AʿLAM, MOẒAFFAR, Sardār Enteṣār (b. Trabzon, 1261 Š./1882, d. Tehran, 1352/1973), provincial governor, minister of foreign affairs, military minister plenipotentiary. His father, Mirzā ʿAli-Akbar Khan Moʿtamed-al-Wezāra Qazvini, was a ranking officer in the ministry of foreign affairs and held consular positions in Baku, Istanbul, Damascus and Baghdad. Moẓaffar received his preliminary education in Baku and Tehran and then completed the training course at the Ottoman military school before enrolling at the Saint Cyre Military Academy in France (Golriz, pp. 13, 312).
Upon returning to Persia, he was employed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and for a while served as the Persian consul in Damascus. In 1910, he resigned from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and joined the Ministry of War with the rank of a colonel. In the same year he was appointed the commander of the military forces in Khorasan, and his success in establishing peace and security there earned him the honorific title of Sālār Moẓaffar. The following year he was sent to Kordestān as governor, but soon fled to Hamadān after a number of his companions were killed in a local uprising (Marduḵ, II, p. 403). In 1912, he replaced Epʿrem Khan, who had been killed in a battle, as chief of police in Tehran (Yekrangiān, p. 231). Due to his efforts in enforcing the law, he was appointed the commander of the central Cossack brigade with the honorific title of Sardār Enteṣār (Mostawfi, Šarḥ-e zendagāni II, p. 380). In 1918, he was sent to Azerbaijan as military commander to put an end to the marauding activities of the Kurdish rebel, Esmāʿil Simko, which he, as deputy governor, managed to accomplish by defeating Simko in battle (Kasrawi, Aḏarbāyjān, pp. 853, 854-61; Āḏari, p. 243).
He was jailed in 1923 on the suspicion of being an accomplice to a conspiracy for the assassination of the war minister, Reżā Khan Sardār-e Sepah, the future Reżā Shah (Hedāyat, pp. 456-57; Moḵtāri, p. 201; Ghani, p. 279), but he was soon rehabilitated and appointed the governor of Kordestān in 1924. He later served as governor in a number of other provinces until 1935, when he became director of the General Department of Commerce (Edāra-ye koll-e tejārat) and led the Persian delegation traveling to Russia to lay the groundwork for future commercial agreements between the two countries (Wakili, p. 32). In 1937 he was appointed minister plenipotentiary in Baghdad and the next year became minister of foreign affairs, a position he held in three successive cabinets until 1940 (Šajiʿi, pp. 176-78), when he was sent as governor to West Azerbaijan, and later on he served in a number of diplomatic missions. He was the Persian minister plenipotentiary in Iraq in August 1953, when, after the failed coup attempt by the Imperial Guards, Moḥammad-Reżā Shah Pahlavi made a stop in Baghdad on his flight to Rome. In accordance with the instructions of his own government, Aʿlam refused to greet him at the airport and avoided any contacts with him. When the monarch made the second stop in Baghdad on his return trip to Tehran after the fall of Moḥammad Moṣaddeq’s government, he greeted him at the airport but was reprimanded (Moṣawwer-e Raḥmāni, 1985, p. 227; idem, 1987, p. 317).
Aʿlam left Iraq the same day and went to Syria. He stayed for a while in Damascus before going to France to live in exile. His repeated pleas for permission to return to Persia were denied, despite the intercessions of his influential brother Amir-Aʿlam. Finally, in 1971, he was allowed to return, where he lived in solitude for a year before dying at the age of ninety. His family was forbidden to organize any formal funeral.
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October 20, 2004
Originally Published: July 20, 2004
Last Updated: July 29, 2011