Persian: مهدی بازرگان
Azerbaijani: Mehdi Bazərgan
|75th Prime Minister of Iran
1st Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic
4 February 1979 – 6 November 1979
|Preceded by||Shapour Bakhtiar (Prime Minister of the Imperial State of Iran)|
|Succeeded by||Mohammad-Ali Rajai|
|Foreign Affairs Minister of Iran
1 April 1979 – 12 April 1979
|Preceded by||Karim Sanjabi|
|Succeeded by||Ebrahim Yazdi|
|Member of Parliament of Iran|
4 May 1980 – 6 May 1984
1 September 1907|
Bazargan, West Azerbaijan Province, Iran
|Died||20 January 1995
|Political party||Freedom Movement of Iran|
|Alma mater||École Centrale Paris|
Mehdi Bazargan (Persian: مهدی بازرگان; Azerbaijani: Mehdi Bazərgan; 1 September 1907 – 20 January 1995) was a prominent Iranian scholar, academic, long-time pro-democracy activist and head of Iran's interim government, making him Iran's first prime minister after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. He was the head of the first engineering department of University of Tehran. A well-respected religious intellectual, known for his honesty and expertise in the Islamic and secular sciences, he is credited with being one of the founders of the contemporary intellectual movement in Iran.
Early life and education 
Bazargan was born to an Azeri family in Azerbaijan on 1 September 1907, but grew up in Tehran. His father, Hajj 'Abbasqoli Tabrizi (died 1954) was a self-made merchant and a devout religious activist who was the head of the Azarbaijani mosque and community in Tehran.
Bazargan was sent by the government to France to receive university education as a scholar of the Reza Shah scholarship fund. He studied thermodynamics and engineering at the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in Paris.
After his graduation, Bazargan voluntarily joined the French army and fought against Nazi Germany. Bazargan then came back from France and became the head of the first engineering department at Tehran University in the late 1940s. In 1951, with the leadership of Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian parliament nationalized the Iranian oil industry (National Iranian Oil Company) and removed it from British control. Bazargan served as the first Iranian head of the National Iranian Oil Company under the administration of Prime Minister Mossadegh.
After the fall of the Mossadegh government, Bazargan co-founded the Liberation Movement of Iran, a party similar in its program to Mossadegh's National Front. Although he accepted the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, as the legitimate head of state, he was jailed several times on political grounds.
Iranian Revolution 
On 4 February 1979, after the revolution forced the Shah to leave Iran, Bazargan was appointed prime minister of Iran by Ayatollah Khomeini. He was seen as one of the democratic and liberal figureheads of the revolution who came into conflict with the more radical religious leaders – including Khomeini himself – as the revolution progressed. Although pious, Bazargan initially disputed the name Islamic Republic, wanting an Islamic Democratic Republic. He had also been a supporter of the original (non-theocratic) revolutionary draft constitution, and opposed the Assembly of Experts for Constitution and the constitution they wrote that was eventually adopted as Iran's constitution. In March 1979, he submitted his resignation due to his government's lack of power to Ayatollah Khomeini. However, Khomeini did not accept his resignation. In April 1979, he and the members of cabinet escaped an assassination attempt.
Bazargan resigned along with his cabinet on 4 November 1979 following the US Embassy takeover and hostage-taking. His resignation was considered a protest against the hostage-taking and a recognition of his government's inability to free the hostages, but it was also clear that his hopes for liberal democracy and an accommodation with the West would not prevail.
Bazargan continued in Iranian politics as a member of the first Parliament (Majles) of the newly formed Islamic Republic. He openly opposed Iran's cultural revolution and continued to advocate civil rule and democracy. In November 1982, he expressed his frustration with the direction the Islamic Revolution had taken in an open letter to the then speaker of parliament Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
The government has created an atmosphere of terror, fear, revenge and national disintegration. ... What has the ruling elite done in nearly four years, besides bringing death and destruction, packing the prisons and the cemeteries in every city, creating long queues, shortages, high prices, unemployment, poverty, homeless people, repetitious slogans and a dark future?
His term as a member of parliament lasted until 1984. During his term, he served as a lawmaker of the Iran Freedom Movement, which he had founded in 1961 and abolished in 1990. In 1985, the Council of Guardians denied Bazargan's petition to run for president.
Bazargan is considered to be a respected figure within the ranks of modern Muslim thinkers, well known as a representative of liberal-democratic Islamic thought and a thinker who has emphasized the necessity of constitutional and democratic policies. He opposed the continuation of the Iran-Iraq war and the involvement of clerics in all aspects of politics, economy and society. Consequently, he faced harassment from militants and young revolutionaries within Iran.
Bazargan is noted for having done some of the first work in human thermodynamics, as found in his 1946 chapter “A Physiological Analysis of Human Thermodynamics” and his 1956 book Love and Worship: Human Thermodynamics, the latter of which being written while in prison, in which he attempted to show that religion and worship are a byproduct of evolution, as explained in English naturalist Charles Darwin's 1859 Origin of Species, and that the true laws of society are based on the laws of thermodynamics.
Bazargan died of a heart attack on 21 January 1995 in Switzerland. He died at a hospital in Zurich after collapsing at the airport. He was travelling to to the United States for heart surgery.
See also 
- "World: Yankee, We've Come to Do You In". TIME. 26 February 1979.
- The Rising Tide of Cultural Pluralism: The Nation-State at Bay?, Crawford Young, p.127, 1993
- "Mehdi Bazargan, Former Iran Premier, Dies". The New York Times. 21 January 1995. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- Vakili Zad, Cyrus (Spring 1990). "Organization, Leadership and Revolution: Religiously-Oriented Opposition in the Iranian Revolution of 1978-1979". Conflict Quarterly: 5–25. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
- Sahimi, Muhammad (06/08/2009). "If I Confess...". Tehran Bureau (through PBS). Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- Boroujerdi, Mehrzad (1996). Iranian Intellectuals and the West: The Tormented Triumph of Nativism. Syracuse University Press. p. 190. ISBN 9780815604334. Retrieved 18/10/2012.
- "Mehdi Bazargan". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "Historic Personalities of Iran: Mehdi Bazargan". Iran Chamber Society.
- Martin, Richard C., ed. (2003). Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World 1. Macmillan Reference USA. p. 106. ISBN 9780028656045.
- Abrahamian, Ervand (2008). History of Modern Iran. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521821391.
- "Bazargan talked out of resigning". The Palm Beach Post (Tehran). 10 March 1979. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- "Bazargan escapes assassination try". The Rock Hill Herald (Tehran). AP. 23 April 1979. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- Godsel, Geoffrey (9 November 1979). "Bazargan resignation increases Iran risks to American hostages". The Deseret News. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- "Khomenin's grip appears at its tightest". The New York Times. 21 November 1982.
- Mahdavi, Mojtaba (2004). "Islamic Forces Of The Iranian Revolution: A Critique Of Cultural Essentialism". Iran Analysis Quarterly 2 (2).
- Barzin, Saeed (1994). "Constitutionalism and Democracy in the Religious Ideology of Mehdi Bazargan". British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 21 (1): 85.
- Leicht, Justus (20 November 2001). "Mass trial of opposition group in Iran". World Socialist Website.
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|Prime Minister of Iran
Mohammad Ali Rajai
|Foreign Affairs Minister of Iran
|Party political offices|
|Leader of Freedom Movement of Iran