History of Iran

Reza Shah Pahlavi
Reza Shah Kabir (Reza Shah The Great)


Reza Khan
Reza Khan was born in the village of Alasht in the region of Savad Kouh in the province of Mazandaran. Alasht was an isolated village and at the turn of the century its population was about 1,000.

Abbas Ali, father of Reza Shah was a member of the Savad Kouh provincial army regiment and probably reached the rank equivalent to major, married his second wife, Noush Afrin, around 1877. She was a girl of Persian-speaking stock whose father had come to Iran from Erivan. The following year 1878, a son, Reza, was born. Abbas Ali died some three to six months after Reza's birth.

Noush Afarin did not had a good relationship with Abbas Ali's other wife and children and shortly after Ali's death, at the urging of her youngest brother, decided to leave Alasht and settle in Tehran.

At about the age of fifteen, Reza joined the Cossack Brigade in 1893-94. And about 1903 Reza Khan married Tajmah, a girl from Hamadan, from whom a daughter, Fatemeh, later known as Hamdam al Saltaneh, was born. He divorced Tajmah soon after the birth of Fatemeh.

In 1911, serving under the overall command of Abol Hossein Mirza Farmanfarmaian or called Farmanfarma (The prime minister of the time) Reza Khan took part in battles against Salar al-Doleh who was attempting to topple the Government in Tehran and reinstate his brother Mohammad Ali on the throne. Reza gave a good account of himself in that campaign and was promoted to First Lieutenant. His proficiency in handling machine guns elevated him to the rank equivalent to Captain in 1912.

By 1915 he had come to be regarded as a brave and fearless soldier and was handpicked by his successive senior commanders to accompany them on military expeditions. Reza Khan's military reputation, his native intelligence and professionalism served him well and he soon became well known by some prominent Iranians in Tehran and other provinces. By 1915 he was promoted to the rank of colonel.

Reza Shah Pahlavi
In 1916 he married Nimtaj (Taj al Molouk), the eldest daughter of Teimour Khan (Ayromlou), a Brigadier General in the regular army whose family had come to Iran from the Caucasus (Many Iranian families left the Caucasus and migrated to Iran proper in 1828, after the Russo-Persian War). Taj al Molouk gave birth to four children including the Crown Prince, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and the other children were daughters Shams and Ashraf (twin sister of crown Prince, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi), and son Ali Reza.

In 1918 Reza Khan was referred to as a Brigadier General in the campaign of Cossacks in the Kashan area against the bandits.

In 1921 he headed a British orchestrated coup and occupied Tehran with his Cossack Brigade consequently became war minister. Later in 1921 he negotiated the evacuation of the Russian troops.

In 1922 Reza Khan married a third time to Turan (Qamar al Molouk) Amir Soleimani (1904 - 1995), the daughter of Issa Majd al Saltaneh, one of the most respected and prominent men of his day. From this marriage a son was born (Gholam Reza). Reza Khan divorced her in 1923.

Reza Khan became prime minister of the new regime in 1923. He negotiated the evacuation of the British forces stationed in Iran since World War I in 1924.

Reza Khan's last wife was Esmat Dolatshahi (Death: 24 JUL 1995) , the daughter of a Qajar Prince Mojalal al-Doleh, whom he married in 1923. From this marriage four sons and a daughter were born (Abdol Reza, Ahmad Reza, Mahmoud Reza, Fatemeh and Hamid Reza).

In 1925 Reza Khan deposed Ahmad Mirza, the last shah of the Qajar Dynasty, and was proclaimed shah of Iran. He changed his name to Reza Shah Pahlevi, thus founding the Pahlevi dynasty.

Reza Shah and Kamal Ata Turk president of Turkey
Reza Shah introduced many great reforms, reorganizing the army, government administration, and finances. He abolished all special rights granted to foreigners, thus gaining real independence for Iran.

Under Reza Shah's 16 years rule the roads and Trans-Iranian Railway were built, modern education was introduced and the University of Tehran was established, and for the first time systematically dispatch of Iranian students to Europe was started. Industrialization of country was stepped-up, and achievements were great. By the mid 1930's Reza Shah's dictatorial style of rule caused dissatisfaction in Iran. And in 1935 name changed from Persia to Iran.

In World War II the Allies protested his rapprochement with the Germans, and in 1941 British and Russian forces invaded and occupied Iran. Forced to abdicate in favour of his son, Mohammad Reza Shah, and he died in exile in Johannesburg of South Africa in 1944.