Mohammad Ali Foroughi

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Mohammad-Ali Foroughi

Persian: محمدعلی فروغی ذكاءالملک
Mohammad Ali Foroughi.jpg
35th, 38th & 42nd Prime Minister of Iran
In office
1 November 1925 – 13 June 1926
Preceded by Rezā Shāh
Succeeded by Mostowfi ol-Mamalek
In office
18 September 1933 – 3 December 1935
Monarch Reza Shah
Preceded by Mehdi Qoli Hedayat
Succeeded by Mahmoud Jam
In office
27 August 1941 – 9 March 1942
Monarch Reza Shah
Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi
Preceded by Ali Mansur
Succeeded by Ali Soheili
Personal details
Born 1877
Tehran, Iran
Died 1942
Tehran, Iran
Political party Revival Party
Alma mater Tehran School of Political Sciences

Mohammad Ali Foroughi Zoka-ol-Molk (1877 – 1942) (Persian: محمدعلی فروغی ذكاءالملک‎) was a teacher, diplomat, writer, politician and Prime Minister of Iran.

Early life and education[edit]

Foroughi was born in Tehran to a merchant family from Isfahan. His ancestor, Mirza Abutorab was the representative of Isfahan in Mugan plain during Nader Shah Afshar's coronation. His grandfather, Mohammad Mehdi Arbab Isfahani, was amongst the most influential merchants of Isfahan and was skilled in history and geography. His father Mohammad Hosein Foroughi was the translator of the Shah from Arabic and French. He was also a poet and published a newspaper called Tarbiat. Naser al-Din Shah Qajar nicknamed Mohammad Hosein, Foroughi, after hearing a poem that he had written. Many sources alleged that Foroughi's ancestors were Baghdadi Jews who came to Isfahan and converted to Islam.[1] During occupation of Iran in the second world war, Nazi Germany often emphasized this alleged Jewish ancestry in radio broadcasts.[2] During his early life, Foroughi studied at the élite Dar ul-Funun (House of Sciences) in Tehran.


In 1907, Foroughi's father died, and thus Foroughi inherited his father's title of Zoka-ol-Molk.[3] During the same year, Foroughi became the dean of the College of Political Sciences. In 1909, he entered politics as a member of Majlis (Parliament), representing Tehran. He subsequently became speaker of the house and later minister in several cabinets as well as prime minister three times and once as the acting prime minister when Reza Khan resigned as prime minister to take up the crown as Reza Shah. In 1912, he became the president of the Iranian Supreme Court. Later he was appointed prime minister and dismissed in 1935 due to the father of his son-in-law's, Muhammad Vali Asadi, alleged participation in the riot in Mashhad against the reforms implemented by Reza Shah.[4]

However, later Foroughi regained his status and became Prime Minister during the initial phase of Muhammad Reza Pahlavi's reign.[4] Foroughi as a prime minister was instrumental in having Mohammad Reza Pahlavi proclaimed as king after his father, Reza Shah, was forced to abdicate (16 September 1941) and exiled by the allied forces of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union during World War II. After the collapse of his cabinet, he was named Minister of Court and then named ambassador of Iran to the United States of America, but he died in Tehran at the age of 65 before he could assume the post. Foroughi is known to have been a freemason.

Foroughi with Ali Mansour, Mostafa Gholibayat, Aliakbar Davar and Mahmoud Jam.


Foroughi at the court of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Foroughi wrote numerous books, including

The History of Iran,
The History of the Ancient Peoples of The East,
A Short History of Ancient Rome,
Constitutional Etiquette,
A Concise Course in Physics,
Far-fetched Thoughts,
The Wisdom of Socrates,
The History of Philosophy in Europe,
My Message to the Academy of Language (Farhangestan),
The Rules of Oratory or The Technique of Speech Making,
a book on the Shahnameh (The Book of Kings). [clarification needed]

In addition to this, he prepared scholarly editions of the works of Saadi, Hafez, Rumi, Omar Khayyam and Ferdowsi.

His son Mohsen Foroughi was a renowned architect who completed his studies in France and designed Niavarān Palace Complex, which is situated in the northern part of Tehran, Iran. It consists of several buildings and a museum. The Sahebqraniyeh Palace of the time of Nasir al-Din Shah of Qajar dynasty is also inside this complex. The main Niavaran Palace, completed in 1968, was the primary residence of the last Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and the Imperial family until the Iranian Revolution.Franz Malekebrahimian worked directly under Mohsen Foruoghi in implementation and maintenance of the Palace.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mina Shahmiri, A look at the life of Mohammad Ali Foroughi, in the midst of culture and power, Etemad Newspaper, No 1842, 2008.
  2. ^ Bagher Agheli, A biography of political and military figures in contemporary Iran, Elm publishing, Tehran, 2001.
  3. ^ Amanat: FORŪGĪ, MOḤAMMAD-ʿALĪ ḎOKĀʾ-AL-MOLK. Encyclopedia Iranica, 1999, pp. 108–112.
  4. ^ a b Gholam Reza Afkhami (27 October 2008). The Life and Times of the Shah. University of California Press. p. 35. ISBN 978-0-520-25328-5. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 


  • '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).
  • Afshar, Iraj (1999). "FORŪGĪ, MOḤAMMAD-ʿALĪ ḎOKĀʾ-AL-MOLK". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. X, Fasc. 1. London et al. pp. 108–112. 

External links[edit]

  • A short motion picture of Mohammad-Ali Foroughi, from the film archives of Anoshirvan Sepahbodi, Geneva, 1931: YouTube.
Political offices
Preceded by
Reza Khan
Prime Minister of Iran
Succeeded by
Mostowfi ol-Mamalek
Preceded by
Mehdi Qoli Hedayat
Prime Minister of Iran
Succeeded by
Mahmoud Jam
Preceded by
Ali Mansur
Prime Minister of Iran
Succeeded by
Ali Soheili