HIH Mohamad Reza Pahlavi
|Also Known As:||"Shah of Iran"|
|Death:||Died in Cairo, Egypt|
|Place of Burial:||El-Darb El-Ahmar, Cairo Governorate, Egypt|
Son of HRH Reza Shah Pahlavi and Nimtaj Ayromlou
|Managed by:||Private User|
Historical records matching HIH Mohamad Reza Pahlavi
About HIH Mohamad Reza Pahlavi
He was the emperor of Iran from 16 September 1941, until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979. He was the second and last monarch of the House of Pahlavi of the Iranian monarchy. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi held several titles: His Imperial Majesty, Shahanshah (King of Kings, Emperor), Aryamehr (Light of the Aryans) and Bozorg Arteshtārān (Head of the Warriors, Persian: بزرگ ارتشتاران).
Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi came to power during World War II after an Anglo-Soviet invasion forced the abdication of his father Reza Shah. His rule oversaw the nationalization of the Iranian oil industry under the prime ministership of Mohammad Mosaddeq. During the Shah's reign, Iran marked the anniversary of 2,500 years of continuous monarchy since the founding of the Persian Empire by Cyrus the Great. His White Revolution – a series of economic and social reforms intended to transform Iran into a global power – succeeded in modernizing the nation, nationalizing many natural resources and extending suffrage to women, among other things. However, the decline of the traditional power of the Shi'a clergy due to parts of the reforms increased opposition, eventually leading to his overthrow.
Although a Muslim himself, the Shah gradually lost support from the Shi'a clergy of Iran, particularly due to his strong policy of modernization, secularization and conflict with the traditional class of merchants known as bazaari, and recognition of Israel. Clashes with the Islamists, increased communist activity and a 1953 period of political disagreements with Mohammad Mosaddeq – eventually leading to Mosaddeq's ousting – caused what the Shah's opponents believe to have been an increasingly autocratic rule.
Various controversial policies were enacted, including the banning of the communist Tudeh Party and a general suppression of political dissent by Iran's intelligence agency, SAVAK. Amnesty International reported that Iran had as many as 2,200 political prisoners in 1978. By 1979, political unrest had transformed into a revolution which, on 16 January, forced the Shah to leave Iran. Soon thereafter, the revolutionary forces transformed the government into an Islamic republic.
The Shah made major changes to curb the power of certain ancient elite factions by expropriating large and medium-sized estates for the benefit of more than four million small farmers. In the White Revolution, he took a number of major modernization measures, including extending suffrage to women, much to the discontent and opposition of the Islamic clergy, the participation of workers in factories through shares and other measures, the improvement of the educational system through new elementary schools and literacy courses set up in remote villages by the Imperial Iranian Armed Forces. The latter step was called "Sepāh e Dānesh", "Army of Knowledge". As part of the White Revolution, the Armed Forces were engaged in infrastructural and other educational projects throughout the country ("Sepāh e Tarvij va Âbādāni") as well as in health education and promotion ("Sepāh e Behdāsht"). Moreover, he instituted exams for Islamic theologians to become established clerics. As a further step, in the seventies the governmental program of a free of charge nourishment for children at school ("Taghzieh e Rāigān") was implemented. Under the Shah's reign, the national Iranian income showed an unprecedented rise.
In the field of diplomacy, Iran realized and maintained friendly relations with Western and East European countries as well as the state of Israel and China and became, especially through the close friendship with the United States, more and more a hegemonial power in the Persian Gulf region and the Middle East. The suppression of the communist guerilla movement in the region of Dhofar in Oman with the help of the Iranian army after a formal request by Sultan Qaboos was widely regarded in this context. As to infrastructural and technological progress, the Shah continued and developed further the policies introduced by his father. As part of his programs, projects in several technologies, such as steel, telecommunications, petrochemical facilities, power plants, dams and the automobile industry may be named.
In terms of cultural activities, international cooperations were encouraged and organized, such as the Shiraz Arts Festival. Many Iranian students were sent to and supported in foreign, especially Western countries and the Indian subcontinent. The Aryamehr University of Technology was established as a major new academic institution.
Under Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's father, the government supported advancements by women against child marriage, polygamy, exclusion from public society, and education segregation. However, independent feminist political groups were shut down and forcibly integrated into one state-created institution, which maintained many paternalistic views. Despite substantial opposition from Shiite religious jurists, the Iranian feminist movement, led by activists such as Fatemah Sayyeh, achieved further advancement under Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. His regime's changes focused on the civil sphere, and private-oriented family law remained restrictive, although the 1967 and 1975 Family Protection Laws attempted to reform this trend. Specifically, women gained the right to become ministers such as Farrokhroo Parsa and judges such as Shirin Ebadi, as well as any other profession regardless of their gender.
Marriages and children
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was married three times.
1. Fawzia of Egypt
His first wife was Princess Fawzia of Egypt (born 5 November 1921), a daughter of King Fuad I of Egypt and Nazli Sabri; she also was a sister of King Farouk I of Egypt. They married in 1939 and were divorced in 1945 (Egyptian divorce) and 1948 (Iranian divorce). They had one daughter, Princess Shahnaz Pahlavi (born 27 October 1940).
2. Soraya Esfandiary-Bakhtiari
His second wife was Soraya Esfandiary-Bakhtiari ( 22 June 1932 – 26 October 2001), the only daughter of Khalil Esfandiary, Iranian Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, and his wife, the former Eva Karl. They married in 1951, but divorced in 1958 when it became apparent that she could not bear children. Soraya later told The New York Times that the Shah had no choice but to divorce her, and that he was heavy hearted about the decision.
He subsequently indicated his interest in marrying Princess Maria Gabriella of Savoy, a daughter of the deposed Italian king, Umberto II. Pope John XXIII reportedly vetoed the suggestion. In an editorial about the rumors surrounding the marriage of "a Muslim sovereign and a Catholic princess", the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, considered the match "a grave danger," especially considering that under the 1917 Code of Canon Law a Roman Catholic who married a divorced person would be automatically, and could be formally, excommunicated.
3. Farah Diba
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi married his third and final wife, Farah Diba (born 14 October 1938), the only child of Sohrab Diba, Captain in the Imperial Iranian Army, and his wife, the former Farideh Ghotbi. They were married in 1959, and Queen Farah was crowned Shahbanu, or Empress, a title created especially for her in 1967. Previous royal consorts had been known as "Malakeh" (Arabic: Malika), or Queen. The couple remained together for twenty years, until the Shah's death. Farah Diba bore him four children:
1. Reza Pahlavi, the Crown Prince (born 31 October 1960)
2. Farahnaz Pahlavi (born 12 March 1963)
3. Ali-Reza Pahlavi (born 28 April 1966)
4. Leila Pahlavi ( 27 March 1970 – 10 June 2001)
* Iran Grand Cordon of the Order of the Crown of Persia (1926)
* Iran Grand Collar of the Order of Pahlavi of Persia (1932)
* Egypt Collar of the Order of Muhammad Ali of Egypt (1939)
* United Kingdom Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) (1942)
* Czech Republic Grand Cross of the Order of the White Lion, 1st Class w/ Collar of Czechoslovakia (1943)
* France Croix de Guerre w/ Palm of France (1945)
* Republic of China Grand Cordon of the Order of the Propitious Clouds of China, special grade (1946)
* United States Chief Commander of the Legion of Merit of the United States (1947)
* Vatican City Knight of the Order of the Golden Spur of the Vatican (1948)
* United Kingdom Royal Victorian Chain (RVC) (1948)
* Iran Grand Cordon of the Order of the Zulfiqar of Iran (1949)
* Jordan Collar of the Order of Hussein ibn Ali of Jordan (1949)
* Jordan Grand Cordon of the Order of the Renaissance of Jordan (1949)
* Saudi Arabia Flag Variant (1934).svg Order of the King Abdul Aziz Decoration of Honour, 1st Class of Saudi Arabia (1955)
* Germany Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Bundesverdienstkreuz of West Germany (1955)
* Lebanon Grand Cordon (Special Class) of the Order of Merit of Lebanon (1956)
* Spain 1945 1977.svg Grand Collar of the Order of the Yoke and Arrows of Spain (1957)
* Iraq Grand Cordon of the Grand Order of the Hashemites of Iraq (1957)
* Italy Grand Cross w/ Collar of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy (1957)
* Libya Grand Cordon of the Order of Idris I of Libya (1958)
* Japan Collar of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum of Japan (1958)
* Austria Grand Star of the Decoration for Services to the Republic of Austria (1958)
* Denmark Knight of the Order of the Elephant of Denmark (1959)
* Netherlands Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion (1959)
* Pakistan Order of Pakistan, 1st Class (1959)
* Nepal Order of Ojaswi Rajanya of Nepal (1960)
* Greece Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer of Greece (1960)
* Belgium Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold of Belgium (1960)
* Norway Grand Cross w/Collar of the Order of St Olav of Norway (1961)
* Ethiopia Grand Collar and Chain of the Order of Solomon of Ethiopia (1964)
* Afghanistan Grand Cordon of the Order of the Supreme Sun of Afghanistan (1965)
* United Arab Republic Grand Cordon of the Order of the Nile of Egypt (1965)
* Argentina Grand Cordon of the Order of the Liberator San Martin of Argentina (1965)
* Tunisia Grand Cordon w/Collar of the Order of Independence of Tunisia (1965)
* Brazil Grand Collar of the Order of the Southern Cross of Brazil (1965)
* Morocco Grand Cordon of the Order of Muhammad of Morocco (1966)
* Kuwait Order of Mubarak the Great of Kuwait (1966)
* Bahrain Order of al-Khalifa of Bahrain (1966)
* Qatar Order of Independence of Qatar (1966)
* Saudi Arabia Flag Variant (1934).svg Order of the Badr Chain of Saudi Arabia (1966)
* Sudan Order of the Chain of Honour of the Sudan (1966)
* Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Grand Cordon of the Yugoslavian Grand Star of Yugoslavia (1966)
* Sweden Collar of the Order of the Seraphim of Sweden (1967) (Knight-1960)
* Malaysia Order of the Crown of Malaysia (DMN) (1968)
* Thailand Knight of the Order of the Royal House of Chakri of Thailand (1968)
* Finland Commander Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion of Finland (1970)
* Oman Military Order of Oman, 1st Class (1973)
* Spain 1945 1977.svg Grand Collar of the Order of Charles III of Spain (1975)
* Mexico Collar of the Order of the Aztec Eagle of Mexico (1975)