Dr. Abtin Sassanfar (1928-2017)

Dr. Abtin SassanfarWe have learned, to our deep regret, of the passing of Dr. Abtin Sassanfar (1928-2017), a scholar of Zoroastrian Studies, a distinguished international lawyer, founder of the World Zoroastrian Council (WZC) and a generous supporter of the Encyclopaedia Iranica.

Dr. Sassanfar served for several years as a Trustee and later as the Vice-Chairman of the Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation. Volume XV of the Encyclopædia Iranica was dedicated to him for his generous and enthusiastic support of our Project.

Dr. Abtin Sassanfar was born in 1928 in Tehran. After graduating from Tehran University’s Law School and completing a two-year course in banking, he worked for two years at the National Bank of Iran.  At the age of 25 he entered the legal profession and was chosen as a member of the Regulatory Court of the Association of Iranian Lawyers.  In 1955 he traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, to study international law, but later transferred to Paris where he received a doctorate in Law (1962), before returning to Tehran to continue his law practice.  He taught administrative and international law for eight years at the National University in Tehran, without abandoning, however, his interest in Iranian history and Avestan studies, about which he delivered many lectures and wrote a number of articles. Dr. Sassanfar was later appointed by the Iranian government as an international referee in matters of transport, centered in Zurich, Switzerland, and he was also elected as an economic advisor to the European Union (1977). After the 1979 Revolution in Iran, he chose to settle in Paris, where he became a member of the Lawyers Association of France.