Sense & humor
Another statesman lost
May 7, 2004
Over the weekend, Iran lost another statesman, Ahmad Mirfendereski
(1918-2004). [See: Rising
Mirfendereski was the Shah's ambassador
to the former Soviet Union for most of the late sixties and early
seventies. These were the crucial and constructive times between
Iran and the former Soviet Union. Upon his return from his post
he was appointed as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. A
position he held until His Majesty removed Mirfendereski over
with the Soviet air force, which I shall describe later.
Mirfendereski had a long and distinguished career at the
foreign ministry. He severed in many capacities and in many countries.
He was the last Foreign Minister in Imperial Iran, when Shapour
Bakhtiar headed the final imperial administration. He was well
versed in many languages, including Russian. He leaves behind a
wife, also a Mirfendereski and of Russian Noble Lineage (The Jandiri's),
of whom the John Deere Company in the US is derived from, a son
Guive and two daughters Lily and Shadi.
Now to the reason why I attempted this article: my father told
me a story once about Ahmad and Nassrollah Entezam, which for the
purposes of recorded history should
be mentioned. Although all the participants are except Ambassador Ardeshir
Zahedi, are now dead.
During the early 1970's when Zahedi was appointed as Ambassador
to the US, the Shah recalled Mirfendereski from his post in
Moscow, and appointed
him the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. This position was filled by Abbas
Ali Khalatbari, who had recently become the Foreign Minister.
the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, the Soviet counter-part of Mirfendereski,
whose name escapes me, contacted him and asked if the Soviet
air force, could dispatch a squadron
of military, logistic and humanitarian aid over Iranian skies to Iraq.
Mirfendereski, upon the Shah's approval, dispatched the acceptance
However, he allowed the Soviets to use more than one squadron for their activity.
Upon finding this out the Shah, in one of his private audiences,
asked bluntly, about the discrepancy and then said; "What
will you be when the Russians take over Iran?" Mirfendereski, responded,
most definitely not become the king." As those who were familiar with His
Majesty's psyche know full well, the Shah did not take well to such
wit -- and Mirfendereski had bold
Soon afterward Mirfendereski was forced into retirement.
Nassrollah Entezam then approached the Monarch in defense of Mirfendereski,
who was Entezam's close friend
over many decades. Entezam, then asked the Sovereign, in French, as the two
would frequently converse in that language, what the Monarch
had in mind. The Shah
then responded that he had told Mirfendereski that the Russians can fly over
Iran "Une foit Pour Tout" -- "Once and for all".
Entezam proceed asked, "Certainly,
your Majesty doesn't think, Mirfendereski, is a traitor. He has shown his
love for Iran and his allegiance to His Majesty." The Shah responded by
shaking his head up and down.
Another story, which was circulating
elite, was that when Zahedi was in an
with His Majesty,
he expressed America's dislike for the help offered by Iran, and Iran
had to quell this displeasure by removing the culprit from his
Mirfendereski was used as a pawn.
Nevertheless, this man dedicated the remaining years of his life
to writing articles, a book, and voraciously reading historical
books, and when he
was asked to return
to public life to serve his country, like some of his contemporaries,
he realized the grave danger Iran would fall into, under organized
the call, despite the maltreatment he had received from the Court.
is the story of one of
those who dedicated their life to Iran, and are departing our midst
one by one.
goodbye to spam!