Mehdi Bazargan
Mehdi Bazargan was a prominent Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

ian scholar, academic, long-time pro-democracy activist and head of Iran's interim government, making him Iran's first prime minister
Prime Minister of Iran
Prime Minister of Iran was a political post in Iran that had existed during several different periods of time starting with the Qajar era until its most recent revival from 1979 to 1989 following the Iranian Revolution.-Prime Ministers of Qajar era:In the Qajar era, prime ministers were known by...

 after the Iranian Revolution
Iranian Revolution
The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

 of 1979. He was the head of the first engineering department of Tehran University. A well-respected religious intellectual, known for his honesty and expertise in the Islamic and secular sciences, he is credited with being one of the founders of the contemporary Islamic intellectual movement in Iran.


Bazargan was born to an Iranian Azeri family in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

, but grew up in Tehran. His father, Hajj 'Abbasqoli Tabrizi (d.1954) was a self-made merchant and a devout religious activist who was the head of the Azarbaijani mosque and community in Tehran.

Bazargan was educated in thermodynamics
Thermodynamics is a physical science that studies the effects on material bodies, and on radiation in regions of space, of transfer of heat and of work done on or by the bodies or radiation...

 and engineering at the École Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in Paris. After his graduation, Bazargan voluntarily joined the French army and fought against Nazi Germany. Bazargan then came back from France and became the head of the first engineering department at Tehran University in the late 1940s. In 1951, with the leadership of Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, Iranian parliament nationalized the Iranian oil industry (National Iranian Oil Company
National Iranian Oil Company
The National Iranian Oil Company , a government-owned corporation under the direction of the Ministry of Petroleum of Iran, is an oil and natural gas producer and distributor headquartered in Tehran. It was established in 1948...

) and removed it from British control. Bazargan served as the first Iranian head of the National Iranian Oil Company under the administration of Prime Minister Mossadegh.

After the fall of the Mossadegh government, Bazargan co-founded the Liberation Movement of Iran, a party similar in its program to Mossadegh's National Front. Although he accepted the Shah as the legitimate head of state, he was jailed several times on political grounds.

Iranian Revolution

On 4 February 1979, after the revolution forced the Shah to leave Iran, Bazargan was appointed prime minister of Iran by Ayatollah Khomeini.. 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 Ayatollah Khomeini himself – as the revolution progressed. Although pious, Bazargan initially disputed the name Islamic Republic, wanting an Islamic Democratic Republic. 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
Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran was adopted by referendum on October 24, 1979, and went into force on December 3 of that year, replacing the Constitution of 1906. It was amended on July 28, 1989. The constitution has been called a "hybrid" of "authoritarian, theocratic and...

 they wrote that was eventually adopted as Iran's constitution.

Bazargan resigned along with his cabinet on 4 November following the US Embassy takeover and hostage-taking
Iran hostage crisis
The Iran hostage crisis was a diplomatic crisis between Iran and the United States where 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981, after a group of Islamist students and militants took over the American Embassy in Tehran in support of the Iranian...

. 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.
Bazargan continued in Iranian politics as a member of the first Parliament
Majlis of Iran
The National Consultative Assembly of Iran , also called The Iranian Parliament or People's House, is the national legislative body of Iran...

 (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
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani is an influential Iranian politician and writer, who was the fourth President of Iran. He was a member of the Assembly of Experts until his resignation in 2011...


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?

In 1985 the Council of Guardians denied Bazargan's petition to run for president. He died of a heart attack on 20 January 1995 while travelling from Tehran to Zurich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

, Switzerland.

Bazargan is considered to be a respected figure within the ranks of modern Muslim thinkers, well known as a representative of liberal-democratic Islamic thought and a thinker who has emphasized the necessity of constitutional and democratic policies. He opposed the continuation of Iran-Iraq war
Iran-Iraq War
The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran, lasting from September 1980 to August 1988, making it the longest conventional war of the twentieth century...

 and the involvement of clerics in all aspects of politics, economy and society. Consequently, he faced harassment from militants and young revolutionaries within Iran.

Laws of social evolution

Bazargan is noted for having done some of the first 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
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

, as explained in English naturalist Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

's 1859 Origin of Species, and that the true laws of society are based on the laws of thermodynamics
Laws of thermodynamics
The four laws of thermodynamics summarize its most important facts. They define fundamental physical quantities, such as temperature, energy, and entropy, in order to describe thermodynamic systems. They also describe the transfer of energy as heat and work in thermodynamic processes...


See also

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