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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


  Reza Pahlavi from Birth to the Coup

Ibrahim Hadidi


Simultaneous with Nasseraddin Shah's second visit to Europe and talks of forming Cossack Brigade by the Russians, a child was born in 1877, in Alasht village of Savadkuh in Mazandaran who was named Reza and was destined to overthrow the Qajar rule and found the Pahlavi dynasty.


His father AbbassAli, a colonel of Savadkuh regiment and his mother Zahra (Nushafrin) were Caucasian migrants. At the birth of the child, Nushafarin lost his husband who was on a mission in Tehran. So she took her son and headed for her brother and relations in Tehran. They settled down in Sanglaj neighborhood and lead a very poor and destitute life. Reza Khan turned out to be a rogue and villain. For affording the basic necessities he worked as an errand boy in ironsmith's and the stable of British Legation. Eventually, through helps of Aboul- Hassan Khan, he entered Savadkuh regiment as a soldier. In 1896, subsequent to the murder of Nasseraddin Shah, this regiment was recalled to Tehran to guard the government centers and foreign legations. He took promotions in the regiment and became sergeant major of the Russian loan Bank in Meshed and sometimes later he became sergeant major of machine gun. He accompanied Ein-od-dowleh when he was exiled to Fariman. He became a favorite to Ein-od-dowleh and begins to learn reading and writing. In 1909, he joined Bakhtiary and Armenian forces to suppress the regional disorders in Zanjan and Ardebil. Then he was promoted major of the gunners', and eventually became the commander of Hamedan brigade. Then he was sent on a mission to suppress Mirza Kuchak Khan in Guilan.


As Russian forces began to evacuate Iranian cities, the British set for carrying a coup in Iran and achieving their long entertained goals. To do this, they made the preliminary arrangements with General Edmund Ironside (commander of British forces in Iran), Ardeshir Jey (the British spy in Iran), Reza Khan, commander of Hamedan brigade, and Seyyed Zia, managing editor of Raad daily. The Hamedan forces entered Tehran, occupied the capital without the least resistance, and arrested about one hundred political and leading figures and clergies. Ahmad Shah escaped to FarahAbad Palace, and Fath-ollah Khan Sepahdar Rashti to the British Legation. Eventually, RezaKhan and Seyyed Zia were appointed as the commander of Cossack division and as the prime minister respectively.

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Reza Khan Pahlavi, guard of Holland's Legation in Tehran, from left: Reza khan Pahlavi and knubell (Holland minister to Iran)

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Abdul-Hossein Mirza Farmanfarma's house guard, Major Reza Khan and some other people (the civil person standing beside Reza Khan is Mohammad Vali Mirza Farmanfarmian

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Colonel Reza khan Pahlavi and a group of Russian and Iranian Officers of Hamedan brigade, 1. Soltan Hassan Khan Zand, 2. Abdollah Amir Tahmassebi, 3. Reza Khan Pahlavi

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Reza Khan Pahlavi (behind a machine gun) commander of Cossack machine gun unit of Kermanshah

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Reza Khan Pahlavi, commander of Hamedan brigade among some Iranian and Russian Cossack officers the day before the coup, 1. Reza Khan Pahlavi, 2. Morteza YazdanPanah, 3. Iraj Matbuee

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Reza Khan Pahlavi's visit to his forced training to work with heavy machine guns, 1. Reza Khan Pahlavi, 2. Morteza YazdanPanah

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Reza Khan Pahlavi, commander in chief, and minister of war

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Ardeshir Jey (1908)

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General Ironside, General Smith and two sons of AbdulHossein Mirza Farmanfarma, from right: Mohammad Vali Mirza Farmanfarmaian, Edmund Ironside, General Smith and Nosrat-od-doleh Firuz

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Reza Khan Pahlavi in the early morning of Feb. 22nd, 1921, some hours after the coup, by Nosrat-od-dowleh's confiscated car

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Reza Khan Pahlavi's visit to a military exercise, 1. Reza Khan Pahlavi, 2. Mohammad Sadeq Cupal

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Reza Khan Palavi (minister of war) and two members of the coup cabinet from the right: Reza Khan Pahlavi, Eissa Khan Feiz and Mostafa Adl (Mansur-ol-saltaneh)

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Seyyed Zia-addin Tabatabayi and Reza Khan Pahlavi (prime minister and Coup Commander) and some of their colleagues

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Seyyed Zia-addin Tabatabayi

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Ahmad Shah Qajar, Reza Khan Pahlavi (minister of war) and Mohammad Khan Amir Alayi (Ahmad Shah' Aide de camp)

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Lieutenant Reza Khan Pahlavi and some high ranking commanders of Cossack brigade: 1. Brigadier general Hassan Khan, 2. Brigadier general Mohammad Khan (later on known as matbui), 3. Colonel Hossein Qoli Khan Bigdeli, 4. Lieutenant Reza Khan, 5. Brigadier Eskandar Khan Armani

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