ḠAFFĀRĪ, MOḤAMMAD-EBRĀHĪM Khan Moʿāwen-al-Dawla, Qajar diplomat and minister during the reigns of the last four Qajar kings (b. 1276/1859-60, d. Ṣafar 1337/November-December 1918; Figure 1). He was the son of Farroḵ Khan Amīn-al-Dawla (q.v.), a high-ranking Qajar official. He spent his early years in the inner circle of Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah’s court and then traveled to Europe to continue his education. In 1309/1891 he received the title Moʿāwen-al-Dawla, and was named the head of the Commerce Court (Majles-e tejārat) and deputy minister of justice. Within three years he was sent to Tbilisi as the Persian consul. In summer 1314/1896 he was recalled to become the aide-de-camp to the Crown Prince Moẓaffar-al-Dīn Shah, and in November of that year he was named the chief of the police. According to Eḥtešām-al-Salṭana (q.v.; pp. 285-97), Moʿāwen-al-Dawla was bribed to facilitate the transfer of the ownership of some islands in the Persian Gulf to Mīrzā Malkom Khan (q.v.). The allegation, however, is not substantiated elsewhere in the literature (Sadīd-al-Salṭana, 1984, pp. 339-40). In early 1316/1898 he was appointed the minister of commerce, a post he retained until 1321/1903 when he went to Bucharest as the Persian minister plenipotentiary to the Balkans. He returned to Persia in 1325/1907 to head the treasury department, but a year later he was in Rome again in the capacity of minister plenipotentiary. On 28 Rabīʿ II 1328/8 May 1910, he was appointed the minister of foreign affairs in the cabinet of Moḥammad-Walī Khan Tonokābonī. This was followed by a series of other such appointments as the minister of post, telegraph, and commerce (1329/1911), of commerce (1330/1911), and of foreign affairs (1331-33/1913-15). He is mentioned as a competent administrator who also kept close ties with the intellectuals of the period, including Adīb Pīšāvarī and ʿAbd-al-Raḥīm Ṭālebof (Sadīd-al-Salṭana, 1983, p. 528; idem, 1975, pp. 142-43).
Ī. Afšār, ed. “Safar-nāma-ye Ṭālebof,” in Majmūʿa-ye kamīna, Tehran, 1354 Š./1975, pp. 142-51.
Idem, ed., “Maktūbhā-ye čāp-našoda az Tālebof,” Rāhnemā-ye ketāb 12, 1348 Š./1969, pp. 577-81.
Bāmdād, Rejāl I, pp. 19-20.
G. P. Churchill, “Biographical Notices of Persian Statesmen and Notables,” MS Kew, U.K., Public Record Office, FO 881/9748 (2), p. 47.
Maḥmūd Khan Eḥtešām-al-Salṭana, Ḵāṭerāt-e Eḥtešām-al-Salṭana, ed. M.-M. Mūsawī, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1367 Š./1988.
M. Momtaḥen-al-Dawla Šaqāqī, Rejāl-e Wezārat-e ḵāreja dar ʿaṣr-e nāṣerī wa moẓaffarī, ed. Ī. Afšār, Tehran, 1365 Š./1986, pp. 29, 125.
M.-ʿA. Sadīd-al-Salṭana Kabābī, Safar-nāma-ye Sadīd-al-Salṭana, ed. A. Eqtedārī, Tehran, 1362 Š./1983.
Idem, Bandar-e ʿAbbās wa Ḵalīj-e Fārs, ed. A. Eqtedārī, Tehran, 1363 Š./1984, pp. 339-40.
Ṣa dīq-al-Mamālek Ḥajj Ebrāhīm Šaybānī, Montaḵab-al-tawārīḵ-e moẓaffarī, Tehran, 1366 Š./1987, pp. 259, 294, 330, 340.
Originally Published: December 15, 2000
Last Updated: February 2, 2012
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Vol. X, Fasc. 3, pp. 250-251