Reza Shah Pahlevi

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Reza Shah Pahlevi

(rē`zä shä pä`ləvē), 1878–1944, shah of Iran (1925–41). He began his career as an army officer and gained a reputation for valor and leadership. He headed a coup in 1921 and became prime minister of the new regime in 1923. He negotiated the evacuation (1921) of the Russian troops and (1924) of the British forces stationed in Iran since World War I. Virtually a dictator, Reza Khan deposed (1925) Ahmad MirzaAhmad Mirza
, 1898–1930, shah of Persia (1909–25), son of Muhammad Ali. The last of the Qajar dynasty, he came to power as a result of a coup against his father. A regent initially ruled for him.
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, the last shah of the Qajar dynasty, and was proclaimed shah of Iran. He changed his name to Reza Shah Pahlevi, thus founding the Pahlevi dynasty, and in 1935 officially changed the name of Persia to Iran. He introduced many reforms, reorganizing the army, government administration, and finances, and abolished all special rights granted to foreigners, thus gaining real independence for Iran. Under his rule the Trans-Iranian RR was built, the Univ. of Tehran was established, and industrialization was stepped-up. In World War II his rapprochement with the Germans was protested by the Allies, and in 1941 British and Russian forces invaded and occupied Iran. Forced to abdicate in favor of his son, Muhammad Reza Shah PahleviMuhammad Reza Shah Pahlevi
, 1919–80, shah of Iran (1941–79). Educated in Switzerland, he returned (1935) to Iran to attend the military academy in Tehran. He ascended the throne in 1941 after his father, Reza Shah Pahlevi, suspected of collaboration with the
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, he died in exile in South Africa.


See biographies by G. R. Afkhami (2009) and A. Milani (2011).

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