It has been a poignant year for the devotees of Iran, as we have lost another personality whom through his dedication to Iran and his lineage “blue blood” contributed much to the greatness of Iran prior to the revolution. Manoucher Marzban, lost his apparition in slumber on December, 24 of 2004.

Marzban was the son of Rasht, a community in Northern Iran, which contributed to Nationalism by breeding sons, and daughters who were ardent supporters of freedom and democracy. He was the first son of Dr. Ismael Marzban, “Amin-ol-Molk”.

Ismael, served as the Minister (Secretary) of Health during Prime Minister Ghavam's administration in 1942. He was also an ardent supporter of Sufism and free thought as his association with “Anjoman Okhovat”, the precursor or post cursor (depending on how you look at it) to Freemasonry in Iran showed. He was a close associate of both Seyed Mohamad Entezam-o-Saltaneh and Zahir-o-Doleh and was in line to lead the “Safi Ali Shah” Dervish sect before they decided that after Entezam, they would not elect a “morshed” or leader, rather be governed by a body of elected elders.

His Excellency Dr. Manoucher Marzban grew up in a loving and warm atmosphere and it radiated through out his life as Guive Mirfendereski so eloquently inscribed in his piece about him [See: Amou Manouchehr]. He had a prosperous life into his nineties and used every minute of it to enjoy his journey and share that with those around him. He was somewhat of a visionary as well. Although born into a Muslim surrounding he did not let that be the sole defining divine belief in his life.

As the ambassador of the His Majesty's government he was able to voyage the world in search of other cultures and sacrosanct beliefs. Ambassador Marzban became First Secretary and Charge d'Affairs in Rome during the early 50's. His next appointments were as Chief Minister, Iranian Embassy in Japan, and Chief Minister, Iranian Embassy in Switzerland.

Ambassador Marzban's language and diplomatic skills and his experience as a senior diplomat saw him appointed as Iranian Ambassador to Thailand, Malaysia and Laos in from 1964-1968, at the height of the Vietnam War. From 1968-1970 he served as Chief Political Officer of the Iranian Foreign Ministry. Ambassador Marzban's last appointment was in 1970 as Iranian Ambassador to Sweden, Finland and Iceland.

He retired in 1976 after 38 years of diplomatic service. After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, he moved to London, and to the United States in 1990. He moved to the United States in 1990 to be near his two sons who attended American University and lived in the area.

His travels as diplomat took Ambassador Marzban to many destinations globally, and as a multi-linguist, he was most in his element when he could break from official duties to mingle with locals and interact. Ambassador Marzban met many VIPs during his career, and argued that to understand a culture, “One has to shake the hands of Kings and Paupers”.

Ambassador Marzban, a charismatic individual, had friends in many international circles, from industry and trade to public service and entertainment. An avid collector of stamps, Persian coins and books on Iran in various languages, he became a well recognized figure in Bethesda, Chevy Chase due to his daily two hour walks and his engaging personality.

A compassionate man and always impeccable, Ambassador Marzban was at ease with dignitaries and world leaders as well as locals he would meet on his travels. During his appointments in New York and Rome, he became close friends with actors and actresses from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Further fuelling his life-long passion for literature, arts and entertainment. He was an enthusiastic fan of classic film and American Jazz.

His wife Parvaneh Jandieri Marzban and two sons, Manoucher Jr. and Massoud, survive him.

Mahmoud Ghaffari is the aircraft broadband communication project manager for Boeing and is an Adjunct professor of Network communication and computer science and Devry and National Universities.

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