Born on 25 June 1923 in Tehran, Iran, he first climbed his way to college graduating with degrees in Law and Engineering from Tehran University. While World War II was brewing, he was able to enroll in Cornell University. After completing his PhD at Cornell University, he returned to Iran and became deputy minister in Iran’s ministry of Health, under Dr Jahanshah Saleh in 1955. Amouzegar was among the first of Iran‘s politicians schooled and trained in theUnited States. Prior to that time, Iran’s elite were almost entirely trained in France, among other European countries.
Amouzegar first took the post of Minister of Labor and then Minister of Health in the cabinet of prime minister Hasan-ali Mansour. He subsequently became Minister of Finance in the cabinet of Amir Abbas Hoveida after the assassination of Prime minister Mansour in 1964, remaining in that post for nine years. In 1971, he and Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani ofSaudi Arabia were instrumental in implementing the series of price hikes that ultimately quadrupled the price of oil and provided the resources for Iran to modernize its infrastructure, agriculture, and defense. For this accomplishment, Amouzegar was awarded the Taj-e Iran, first class, an honor normally reserved for only the prime minister and former prime ministers. He was appointed Minister of the Interior in 1974.
On 21 December 1975, he was taken hostage by the Venezuelan terrorist Carlos the Jackal during an OPEC meeting. Carlos was ordered to execute him, but did not do so, and Amouzger was released along with the other hostages after a few days.
In 1977, he became chairman of the Rastakhiz (Resurrection) party, having led the Progressive faction against Finance Minister Hushang Ansary‘s Liberal Constructionist faction. Soon after Jimmy Carter became president of the United States, Amouzegar was appointed prime minister of Iran in August 1977 in Ramsar, succeeding his rival Amir Abbas Hoveyda. However, he rapidly became unpopular as he attempted to slow the overheated economy with measures that, although generally thought necessary, triggered a downturn in employment and private sector profits that would later compound the government’s problems. Hence, in the wake of Khomeini‘s revolution, he soon resigned and was replaced by Jafar Sharif-Emami.
Mahnaz Afhami was amongst the Cabinet Ministers of the new government:
Sisters Mahnaz and Farah became independent women in America. Both later returned to Iran as adults, where they would be torn apart by Iranian politics during the reign of the Shah. Mahnaz became a minister in the shah’s government and advocated for women’s rights, while Farah and her husband joined the cause of the revolution. Ultimately, Mahnaz and Farah both had to flee Iran in fear fortheir lives. (PBS Destination America)
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Ferdows Naficy and her two daughters, Mahnaz and Farah became independent women in America. When Ferdows decided to emigrate to the U.S., she opened the door for her daughters to later join her in California. Both would later return to Iran as adults, where they would be torn apart by Iranian politics during the reign of the Shah. Mahnaz became a minister in the Shah’s government and advocated for women’s rights, while Farah and her husband joined the cause of the revolution. Ultimately, Mahnaz and Farah had to fleeIran in fear for their lives. This is the lastest update from Mahnaz and Farah.