Rezā Shāh

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Reza Shah Pahlavi

Rezā Shāh Pahlavi (March 16, 1878 – July 26, 1944) was the Shah of the Imperial State of Iran from 1925 to 1941.


  • If only I had a thousand rifles of the same calibre!
    • Muhammad Reza Pahlavi (1961) Mission for my Country, London, page 41
    • Prior to his seizure of power, Persia's stocks of firearms were unstandardized and unreliable
  • The inhabitants of Tehran are invited to keep quiet.
    • Gérard de Villiers (1975) The Imperial Shah, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, page 29
  • I know you can be strong, but I want you always to be strong for your brother. Stay close to him and tell him to stand firm in the face of dangers of any kind.
    • Ashraf Pahlavi (1980), "Faces in a mirror: Memoirs from Exile", Prentice-Hall
    • Reza Shah to his daughter Ashraf, during his exile

Quotes about Reza Shah[edit]

  • ... contrary to what many believed, my father was kind and tenderhearted, especially towards his family. His forbidding sternness seemed to melt into love, kindness, and easy familiarity when he was with us. Especially with me, his acknowledged successor to the throne, he would play lightheartedly. When we were alone together, he would sing me little songs; I don't remember his ever doing this in front of others, but when only the two of us were there, he would often sing to me.
  • The Queen Mother told us stories of her married life with Reza Shah. On her wedding night, her husband, then a mere brigadier was forced to ply her with brandy to calm her nerves. Even as Queen, she said, she did her best to keep out of his way.
  • How could I have been in love with him? Most of the time I was far too cross.
    • Assadollah Alam's diaries: Entry dated 17 April 1976
    • The Queen Mother's words regarding her love for Reza Shah
  • Our younger intellectuals cannot possibly understand, and thus cannot possibly judge Reza Shah. They cannot because they were too young to remember the chaotic and desperate conditions out of which he arose.
  • Reza Shah was not an atheist and could best be described as an agnostic. He was, for a while, fascinated by the teachings of Zoroaster, Iran's pre-Islamic prophet, but his fascination should be understood in the context of his old soldier's dream of restoring Iran to its ancient grandeur. Mohammad-Reza, on the other hand, was deeply religious, even to the point of rejecting all free will.
  • Reza Shah had been a powerful leader only partly because of his position, and Mohammad-Reza was fully conscious of the fact that he had few of his father's natural assets. The new Shah had received a democratic training which meant that he knew that there were different views on every issue and that reality could be contemplated from many different angles: this made him hesitant and indecisive where his father had been determined and resolute. Mohammad-Reza wanted to be loved for his person: Reza Shah never knew what love was, asking only to be obeyed. The new Shah was polite and shy and anxious not to offend: the old Shah deliberately terrorised members of his entourage in order to keep them constantly on their guard. Reza Shah had been a born leader; the new Shah had to learn to become one.
    • Amir Taheri (1991) The Unknown Life of the Shah

External links[edit]

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