Mohammad Amir Khatam

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Mohammad Amir Khatam
General Mohamad Kahatami 2.jpg
Mohammad Amir Khatam
Spouse Princess Fatimeh Pahlavi
Issue Kambiz
House Pahlavi dynasty (by marriage)
Born 1920
Rasht, Iran
Died 12 September 1975 (aged 54-55)
Dezful, Iran

Mohammad Amir Khatam (1920 – 12 September 1975), CVO, was the commander of the Iranian air force, advisor to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and the second husband of Princess Fatimeh Pahlavi, half-sister of the Shah.

Early life and education[edit]

Khatam was born in Rasht in 1920.[1] His father was a tea house owner and later dealt with real estate.[2] His mother was a relative of Iman Jomeh, a significant religious figure in Tehran and a relative of Nasr ed Din Shah.[2]

He was a graduate of the American High School in Tehran and then, attended the military high school.[2] In 1939, he began to study at the air force branch of the military college and graduated as a second lieutenant.[2][3] Next he went to the United Kingdom and joined pilot training courses.[3] He graduated from the Royal Air Force College Cranwell.[4] He was also trained at the Furstenfeldbrook air base, Germany, in the 1950s.[5]

Shahpour Gholam Reza Pahlavi (left) and Mohammad Khatam


In 1946, Khatam was named personal pilot of the Shah.[6][7] Days before the 19 August 1953 coup on 16 August, the Shah, accompanied by his second wife Sorayya Esfandiary Bakhtiari and Aboul Fath Atabay, escaped from Iran to Iraq and then to Italy by a plane aviated by Khatam.[7][8][9] In 1957, Khatam was appointed chief of staff for the imperial air force.[10][11] He succeeded Hedayat Gilanshah in the post following the latter's death in a plane crash.[12] Until his death in 1975 Khatam served in this post.[1][12]

In addition he served as the chairman of the board of the Iranian National Airlines and of the council of the Civil Aviation Department.[2] He was also co-owner of a construction company.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Khatam married twice. His first spouse was his cousin with whom he had a daughter.[1] She was killed in an accident in 1954. Then Khatam married Princess Fatimeh Pahlavi on 22 November 1959, half-sister of the Shah.[10][13][14] The Shah and his then fiancee Farah Diba attended the wedding ceremony.[15]

They had two sons, Kambiz (born 1961) and Ramin (born 1967), and a daughter, Pari (born 1962).[3]

A declassified CIA report argues that Khatam was close to Hossein Fardoust and Taqi Alavikia, and that they were part a dowreh, or circle of associates, that was one of the significant elements along with familial relations in political functioning of Iran in the Pahlavi era.[2] Until his death, Khatam raised his wealth to nearly $100 million.[6][16]


Khatam died in a kiting accident on 12 September 1975 in Dezful.[1][10] His death has been considered to be mysterious and the Shah was implied in his death.[6][17]


National honours[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Abbas Milani (2008). Eminent Persians: The Men and Women who Made Modern Iran, 1941-1979: in Two Volumes. Syracuse University Press. p. 457. ISBN 978-0-8156-0907-0. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Centers of Power in Iran". CIA. May 1972. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Hadidi, Ebrahim. "Field Martial Mohammad Khatami". Institute for Iranian History. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d "The Pahlavi Dynasty". Royal Ark. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "Golden Crown History". IIAF. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c Fakhreddin Azimi (30 June 2009). Quest for democracy in Iran: a century of struggle against authoritarian rule. Harvard University Press. p. 236. ISBN 978-0-674-02036-8. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  7. ^ a b The Rise and Fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty: Memoirs of Former General Hussein Fardust. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. 31 December 1998. p. 123. ISBN 978-81-208-1642-8. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Hadidi, Ibrahim (1 December 2011). "New: Contemporary History: 19 August 1953 Coup". Iran Review. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Love, Kenneth (16 August 1953). "Shah Flees Iran After Move to Dismiss Mossadegh Fails". The New York Times (Baghdad). Reuters. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c Hosseini, Mahmud Mirza. "Field Martial Mohammad Khatami". IICHS. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  11. ^ Alvandi, Roham (2012). "Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah: the origins of Iranian primacy in the Persian Gulf". Diplomatic history 36 (2): 337–372. doi:10.1111/j.1467-7709.2011.01025.x. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "IIAF History". IIAF. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "Fatemeh Pahlevi Dies at 58, A Half Sister to Shah of Iran". The New York Times. AP. 3 June 1987. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  14. ^ Edgar Burke Inlow (1 January 1979). Shahanshah: The Study of Monarachy of Iran. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 91. ISBN 978-81-208-2292-4. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "Shah engaged". Toledo Blade. 23 November 1960. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  16. ^ Manouchehr Gangī (2002). Defying the Iranian Revolution: From a Minister to the Shah to a Leader of Resistance. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-275-97187-8. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  17. ^ (ed.) Gholamali Haddad Adel, Mohammad Jafar Elmi, Hassan Taromi-Rad (1 October 2012). Pahlavi Dynasty: An Entry from Encyclopaedia of the World of Islam. MIU Press. p. 172. ISBN 978-1-908433-01-5. Retrieved 8 April 2013.