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Pahlavi dynasty

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Royal house
Arms of dominion of the Shahs, and therefore coat of arms, of Pahlavi Iran from 1932. The emblem of the dynasty is the mountain and sun in the blue circle in the middle.
CountryImperial State of Iran
Place of originMazandaran
Founded15 December 1925 (1925-12-15)
FounderReza Shah
Current headReza Pahlavi
Final rulerMohammad Reza Pahlavi
Connected familiesMuhammad Ali dynasty (1941–1948)
Mottoمرا داد فرمود و خود داور است
Marā dād farmud o Khod dāvar ast
(Justice He bids me do, as He will judge me)
Deposition11 February 1979 (1979-02-11)

The Pahlavi dynasty (Persian: دودمان پهلوی) was the last Iranian royal dynasty that ruled for almost 54 years between 1925 and 1979. The dynasty was founded by Reza Shah Pahlavi, a non-aristocratic Mazanderani soldier[1] in modern times, who took on the name of the Pahlavi language spoken in the pre-Islamic Sasanian Empire to strengthen his nationalist credentials.[2][3][4][5]

The dynasty replaced the Qajar dynasty in 1925 after the 1921 coup d'état, beginning on 14 January 1921 when 42-year-old soldier Reza Khan was promoted by British General Edmund Ironside to lead the British-run Persian Cossack Brigade.[6] About a month later, under British direction, Reza Khan's 3,000-4,000 strong detachment of the Cossack Brigade reached Tehran in what became known as the 1921 Persian coup d'état.[7][8] The rest of the country was taken by 1923, and by October 1925 the Majlis agreed to depose and formally exile Ahmad Shah Qajar. The Majlis declared Reza Pahlavi as the new Shah of Iran on 12 December 1925, pursuant to the Persian Constitution of 1906.[9] Initially, Pahlavi had planned to declare the country a republic, as his contemporary Atatürk had done in Turkey, but abandoned the idea in the face of British and clerical opposition.[10]

The dynasty ruled Iran for 28 years as a form of constitutional monarchy from 1925 until 1953, and following the overthrow of the democratically elected prime minister, for a further 26 years as a more autocratic monarchy until the dynasty was itself overthrown in 1979.

Family background[edit]

In 1878, Reza Khan was born at the village of Alasht in Savadkuh County, Mazandaran Province. His parents were Abbas Ali Khan and Noushafarin Ayromlou.[11][7] His mother was a Muslim immigrant from Georgia (then part of the Russian Empire),[12][13] whose family had emigrated to mainland Qajar Iran after Iran was forced to cede all of its territories in the Caucasus following the Russo-Persian Wars several decades prior to Reza Shah's birth.[14] His father was a Mazandarani, commissioned in the 7th Savadkuh Regiment, and served in the Anglo-Persian War in 1856.

Heads of House of Pahlavi[edit]

Name Portrait Family relations Lifespan Entered office Left office
Shahs of Iran
1 Reza Shah Pahlavi Reza Shah Son of Abbas Ali 1878–1944 15 December 1925 16 September 1941
2 Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi Mohammad Reza Shah Son of Reza Shah 1919–1980 16 September 1941 11 February 1979
(Iranian Revolution)
In pretence
1 Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Son of Reza Shah 1919–1980 11 February 1979 27 July 1980
Farah Pahlavi Wife of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi 1938– 27 July 1980[15] 31 October 1980[15]
2 Reza Pahlavi Reza Pahlavi II Son of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi 1960– 31 October 1980[15] Incumbent


Picture Name Father Birth Marriage Became Consort Ceased to be Consort Death Spouse
Tadj ol-Molouk Teymūr Khan Ayromlou 1896 1916 15 December 1925 16 September 1941
husband's abdication
1982 Reza Shah
Esmat Dowlatshahi Gholam Ali Mirza Dowlatshahi 1905 1923 1995
Princess Fawzia of Egypt Fuad I of Egypt 1921 1939 16 September 1941 17 November 1948
2013 Mohammad Reza Shah
Soraya Esfandiary-Bakhtiary Khalil Esfandiary-Bakhtiary 1932 12 February 1951 15 March 1958
Farah Diba Sohrab Diba 1938 21 December 1959 11 February 1979
husband's deposition


Prince Ali-Reza Pahlavi, the heir presumptive until his death in 1954

The former constitution of Iran specifically provided that only a male who was not descended from Qajar dynasty could become the heir apparent.[16] This made all half-brothers of Mohammad Reza ineligible to become heirs to the throne.[16] Until his death in 1954, the Shah's only full brother Ali Reza was his heir presumptive.[16]

The constitution also required the Shah to be of Iranian descent, meaning that his father and mother are Iranian.[17]

Line of succession in February 1979[edit]

Current Line of Succession[edit]

List of crown princes[edit]

Name Portrait Relationship to monarch Became heir Ceased to be heir; reason
Office vacant from 15 December 1925 to 24 April 1926
1 Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Mohammad Reza Shah Eldest son 25 April 1926[18] 16 September 1941

(Became king)

Office vacant from 16 September 1941 to 26 October 1967
2 Reza Pahlavi II Eldest son 1 November 1960 (Proclaimed)[18]

26 October 1967 (Designated)[18]

11 February 1979

(Father deposed)

Royal jewels[edit]


Use of titles[edit]

  • Shâh: Emperor, followed by Shâhanshâh of Iran, with style His Imperial Majesty
  • Shahbânu: Shahbânu or Empress, followed by first name, followed by "of Iran", with style Her Imperial Majesty
  • Valiahd: Crown Prince of Iran, with style His Imperial Highness
  • Younger sons: Prince (Shâhpūr, or King's Son), followed by first name and surname (Pahlavi), and style His Imperial Highness.
  • Daughters: Princess (Shâhdokht, or King's Daughter), followed by first name and surname (Pahlavi), and style Her Imperial Highness.
  • Children of the monarch's daughter/s use another version of Prince (Vâlâ Gohar, "of superior essence") or Princess (Vâlâ Gohari), which indicate descent in the second generation through the female line, and use the styles His Highness or Her Highness. This is then followed by first name and father's surname, whether he was royal or a commoner. However, the children by the last Shah's sister Fatemeh, who married an American businessman as her first husband, are surnamed Pahlavi Hillyer and do not use any titles.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Aghaie, Kamran Scot (1 December 2011). The Martyrs of Karbala: Shi'i Symbols and Rituals in Modern Iran. University of Washington Press. ISBN 978-0-295-80078-3.
  2. ^ کوروش, نوروز مرادی; نوری, مصطفی (1388). "سندی نویافته از نیای رضاشاه" (PDF). پیام بهارستان. د۲،س ۱،ش۴.
  3. ^ معتضد, خسرو (1387). تاج های زنانه (چاپ اول ed.). تهران: نشر البرز. pp. 46 47 48 49 50 51 جلد اول. ISBN 9789644425974.
  4. ^ نیازمند, رضا (1387). رضاشاه از تولد تا سلطنت (چاپ ششم ed.). تهران: حکایت قلم نوین. pp. 15 16 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 39 40 43 44 45. ISBN 9645925460.
  5. ^ زیباکلام, صادق (1398). رضاشاه (اول ed.). تهران: روزنه،لندن:اچ انداس. pp. 61, 62. ISBN 9781780837628.
  6. ^ Cyrus Ghani; Sīrūs Ghanī (6 January 2001). Iran and the Rise of the Reza Shah: From Qajar Collapse to Pahlavi Power. I.B.Tauris. pp. 147–. ISBN 978-1-86064-629-4.
  7. ^ a b Zirinsky, Michael P. (1992). "Imperial power and dictatorship: Britain and the rise of Reza Shah, 1921-1926". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 24 (4): 639–663. doi:10.1017/s0020743800022388. S2CID 159878744. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  8. ^ Brysac, Shareen Blair. "A Very British Coup: How Reza Shah Won and Lost His Throne." World Policy Journal 24, no. 2 (2007): 90–103. Accessed 8 August 2021. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40210096
  9. ^ "Mashallah Ajudani". Ajoudani. Archived from the original on 22 October 2018. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  10. ^ Curtis, Glenn E.; Hooglund, Eric. Iran: A Country Study: A Country Study. Government Printing Office. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-8444-1187-3.
  11. ^ Gholam Reza Afkhami (27 October 2008). The Life and Times of the Shah. University of California Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-520-25328-5. Retrieved 2 November 2012.
  12. ^ Afkhami, Gholam Reza (2009). The Life and Times of the Shah. University of California Press. p. 4. (..) His mother, who was of Georgian origin, died not long after, leaving Reza in her brother's care in Tehran. (...).
  13. ^ GholamAli Haddad Adel; et al. (2012). The Pahlavi Dynasty: An Entry from Encyclopaedia of the World of Islam. EWI Press. p. 3. (...) His mother, Nush Afarin, was a Georgian Muslim immigrant (...).
  14. ^ Homa Katouzian. "State and Society in Iran: The Eclipse of the Qajars and the Emergence of the Pahlavis" I.B.Tauris, 2006. ISBN 978-1845112721 p 269
  15. ^ a b c d "Former Iranian Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi will proclaim himself the new shah of Iran", United Press International, 17 October 1980, archived from the original on 28 January 2019, retrieved 25 January 2019, His Imperial Highness Reza Pahlavi, Crown Prince of Iran, will reach his constitutional majority on the 9th of Aban, 1359 (October 31, 1980). On this date, and in conformity with the Iranian Constitution, the regency of Her Imperial Majesty Farah Pahlavi, Shahbanou of Iran, will come to an end and His Imperial Highness, who on this occasion will send a message to the people of Iran, will succeed his father, His Imperial Majesty Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi, deceased in Cairo on Mordad 5, 1359 (July 27, 1980).
  16. ^ a b c Dareini, Ali Akbar (1999). The rise and fall of the Pahlavi dynasty. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 446. ISBN 81-208-1642-0. 2. The Shah gives another account for his separation with Fawzia. "For reasons still obscure to medical science, Queen Fawzia bore only one child; thus unfortunately no male heir issued from our marriage. Under the Persian Constitution the crown must pass by direct line of descent to a male heir. This rules out not only my daughter but also my three sisters. The Constitution further stipulates that no one descended from the previous Qajar dynasty is eligible to become king. Since two of my father's wives were of Qajar blood, my half-brothers who are their sons are ineligible. In fact I had only one brother not related to the Qajar line, and to my sorrow he was to die in an aeroplane crash in 1954. With these limitations it is no wonder that my advisors felt it important for my wife to bear a son. It is true that the Constitution might have been amended, but the dimate of opinion seemed opposed to tampering with the provisions relating to the royal succession. Besides, I was young and, quite apart from the constitutional factor, I wanted more children. When Queen Fawzia went to Egypt on an extended stay, we decided on a divorce." Please see Mission for My Country His Imperial Majesty Mohammad Reza Shah Pahiavi, Hutchinson and Co. (Publishers) Ltd., London, 1961–1968; pp. 219–220
  17. ^ Hoyt, Edwin Palmer (1976). The Shah: The Glittering Story of Iran and Its People. P. S. Eriksson. p. 49. ISBN 9780839777533.
  18. ^ a b c Curtis, Glenn; Hooglund, Eric (April 2008). Iran, a country study. Washington, D.C., US: Library of Congress. p. 186. ISBN 978-0-8444-1187-3.

External links[edit]

Royal house
House of Pahlavī
Founding year: 1925
Deposition: 1979
Preceded by Ruling house of Iran
15 December 1925 – 11 February 1979