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 Reza Shah Pahlavi

Reza Shah Pahlavi

Mazandaran, Iran
Death 25 Jul 1944 (aged 66)
Johannesburg, City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, Gauteng, South Africa
Burial Rey, Tehran, Iran
Memorial ID 20222 · View Source
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Shah of Iran. Born Reza Khan, in Alasht village, Mazandaran province, Iran, son of Abbas Ali, of the provincial army and his second wife, Noush Afrin. His father died while he was still an infant, and his mother then left Alasht and took him to Tehran. In his teens , he enlisted in the so-called Cossack Brigade in 1893, a unit of the Iranian military under Russian officers. In 1911, he was promoted to Lieutenant. By 1912, his rank was equivalent to that of captain, by 1915 he was a colonel, and by 1918 a brigadier general. The last shah of the Qajar dynasty was then on the Iranian throne, his incompetence had allowed Iran to be completely dominated by foreign powers, particularly Great Britain and Russia. Nationalist elements had long been agitating for change, and in 1921 Reza headed coup that occupied Tehran. He took command of all the military forces, and was appointed minister of war within weeks. He became prime minister of the new regime in 1923, and had negotiated the removal of all foreign troops by 1924. In 1925, Shah Ahmad Mirza who was out of the country, refused to return. The Iranian parliament (majles), deposed the absentee monarch, and elected Reza Khan shah. He then changed his name to Reza Shah Pahlevi, and named his eldest son Crown Prince Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. After his coronation in April 1926, he instituted radical reforms, breaking the power of the tribal structure, disarming them and initiating a settlement plan. In 1927 he began the Trans-Iranian Railway and started branch lines toward the principal cities. He built roads, schools, hospitals, and in 1934, the first university in the country. In 1935, he began an emancipation of women, and required them to discard their veils. By the mid 1930's however, his dictatorial methods had caused growing dissatisfaction. Additionally, his long game of playing the British and the Russian against each other failed in 1941, when they allied against the Germans, and jointly occupied Iran. Pressured to abdicate in favor of his son, he left Iran, and died in exile in Johannesburg, South Africa three years later. His body was returned to Iran and interred in an imposing mausoleum south of Tehran. During the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the mausoleum was ordered destroyed.

Bio by: Iola

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 11 Feb 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 20222
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Reza Shah Pahlavi (14 Mar 1878–25 Jul 1944), Find A Grave Memorial no. 20222, citing Tomb of Reza Pahlavi (Defunct), Rey, Tehran, Iran ; Maintained by Find A Grave .