Ahmad Qavam

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Ahmad Qavam
Ahmad-qavam.jpg
29th, 32nd, 44th, 51st & 61st Prime Minister of Iran
In office
4 June 1921 – 12 October 1921
Monarch Ahmad Shah Qajar
Preceded by Zia'eddin Tabatabaee
Succeeded by Malek Mansur
In office
11 June 1922 – 30 January 1923
Monarch Ahmad Shah Qajar
Preceded by Hassan Pirnia
Succeeded by Mostowfi ol-Mamalek
In office
9 August 1942 – 15 February 1943
Monarch Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Preceded by Ali Soheili
Succeeded by Ali Soheili
In office
28 January 1946 – 18 December 1947
Monarch Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Preceded by Ebrahim Hakimi
Succeeded by Mohammad-Reza Hekmat
In office
17 July 1952 – 22 July 1952
Monarch Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Preceded by Mohammed Mosaddeq
Succeeded by Mohammed Mosaddeq
Personal details
Born 2 January 1876
Gilan, Iran
Died 23 July 1955(1955-07-23) (aged 79)
Tehran, Iran
Political party Democratic Party
Religion Islam

Ahmad Qavām (2 January 1876 - 23 July 1955) (Persian: احمد قوام‎), also known as Qavām os-Saltaneh (Persian: قوام السلطنه‎), was a politician who served as Prime Minister of Iran five times.

Early life[edit]

Qavam was born in 1876 to a prominent Iranian family. His uncle, Amin Aldoleh, was a prime minister of Iran. He served in the royal court of Nasereddin Shah early in his career. He slowly climbed his way up, and obtained the title Ghavam al-Saltaneh during the Constitutional Revolution of Iran. Hasan Vothuq (also known as Vothuq al-Dowleh) was his older brother. The letter signed by Mozaffaredin Shah to accept the Iranian Constitutional Revolution was written by Qavam, who had the title of Dabir-e Hozoor (Private Secretary) at the time. In fact Qavam was instrumental in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution[2]. He became Prime Minister several times during both Qajar and Pahlavi dynasties. Any time the country needed him, he accepted the challenge. He played a significant role in preventing the USSR from separating Iran's northern states twice [2]. Nevertheless, historians have mixed feelings about his legacy.

Political career[edit]

Ahmad Ghavām in the Imperial Court regalia.

In 1921, during the coup d'état of Tehran against the Qajar government, Tabatabaei ordered Colonel Pesian to arrest many of the opposition, among them Ahmad Ghavam. Ghavam was arrested and sent to Tehran.

However with the fall of Zia'eddin Tabatabaee's government, Mostowfi ol-Mamalek among others was offered the position of Prime Minister, which he and the rest declined, due to the unstable political situation at the time. Hence Ghavam who had just been released from the Ishratabad prison of Tehran was offered the position, which he accepted and became Prime Minister overnight. So unusual was his rise that Iraj Mirza wrote the following verses:

یکی را افکند امروز در بند
کند روز دیگر او را خداوند

"One day in prison he is thrown,
another day the King's chair he'll own"

Ghavam in fact ordered the arrest of Seyyed Zia'eddin Tabatabaee in an incident 25 years later. He also ordered the crackdown on the revolt of Colonel Pesian which he crushed with the aid of Reza Pahlavi

Of the major events that occurred during his terms as the Prime Minister, was his invitation to Arthur Millspaugh for assisting the government in its finances. Another was the riots of 1942 for economic hardship. He appointed Sepahbod Ahmad Amir-Ahmadi to restore order and end the riots, which he did forcefully. Qavam was also instrumental in the 1919 treaty between Iran, Russia, and Britain.

He was again voted Prime Minister on 26 January 1946 with a slim margin in the Majlis of 52-51.[1] The Majlis thought he would have the best chance of resolving the Soviet inspired rebellion of the occupied Azerbaijan province since Qavam was the largest property-owner in the region. Qavam did not disappoint. He ordered the Iranian delegation to the UN to negotiate issues pending before the Security Council directly with the Soviet delegation. He then flew to Moscow to discuss the issues personally with Stalin.[2]

When the Soviets violated the terms of the Tripartate Pact which called for all foreign military forces to be withdrawn from Iranian territory by 2 March 1946, it drew a strong rebuke from Parliamentary Whip, Mohammed Mossadegh.

Qavam arranged a deal with the Soviets, granting an oil concession in the North contingent on the approval of the Majlis after the elections. Under the terms of the agreement with Qavam, Soviet troops began withdrawing from Iran. When the new Majlis was seated, they immediately voted against the proposed Soviet oil concession.[3] This earned Qavam the congenial title, "The Old Fox".

Death[edit]

Qavam died at the age of 79 in 1955 in Tehran. He was survived by his second wife and his only son, Hussein.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Iran Chooses Premier in 51 to 50 Vote", Salt Lake Tribune, 27 January 1946, p8; Manuucher Farmānfarmaian and Roxane Farmanfarmaian, Blood and Oil: A Prince's Memoir of Iran, from the Shah to the Ayatollah (Random House, 2005), p. 179
  2. ^ Samii, Bill (6 May 2005). "World War II -- 60 Years After: The Anglo-Soviet Invasion Of Iran And Washington-Tehran Relations". Radio Free Europe. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Rubin, Barry (1980). Paved With Good Intentions. Oxford University Press. pp. 33–35. ISBN 0-19-502805-8. 
  • The following reference was used for the above writing: 'Alí Rizā Awsatí (عليرضا اوسطى), Iran in the Past Three Centuries (Irān dar Se Qarn-e Goz̲ashteh - ايران در سه قرن گذشته), Volumes 1 and 2 (Paktāb Publishing - انتشارات پاکتاب, Tehran, Iran, 2003). ISBN 964-93406-6-1 (Vol. 1), ISBN 964-93406-5-3 (Vol. 2).
  • A book in Persian called Dar Tir Rase Hadese, The political life of Qavam osSaltaneh. First published in Tehran, winter of 2006. Author: Hamid Shokat, ISBN 0789648897142. Published by akhtaranbook (www.akhtaranbook.com)

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Zia'eddin Tabatabaee
Prime Minister of Iran
1921
Succeeded by
Malek Mansur Mirza
Preceded by
Hassan Pirnia
Prime Minister of Iran
1922-1923
Succeeded by
Mostowfi ol-Mamalek
Preceded by
Ali Soheili
Prime Minister of Iran
1942-1943
Succeeded by
Ali Soheili
Preceded by
Ebrahim Hakimi
Prime Minister of Iran
1946-1948
Succeeded by
Mohammad-Reza Hekmat
Preceded by
Mohammad Mossadegh
Prime Minister of Iran
1952
Succeeded by
Mohammad Mossadegh
Party political offices
Preceded by
None
Leader of Democratic Party
1918-1949
Succeeded by
Ali Amini