Shaban Jafari, a.k.a. Shaban Beemokh (“Brainless”), has been an important figure in Iranian contemporary history. For more than half a century he has been commonly known as a thug who led his men against opponents of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, notably during the 1953 coup.

Jafari's “boys” — from traditional, religious neighborhoods of Tehran — were not unlike today's Anasar Hezbollah who frequently storm political gatherings that do not tow the official line in the Islamic Republic.

In the 483-page “Shaban Jafari” (2002, Naab Publishers, Beverly Hills), writer Homa Sarshar has shed much light on the man behind the myth. The book is based on an extensive interview with Jafari, who lived mostly in Los Angeles after the 1979 revolution. It also includes dozens of exclusive photographs.

Excerpts and sample photos from the book:

— (5 pages)
— (13 pages)


Young Shaban
1953 coup (1)
1953 coup (2)
With Mohammad Reza Shah
Shah's birthday festival
With Ayatollah Kashani
Political cartoon
With Mohammad Ali
With Frank Sinatra
With Gina Lollabrigida
With “Iron Sheikh
In Los Angeles
Shaban, Raiders fan
With Homa Sarshar
Shaban in 2000

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