Hossein Ala'

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Hossein Ala'
Hosein Ala.jpg
34th Prime Minister of Iran
In office
7 April 1955 – 3 April 1957
MonarchMohammad Reza Pahlavi
Preceded byFazlollah Zahedi
Succeeded byManouchehr Eghbal
In office
12 March 1951 – 27 April 1951
MonarchMohammad Reza Pahlavi
Preceded byHaj Ali Razmara
Succeeded byMohammed Mosaddeq
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
25 April 1943 – 2 March 1945
Prime MinisterAli Soheili
Mohammad Sa'ed
Morteza-Qoli Bayat
Preceded byMozaffar Alam
Succeeded byMahmoud Salehi
Personal details
Born13 December 1881
Tehran, Iran
Died12 July 1964 (aged 82)
Tehran, Iran

Hosein Alā (Persian: حسین علاء‎; December 13, 1881 in Tehran – July 12, 1964 in Tehran) was Prime Minister of Iran in 1951 and from 1955 to 1957.


He was born in 1882 in Tehran and spent his early years in London. He was educated at Westminster School and studied law at the University of London after which he was admitted to the bar at Inner Temple. He became involved in politics through a position in the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Iran.[1]


In his early political life Ala served as the chef de cabinet of the Iranian foreign ministry from 1905 to 1916. Subsequently, he was a member of an Iranian diplomatic delegation sent to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. Despite the efforts of the delegation, led by Aliqoli Massoud Ansari, and assisted ably by Ala, the British government of the time nixed Iran's hopes of officially attending the diplomatic gathering. Moreover, with the Iranian Government in Tehran having recently negotiated the Anglo-Iranian Agreement it was decided that Ansari and Ala would be banished to foreign legations to ensure they would not act as lightning rods against the agreement. Ala was appointed as the Iranian diplomatic envoy to Spain in 1920. Shortly thereafter Ala was appointed as Iran's lead diplomat in Washington where he attempted to interest American oil companies to agree to invest in Iran, to undercut the monopoly of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company.

He then became a Member of Parliament and was among the opposition to the fall of the Qajar dynasty during the Shah Pahlavi transition.

From 1934 to 1936, Alā was ambassador to the United Kingdom.[2] Alā was Iranian Ambassador to the United States from 1946 to 1950.

He was elected Prime Minister by parliament following the assassination of Haj Ali Razmara in 1951. His premiership, however, was not to last long, and he resigned on 27 April after Mohammad Mosaddegh had submitted another oil nationalization bill to parliament two days earlier. The issue of nationalization was a hot potato, and Alā did not want to appear to oppose it.[3] During his brief administration, the term of service of Members of Parliament was increased from 2 to 4 years. He was later appointed as Court Minister, remaining one until his death.

Alā was appointed Prime Minister for the second time in 1955, and in November 1955 survived an assassination attempt at the funeral of a son of Abol-Ghasem Kashani.[4]. He was replaced in April 1957 after an upsetting international incident involving the murder of three Americans by outlaw Ahmad Shah and his gang.[5].

Alā died in 1964 at the age of 82. He left a son and a daughter, and was survived by his wife, who died in 1981. His son, Dr. Fereydoun Ala, was the founding director of the National Iranian Blood Transfusion Service and is currently honorary president of the Iranian Comprehensive Haemophilia Care Center. His daughter, Irān, is married to Eskandar Firouz, the noted authority on Iranian fauna and environmental topics.

Honours and awards[edit]

See also[edit]

References and sources[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.iichs.org/index.asp?id=176&doc_cat=7
  2. ^ The International Who's Who 1943-44. 8th edition. George Allen & Unwin, London, 1943, p. 9.
  3. ^ Abrahamian, Ervand (2013). The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the roots of modern U.S.-Iranian relations. New York: New Press, The. p. 74. ISBN 978-1-59558-826-5.
  4. ^ Seyed Mohammad Ali Taghavi (2004). The Flourishing of Islamic Reformism in Iran: Political Islamic Groups in Iran (1941-61). Routledge. p. 120. ISBN 9780203321621.
  5. ^ "Killers' Capture in Wilds". Life. Time Inc. 22 April 1957. p. 40. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 52. Retrieved 2 October 2012.

The following reference was used for the above writing: '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).

Political offices
Preceded by
Haj Ali Razmara
Prime Minister of Iran
Succeeded by
Mohammed Mossadegh
Preceded by
Fazlollah Zahedi
Prime Minister of Iran
1955 – 1957
Succeeded by
Manouchehr Eghbal