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the foundation of political philosophy in Iran-constitutional period

The foundation of political philosophy in Iran-constitutional period


Iranian Contemporary History No. 60


History Hall


  Hassan Esfandiari (Mohtashamossaltaneh) 
Akbar Mashouf
Hassan Esfandiari entitled Mohtashamossaltaneh, was born in the day of Kadir feast in Tehran, 1867.
Mirza Mohammad Khan Rais, entitled Sadiqolmolk was his father who entered government administration since FathAli shah’s reign.
Mirza Hassan received his elementary education from Mirza Lotfali Khan Sadrolafazel and Seyyed Ahmad Adib Pishavari. Then he entered Darolfonun and for a while learnt elementary Arabic, Persian literature and some courses of Islamic teachings and hadith.
He entered ministry of foreign affairs about 1886. From 1886 to 1889, he was Iran’s deputy ambassador to Berlin. He learnt German language in these years. Via his return to Iran, he went to Mecca and made his hajj and then proceeded to the holy cities of Iraq. Upon his arrival at Tehran, he was appointed the head of non neighboring countries and bureau of diverse nations. He was in this office that he was entitled Mohtashamossaltaneh about 1892-3. Shortly after, he was appointed general consul of Bombay.
Subsequent to his return to Iran about 1897-8, he became the deputy of ministry of foreign affairs. He further received the honor of “his majesty’s interpreter” in Mozaffaraddin Shah’s court. He was a member of his suit in his third journey to Europe as the representative of ministry of foreign affairs. He accompanied the Shah in all occasions of the journey. However, he did not drink alcoholic beverages. When the constitutional decree was issued, he was invited to prepare the election regulations with Sanioddowleh, Mokhberossaltaneh, Moshirolmolk and Motamenolmolk. Upon the inauguration of majlis, he was appointed deputy prime minister. In Mirza Ali Asghar Khan Atabak Azam’s cabinet, he was the head of ministry of interior. In late years of Atabak’s cabinet, he was commissioned as the head of a mission to Uremia to settle the frontier disputes of Iran and Turkey. Shortly after, he was appointed the governor of Uremia by Mohammad Ali Shah.
From 1908 to 1926, he was appointed minister of various departments for eight times. He opposed to Vossouqoddowleh’s concluding 1919 agreement with the British, and was exiled to Kashan with Mohtashamossaltaneh Esfandiari, Sadeq Mostasharoddowleh, Esmail Momtazoddowleh, Morteza Momtazolmolk, and Hajj Mointojjar Bushehri.
Subsequent to Vossouqoddowleh’s removal, the exiled dignitaries returned to Tehran and was welcomed by people. Again, he was arrested during Seyyed Zia’addin’s time with sixty other men.
Mohtashamossaltaneh was a member of the third, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth terms of majlis. From the tenth to the thirteenth terms, he was the speaker of Majlis.
Hajj Mohtashamossaltaneh showed much attention to socio cultural affairs too. He was the president of the congress which was held in the honor of Ferdowsi’s one thousand years. He became a member of Persian language academy. Then in 1937, he went as the head of a mission to England to congratulate George V on his coronation. While in France, he met the French president. In Germany, he had an audience with Hitler in the company of Mohsen Rais, Iranian minister to Germany.
His son, Fathollah Nuri Esfandiari was Iranian minister to Washington, and his eldest son, Mirza Mehdi Khan Nasirossaltaneh was a member of fourth period of Majlis from Babul and was the governor of Kerman for a while, his wife being one of the granddaughters of Mirza Agha Khan Nuri, Nasseraddin Shah’s grand vizier. Eventually, Mohtashamossaltaneh died in 23rd Feb. 1944, and was buried in the holy shrine of Abdolazim.
Contrary to many Iran’s political figures, Esfandiari did not left much wealth after his death. His main works include: a translation of Allameh Helli’s Qavaedol ahkam fi masael ol halal va haram, Mohiaddin Arabi’s fosusol hekam, Sharayeh Mohaqqaq, Mohtashami Morals and Mohtashami bowl.

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