Haydar Khan Amo-oghli

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Haydar Khan Amo-oghli
Born December 20, 1880
Urmia, Persia
Died October 15, 1921 (aged 41)
Gilan, Iran
Title Haydar Khan Amo-oghli
حیدرخان عمواوغلی
Heydər Xan Əmoğlu

Haydar Khan Amo-oghli or Haydar Khan Amu ogly Tariverdiev (Persian: حیدرخان عمواوغلی تاریوردی‎‎; Azerbaijani: حیدرخان عمواوغلی تاریوردی — Heydər Xan Əmioğlu Tarverdiyev; December 20, 1880 – October 15, 1921) was a leftist revolutionary during the Iranian Constitutional Revolution and among the founders of the Communist Party of Persia.[1]

Early years[edit]

He was born in Urmia,[2] but immigrated with his family at a young age to Alexandropol (present-day Gyumri, Armenia). He received training in Erivan and Tiflis in electrical engineering,[3] before he was invited to Iran in 1901 to set up an electrical plant for Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad. His father was Ali-Akbar Afshar (a physician) and his mother was Zahra. Because local people tend to call his father Amo (Uncle in Persian and Azeri language), they also called him Amo-oghli (Cousin in Azeri language). He immigrated to Alexandropol in 1886. As a student of Tbilisi Polytechnic University, he became acquainted with the ideas of socialism closer and in 1898 joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party.

Haydar Khan in Mashhad[edit]

Haydar Khan arrived in Iran as an inexperienced young man who knew no Persian and was unfamiliar with Iranian society and culture, but was driven to action by his restlessness, his sense of mission, and a belief in his own superiority to the Iranians. Upon humiliating an official (Saham ol mulk Motavalibashi) in Khorasan, he comments in his memoirs, “I had only one purpose in mind, which was to show the people of Khorasan who lacked education and understanding that [the official] was also an ordinary human being”.[1] He remained 15 months in Mashhad and after that he went to Tehran as the engineer of Haj Amin Al-zarb electrical plant.

In Tehran[edit]

He arrived Tehran in 1903, where the Constitutional Revolution was about to unfold. He may have exaggerated his role in the Constitutional Revolution when he claimed that he was the one who sent the first group of people to take refuge on the grounds of the British Embassy. However, upon the death of Mozaffar ad-Din Shah and the accession of Mohammad Ali Shah, Haydar Khan, now more experienced and knowledgeable, played a significant role in radicalizing the course of Iranian politics.[1]

On the very day that the Anglo-Russian Agreement was signed in St. Petersburg in 1907, dividing Iran into two spheres of influence, Ali Asghar Khan, the powerful Persian premier, was shot in front of the Majles. Haydar Khan admitted that he had masterminded the assassination, and this was confirmed by Hassan Taqizadeh, who, however, denies that there existed a Terror Committee on whose orders Haydar Khan carried out this act. Ali Asghar Khan had just persuaded the Shah to work with Parliament, where he had a strong enough base to guarantee its cooperation. As a result of his death, the parliamentary coalition he had built soon evaporated. Moreover, the Shah became more suspicious of Parliament, and, as the politicized crowd saw the revolutionary potential of prime minister’s removal, Parliament became less willing to accommodate the Shah. The lines became sharply drawn, increasing the likelihood of violent conflict.[1]

Ali Asghar Khan the second Prime minister of Iran after Iranian Constitutional Revolution. He was assassinated in front of the Iranian Parliament on August 31, 1907, and this was masterminded by Haydar Khan e Amo-oghli.

Other members of the political elite who attempted to bridge the gap between the Shah and the Constitutionalists were also the targets of Haydar Khan’s political terrorism. These included Mirza Ahmad Khan Ala-al-Dawla and the Khedmat Society, which included members of the old regime who professed Constitutionalist sympathies. However, the most radical attack by Haydar Khan took place on 28 February 1908, when a bomb was thrown at the Shah’s motorcade. Haydar Khan was found responsible for the plot and was arrested, but he was soon released at the insistence of his parliamentary Social Democrat friends. This single act of violence was followed by the Shah’s closing of Parliament. The Shah and the Constitutionalists now stood against each other, and both sides were armed. Consequently, in 1909, for the first time in the Middle East, a monarch was dethroned in the name of the people.[1]

During this conflict, Haydar Khan first escaped to Caucasia, where he helped in the provision of men and material for the revolutionaries, before returning to fight alongside them. Once the Shah had been dethroned, he joined the radical Democratic Party and organized the assassination in January 1910 of Ayatollah Mirza Sayyed Abdullah Behbahani, who led the conservative wing of the Constitutionalists.

Ayatollah Mirza Sayyed Abdullah Behbahani, one of the conservative leaders of the Constitutionalists, assassinated by Haydar Khan e Amo-oghli.

Later, Haydar Khan, in support of the Democrats and the governmental forces during the government of the popular Mirza Hasan Khan Mostawfi-al-Mamalek, participated in attacks against the Sattar Khan and Baqer Khan and Mojahed groups, veterans of the armed struggle during the Constitutional revolution who were now providing military support for the Conservatives. Haydar Khan and the Democrats supported Yeprem Khan, the Armenian head of the police force, and succeeded in disarming them. Sattar Khan died soon afterwards as a consequence of an injury he sustained in action.

In March 1911 Haydar Khan was forced to leave Iran. The Conservatives had regrouped, and the Russians, who invaded Iran and occupied Azerbaijan, did not want a revolutionary neighbor on their border. After obtaining money from the deposed Shah in Russia, by pretending that he would help him regain his throne, Haydar Khan left for Europe.


The 1917 Russian Revolution provided an opportunity for Haydar Khan to go back to the Caucasus and participate in the Baku Congress in 1921, as one of the leaders of the Iranian delegation. Haydar Khan was sent back to Iran by the Bolsheviks to settle the conflict which raged between the Jangalis and the Communist Party of Persia in Gilan. Although accounts of this episode vary in their details, it is almost certain that he was killed by a group of Jangalis soon afterwards, with or without Mirza Kuchek’s knowledge.


  1. ^ a b c d e Sheikholeslami, Alireza. "HAYDAR KHAN ʿAMU-OḠLI". Encyclopædia Iranica. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  2. ^ Tadeusz Swietochowski, Brian C. Collins. Historical Dictionary of Azerbaijan. Scarecrow Press, 1999; p. 17.
  3. ^ "ḤAYDAR KHAN ʿAMU-OḠLI". Retrieved 15 November 2015.