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Mehdi Bazargan

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Mehdi Bazargan
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factoids
|death_place = Zurich, Switzerland|resting_place = Qom, Iran
  • Freedom Movement of Iran {{small|(1961–1995){edih}
  • National Front {{small|(1949–1961)}}
  • Iran Party {{small|(1941–1946)}}BOOK, Abrahamian, Ervand, 1982, Iran Between Two Revolutions, 0-691-10134-5, Princeton University Press, 190–191,
}}|spouse = Malak TabatabayiAbdolali Bazargan>Abdolali|signature = Mehdi Bazargan signature.svggroup=lower-alpha}}}}Mehdi Bazargan (; 1 September 1907 – 20 January 1995) was an Iranian scholar, academic, long-time pro-democracy activist and head of Iran's interim government, making him Iran's first prime minister after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. He resigned his position as prime minister in November 1979, in protest at the US Embassy takeover and as an acknowledgement of his government's failure in preventing it.He was the head of the first engineering department of University of Tehran. A well-respected religious intellectual, known for his honestyJOURNAL,weblink World: Yankee, We've Come to Do You In, Time, 26 February 1979, and expertise in the Islamic and secular sciences, he is credited with being one of the founders of the contemporary intellectual movement in Iran.

Early life and education

missing image!
- Mehdi Bazargan.jpg -
A young Bazargan
Bazargan was born into an Azerbaijani familyThe Rising Tide of Cultural Pluralism: The Nation-State at Bay?, Crawford Young, p. 127, 1993 in Tehran on 1 September 1907.Biography: Mehdi Bazargan BBC Persian 2009 His father, Hajj Abbasqoli Tabrizi (died 1954) was a self-made merchant and a religious activist in Bazaar guilds.Bazargan went to France to receive university education through an Iranian government scholarship during the reign of Reza Shah.JOURNAL, Vakili Zad, Cyrus, Organization, Leadership and Revolution: Religiously-Oriented Opposition in the Iranian Revolution of 1978–1979, Conflict Quarterly, Spring 1990, 5–25,weblink 13 February 2013, He attended Lycée Georges Clemenceau in Nantes and was a classmate of Abdollah Riazi. Bazargan then studied thermodynamics and engineering at the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures (École Centrale Paris).NEWS,weblink If I Confess..., Sahimi, Muhammad, 6 August 2009, Tehran Bureau via PBS, 18 October 2012, BOOK, Boroujerdi, Mehrzad, Iranian Intellectuals and the West: The Tormented Triumph of Nativism, Syracuse University Press, 1996, 190, 9780815604334,weblink 18 October 2012, WEB,weblink Mehdi Bazargan, Encyclopædia Britannica, 18 October 2012,

Career

After his graduation, Bazargan became the head of the first engineering department at Tehran University in the late 1940s. He was a deputy minister under Premier Mohammad Mosaddegh in the 1950s.WEB, Iran's Political Elite,weblink United States Institute of Peace, 28 July 2013, Bazargan served as the first Iranian head of the National Iranian Oil Company under the administration of Prime Minister Mosaddegh.BOOK, Kinzer, Stephen, All the Shah's men: an American coup and the roots of Middle East terror, 2003, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, N.J., 0471265179, 93–94, Bazargan co-founded the Liberation Movement of Iran in 1961, a party similar in its program to Mossadegh's National Front. Although he accepted the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, as the legitimate head of state, he was jailed several times on political grounds.

Iranian Revolution

On 4 February 1979, Bazargan was appointed prime minister of Iran by Ayatollah Khomeini.BOOK, Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World, Richard C., Martin, Macmillan Reference USA, 2003, 1, 106, 9780028656045, WEB, Nikou, Semira N., Timeline of Iran's Political Events,weblink United States Institute of Peace, 27 July 2013, He was seen as one of the democratic and liberal figureheads of the revolution who came into conflict with the more radical religious leaders – including Khomeini himself – as the revolution progressed. Although pious, Bazargan initially disputed the name Islamic Republic, wanting an Islamic Democratic Republic.BOOK, History of Modern Iran, Ervand, Abrahamian, Cambridge University Press, 2008, 9780521821391, He had also been a supporter of the original (non-theocratic) revolutionary draft constitution, and opposed the Assembly of Experts for Constitution and the constitution they wrote that was eventually adopted as Iran's constitution. Seeing his government's lack of power, in March 1979, he submitted his resignation to Ayatollah Khomeini.NEWS, Bazargan talked out of resigning,weblink 9 November 2012, The Palm Beach Post, 10 March 1979, Tehran, Khomeini did not accept his resignation, and in April 1979, he and his cabinet members escaped an assassination attempt.NEWS, Bazargan escapes assassination try,weblink 9 November 2012, The Rock Hill Herald, 23 April 1979, AP, Tehran, Bazargan resigned, along with his cabinet, on 4 November 1979, following the US Embassy takeover and hostage-taking.NEWS, Godsel, Geoffrey, Bazargan resignation increases Iran risks to American hostages,weblink 9 November 2012, The Deseret News, 9 November 1979, BOOK, Rakel, Eva Patricia, The Iranian Political elite, state and society relations, and foreign relations since the Islamic revolution, 2008, University of Amsterdam,weblink His resignation was considered a protest against the hostage-taking and a recognition of his government's inability to free the hostages, but it was also clear that his hopes for liberal democracy and an accommodation with the West would not prevail. File:Ruhollah Khomeini and Mehdi Bazargan.jpg|thumb|Bazargan sworn in as prime minister behind Ruhollah Khomeini in the absence of Parliament ]]Bazargan continued in Iranian politics as a member of the first Parliament (Majles) of the newly formed Islamic Republic. He openly opposed Iran's cultural revolution and continued to advocate civil rule and democracy. In November 1982, he expressed his frustration with the direction the Islamic Revolution had taken in an open letter to the then speaker of parliament Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.The government has created an atmosphere of terror, fear, revenge and national disintegration. ... What has the ruling elite done in nearly four years, besides bringing death and destruction, packing the prisons and the cemeteries in every city, creating long queues, shortages, high prices, unemployment, poverty, homeless people, repetitious slogans and a dark future?NEWS, Khomenin's grip appears at its tightest, The New York Times, 21 November 1982, File:Sabaghian Bazargan Arafat Sahabi.jpg|thumb|Bazargan with Yasser ArafatYasser ArafatHis term as a member of parliament lasted until 1984. During his term, he served as a lawmaker of the Iran Freedom Movement, which he had founded in 1961, and which was abolished in 1990. In 1985, the Council of Guardians denied Bazargan's petition to run for president.

Views

Bazargan is a respected figure within the ranks of modern Muslim thinkers, known as a representative of liberal-democratic Islamic thoughtJOURNAL,weblink Islamic Forces of the Iranian Revolution: A Critique of Cultural Essentialism, Mojtaba, Mahdavi, Iran Analysis Quarterly, 2, 2, 2004, and a thinker who emphasized the necessity of constitutional and democratic policies.JOURNAL, 195568, Constitutionalism and Democracy in the Religious Ideology of Mehdi Bazargan, Saeed, Barzin, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, 21, 1, 1994, 85, 10.1080/13530199408705593, In the immediate aftermath of the revolution Bazargan led a faction that opposed the Revolutionary Council dominated by the Islamic Republican Party and personalities such as Ayatollah Mohammad Hossein Beheshti.JOURNAL, Behrooz, Maziar, Factionalism in Iran under Khomeini, Middle Eastern Studies, October 1994, 27, 4, 597–614, 4283464, 10.1080/00263209108700879, He opposed the continuation of the Iran–Iraq War and the involvement of clerics in all aspects of politics, economy and society. Consequently, he faced harassment from militants and young revolutionaries within Iran.WEB,weblink Mass trial of opposition group in Iran, Justus, Leicht, World Socialist Website, 20 November 2001, Bazargan believed that there is a link and relation between politics and religion, but did not believe in Political Islam (hokumat).{{cn|date=January 2019}}

Attacks

During the Pahlavi era, Bazargan's house in Tehran was bombed on 8 April 1978.JOURNAL, Nikazmerad, Nicholas M., A Chronological Survey of the Iranian Revolution, Iranian Studies, 1980, 13, 1/4, 327–368, 4310346, 10.1080/00210868008701575, The underground committee for revenge, a state-financed organization, proclaimed the responsibility of the bombing.

Laws of social evolution

Bazargan is known for some of the earliest work in human thermodynamics, as found in his 1946 chapter "A Physiological Analysis of Human Thermodynamics" and his 1956 book Love and Worship: Human Thermodynamics, the latter of which being written while in prison, in which he attempted to show that religion and worship are a byproduct of evolution, as explained in English naturalist Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859), and that the true laws of society are based on the laws of thermodynamics.

Death

Bazargan died of a heart attack on 20 January 1995 in Switzerland.NEWS, Mehdi Bazargan, Former Iran Premier, Dies,weblink 9 November 2012, The New York Times, 21 January 1995, He died at a hospital in Zurich after collapsing at the airport. He was travelling to the United States for heart surgery.

Personal life

Bazargan married Malak Tabatabai in 1939.NEWS, Barzin, Saeed, Mehdi Bazargan,weblink 22 August 2013, The Guardian, 21 January 1995, They had five children, two sons and three daughters.

See also

References

{{Reflist}}

External links

{{commons category|Mehdi Bazargan}}
  • {{YouTube|SGgd6AO234Y|Mehdi Bazargan speech on democracy and election}}
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