Bahram Aryana

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Bahram Aryana
General Bahram Aryana.jpg
General Bahram Aryana
Born (1906-03-17)17 March 1906
Tehran, Iran
Died 21 July 1985(1985-07-21) (aged 79)
Paris, France
Allegiance Iran
Service/branch IIGF-Seal.svg Imperial Iranian Ground Force
Years of service 1930–1979
Rank IIArmy-Arteshbod.png Arteshbod
Commands held Chiefs-of-Staff of the Iranian Imperial Army
Commander of the Imperial Iranian Ground Force
Commander of the Imperial Guard

Timsar Bahram Aryana (born Hossein Manouchehri;[1] 17 March 1906 – 21 July 1985)[2] was a top Iranian military commander during the reign of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi as well as a philosopher of Zoroastrianism, Persian nationalist and humanist.


He was born on 17 March 1906 in Tehran[3] from a Georgian mother,[4] whose ancestor was King Heraclius II, and from a judge father, Sadr-ed-din.[3] His name was Hossein Manoochehri, which he would change it to Bahram Aryana in 1950.[3] He was educated in France at the Ecole Superieur de Guerre and received his PhD in 1955 from the Faculty of Law of Paris with his thesis "Napoleon et l'Orient" (published in 1957).

After the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran in 1941 during World War II, he went on with armed struggle and resisted the occupation before being arrested by the British forces. He was instrumental in many of the nationalist policies in the 1950-1960s. During the military campaign of 1964-65 he successfully pacified rebellious tribes in the south of Iran (Pars, Isfahan and Khuzestan) stirred-up by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, without shedding blood.

Hasan Toofanian and Bahram Ariana with several Israeli Officers at the headquarters of the Israeli Defense Forces.
State visit by De Gaulle to Iran. From left to right; Charles de Gaulle, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and Bahram Aryana.

Following his military success in the south, General Aryana was named Chief of Staff of the Shah's Army, position he maintained from 1965 to 1969.

During his posting as Chief of Staff, he met with various head of states including Richard Nixon ,who received him at the White House, Yitzhak Rabin (then the Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, who received him in Israel and General de Gaulle, during his visit to Iran.

Aryana left Iran in 1969 on the order of the Shah.[3]

He founded Azadegan,[5] a nationalist opposition group which had "developed a full command staff structure and support from all nationalist elements from the moderate left to the monarchists".[6] while in exile in Paris, France.

Azadegan, meaning Born Free, was an anti-Khomeini movement which claimed as many as 12,000 followers in Iran, many of them in the armed forces.[7]

The daring seizing by Azadegans' officers of Tabarzin, an Iranian Navy's Combattante II class fast attack craft just built by France and en route to Iran while in the Mediterranean in August 1981, attracted media attention to Azadegan and its members' armed resistance against the clerical regime of Iran.[8][9]

He died in exile in Paris in June 1985[7] and is buried at the Montparnasse cemetery. General Aryana was a "Grand Officier" of the French Legion of Honour.[10]

His last published book, "Pour une Ethique Iranienne" was a call for unity against the obscurantist forces driving Khomeini and the mullahs' fundamentalist revolution.[11]


  1. ^ Ali Akbar Dareini (1998). The Rise and Fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty: Memoirs of Former General Hussein Fardust. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. pp. 15–16. ISBN 8120816420. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d "Iranian Personalities. General Bahram Ariana". Iran Chamber Society. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  4. ^ Rezvani, Babak (Winter 2009). "The Fereydani Georgian Representation". Anthropology of the Middle East. 4 (2): 57. doi:10.3167/ame.2009.040205. 
  5. ^ Anoushiravan Ehteshami (1995). After Khomeini: the Iranian Second Republic. Psychology Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-415-10879-9. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "Defense & Foreign Affairs", February 1981
  7. ^ a b Bahram Aryana Dies; Ex-Iran Chief of Staff New York Times.(Paris). 27 June 1985. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ List of foreign recipients of the Légion d'Honneur
  11. ^