Nematollah Nassiri
General Nematollah Nassiri (1911 in Semnan — February 16, 1979), was the director of SAVAK
SAVAK was the secret police, domestic security and intelligence service established by Iran's Mohammad Reza Shah on the recommendation of the British Government and with the help of the United States' Central Intelligence Agency SAVAK (Persian: ساواک, short for سازمان اطلاعات و امنیت کشور...

, the 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 intelligence agency during the rule of Mohammad Reza
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, Shah of Persia , ruled Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow by the Iranian Revolution on 11 February 1979...

Shāh is the title of the ruler of certain Southwest Asian and Central Asian countries, especially Persia , and derives from the Persian word shah, meaning "king".-History:...

. A personal friend of the Shah
Shāh is the title of the ruler of certain Southwest Asian and Central Asian countries, especially Persia , and derives from the Persian word shah, meaning "king".-History:...

, he had gained notoriety for removing democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh from power (see Operation Ajax
Operation Ajax
The 1953 Iranian coup d'état was the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh on 19 August 1953, orchestrated by the intelligence agencies of the United Kingdom and the United States under the name TPAJAX Project...

). Nassiri was appointed head of SAVAK following the failure of General Hassan Pakravan
Hassan Pakravan
Hassan Pakravan was a well known diplomat and minister in the Pahlavi pre-revolutionary government of Iran...

, the previous director, to prevent the assassination of Prime Minister Hassan Ali Mansur
Hassan Ali Mansur
Hasan-ali Mansur was an Iranian liberal and politician who was Prime Minister from 1963 to 1965. He served during the White Revolution of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and was assassinated by a member of the Fadayan-e Islam....

 on January 21, 1965.

In late 1978, at the encouragement of ambassador to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Ardeshir Zahedi
Ardeshir Zahedi
Ardeshir Zahedi was an important Iranian diplomat during the 1960s and 1970s, serving as the country's foreign minister and its ambassador to the United States and the United Kingdom.-Early life:...

 and Martial Law Chief General Gholam Ali Oveissi, Nassiri was imprisoned with several other high-ranking officials, including Pakravan and former Prime Minister Amir Abbas Hoveida
Amir Abbas Hoveida
Amir-Abbas Hoveyda, was an Iranian economist and politician who served as Prime Minister of Iran from January 27, 1965 to August 7, 1977. He was prime minister for 13 years and is the longest serving prime minister in Iran's history. He also served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance...

. When the Shah fled Iran on January 16, 1979, Nassiri remained in prison until the fall of Shahpour Bakhtiar's government on February 11. On February 16, he was executed by firing squad after a summary trial.

Further reading

  • Hoveyda, Fereydoun. The Fall of the Shah. Trans. Roger Liddell. New York: Wyndham Books, 1980.
  • All Fall Down: America's Fateful Encounter with Iran ISBN 1-85043-009-8
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