent Assembly, declared him the Shah of Iran on 12 December 1925, pursuant to the Constitution of Iran.
    More Details Hide Details Three days later, on 15 December, he took his imperial oath and thus became the first shah of the Pahlavi dynasty.
    By October 1925, he succeeded in pressuring the Majlis to depose and formally exile Ahmad Shah, and instate him as the next Shah of Iran.
    More Details Hide Details Initially, he had planned to declare the country a republic, as his contemporary Kemal Ataturk had done in Turkey, but abandoned the idea in the face of clerical opposition.
    He was also one of the last individuals to become an officer of the Neshan-e Aqdas prior to the collapse of the Qajar dynasty in 1925. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, Persia had become a battleground. In 1917, Britain used Iran as the springboard for an attack into Russia in an unsuccessful attempt to reverse the Revolution.
    More Details Hide Details The Soviet Union responded by annexing portions of northern Persia, creating the Persian Soviet Socialist Republic. The Soviets extracted ever more humiliating concessions from the Qajar government, whose ministers Ahmad Shah was often unable to control. By 1920, the government had lost virtually all power outside its capital: British and Soviet forces exercised control over most of the Iranian mainland. In late 1920, the Soviets in Rasht prepared to march on Tehran with "a guerrilla force of 1,500 Jangalis, Kurds, Armenians, and Azerbaijanis", reinforced by the Soviet Red Army. This, along with various other unrest in the country, created "an acute political crisis in the capital." On 14 January 1921, the British General Ironside chose to promote Reza Khan, who had been leading the Tabriz battalion, to lead the entire brigade. About a month later, under British direction, Reza Khan led his 3,000-4,000 strong detachment of the Cossack Brigade based in Qazvin and Hamadan to Tehran and seized the capital. He forced the dissolution of the previous government and demanded that Seyyed Zia'eddin Tabatabaee be appointed Prime Minister. Reza Khan's first role in the new government was as Commander of the Iranian Army, which he combined with the post of minister of war. He took the title Sardar Sepah, or Commander-in-Chief of the Army, by which he was known until he became Shah. While Reza Khan and his Cossack brigade secured Tehran, the Persian envoy in Moscow negotiated a treaty with the Bolsheviks for the removal of Soviet troops from Persia.
  • 1922
    In 1922 (divorced 1923), Reza Shah married Turan (Qamar al Molk) Amir Soleimani (1904–1995), by whom he had one son:
    More Details Hide Details Reza Shah's fourth wife was Esmat Dowlatshahi (1904–1995), by whom he had five children:
  • 1918
    He was the last commanding officer of the Brigade, and the only Iranian commander in its history, succeeding to this position the Russian colonel Vsevolod Starosselsky, whom Reza Khan had helped, in 1918, take over the brigade.
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  • 1903
    In 1903, he is reported to have been guard and servant to the Dutch consul general Frits Knobel.
    More Details Hide Details In 1925, Maurits Wagenvoort, a friend of Knobel, wrote: Was the present autocrat the same person as the one I once spoke to in the Babi-circle of Hadsji Achont when he was gholam of his Respected Presence the Netherlands' ambassador in Tehran? He appeared to me most eager to learn about the Western political situation. And I shall never forget the expression of disillusion on his face when, in answer to his question, 'What? Aren't the elected people's representatives the most intelligent men of the nation?' I replied, 'Not a bit of it! Perhaps they are just a trifle above your average, everyday folk'. He continued, 'And the ministers then?' 'They are somewhat brighter. But not always.' He also served in the Iranian Army, where he gained the rank of gunnery sergeant under Qajar Prince Abdol Hossein Mirza Farmanfarma's command. His record of military service eventually led him to a commission as a Brigadier General in the Persian Cossack Brigade.
  • 1894
    Reza Shah's first wife, whom he married in 1894, was Maryam Khanum (died 1904).
    More Details Hide Details They had one daughter: His second wife was Tadj ol-Molouk (1896–1982), by whom he had four children:
  • 1879
    She remarried in 1879 and left Rezā to the care of his uncle.
    More Details Hide Details His uncle in turn sent Reza to a family friend, Amir Tuman Kazim Khan, an officer in the Persian army. When Rezā was sixteen years old, he joined the Persian Cossack Brigade.
  • 1878
    Born on March 15, 1878.
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