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the foundation of political philosophy in Iran-constitutional period

The foundation of political philosophy in Iran-constitutional period


Iranian Contemporary History No. 60


History Hall


  Qavam-us-Saltaneh Under Pahlavis 

Niloufar Kasra


Ahmad Qavam entitled Qavam-us-Saltaneh (1874-1955), son of Mirza Ibrahim Motamed-us-Saltaneh, and brother of Vossouq-ud-dowleh is one of the leading politicians of Iran's contemporary history. He was educated by private teachers. He went to Europe to continue his education, but could not complete his studies, and he returned to Iran.


His political growth began after the conquest of Tehran by the Mojahedin. Under Qajars, he became minister of war, minister of interior and minister of Justice. He was appointed governor general of Khorassan and Siestan for three years. He was banished to Europe in October 1923, being accused of having plotted against Reza Khan. He was allowed to return to Iran through intermediation of his brother, and went to reside on his property at Lahijan.


His political life under Reza Shah was limited to some correspondence with some friends including Ali Amini.


He came back to live in Tehran after the fall of Reza Shah. He became prime minister in August 1942. He wished to invite a third power to enjoy it against the pressures of Anglo-Russian interests in Iran. To this end he brought the American politicians and financial advisors to make reforms in the customs and financial affairs of the country but due to the high price of food stuff and mass demonstrations his government fell. From these very years there grew a dispute between Qavam and the Young Shah. Qavam's disregard of the Shah occurred the courtiers that he wants to abolish the monarchy and to establish republic government. But, Aboul Hassan Ebtehaj, one of Qavam's close friends writes in his memoirs that: "Qavam believed in monarchy. But he wished to be a powerful prime minister and the Shah does not interfere in his affairs. However, he didn't want this at the expense of Shah's removal."


Again he became prime minister in February 1946 holding additional offices of minister for foreign affairs and minister of the Interior. His policy was to seek reconciliation with the Russians. He went to Moscow in February 1946 to meet Josef Stalin and concluded a treaty with the Soviets granting them the North oil concession provided that the Russians draw their forces back from Azerbaijan. The Russians acted according to the contract, but Qavam knew the Majlis would not ratify the contract and the oil concession would not be granted. The settlement of Azarbaijan dispute is doubtless one of the main accomplishments of Qavam on the political scene of the country. His greatest flaw was his political link with the court in 1952 after five years of rupture of relations with the Shah and the court. He published a strongly worded declaration and announced his decision to fight against the red extremists and the black reactionarists and his hatred of demagogy. He believed that the oil question should be settled in a different way. This attitude of Qavam was opposed by Ayat-tollah Kashani and ended in Qavam's removal. This failure of Qavam broke him so much as he could not take his stand again until the end of his life.

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