Mohammad Amir Khatam
|Mohammad Amir Khatam|
Mohammad Amir Khatam
|Spouse||Princess Fatimeh Pahlavi|
|House||Pahlavi dynasty (by marriage)|
|Died||12 September 1975 (aged 54-55)
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
Khatam was born in Rasht in 1920. His father was a tea house owner and later dealt with real estate. His mother was a relative of Iman Jomeh, a significant religious figure in Tehran and a relative of Nasr ed Din Shah.
He was a graduate of the American High School in Tehran and then, attended the military high school. In 1939, he began to study at the air force branch of the military college and graduated as a second lieutenant. Next he went to the United Kingdom and joined pilot training courses. He graduated from the Royal Air Force College Cranwell. He was also trained at the Furstenfeldbrook air base, Germany, in the 1950s.
In 1946, Khatam was named personal pilot of the Shah. 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. In 1957, Khatam was appointed chief of staff for the imperial air force. He succeeded Hedayat Gilanshah in the post following the latter's death in a plane crash. Until his death in 1975 Khatam served in this post.
Khatam married twice. His first spouse was his cousin with whom he had a daughter. She was killed in an accident in 1954. Then Khatam married Princess Fatimeh Pahlavi on 22 November 1959, half-sister of the Shah. The Shah and his then fiancee Farah Diba attended the wedding ceremony.
They had two sons, Kambiz (born 1961) and Ramin (born 1967), and a daughter, Pari (born 1962).
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. Until his death, Khatam raised his wealth to nearly $100 million.
- Commander of the Royal Victorian Order [CVO] (United Kingdom, 2 March 1961).
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Federal Republic of Germany, 21 October 1965).
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