The man behind Tehran's Freedom Monument
BBC News
08-Jul-2009 (6 comments)

One of the most iconic sights of the past few weeks in Iran has been the Freedom Monument - the focal point of many of the protests against the Iranian government.

The giant archway with the fanned-out base has dominated the Tehran skyline since it was built in 1971.

Originally commissioned by the Shah of Iran in the 1960s, it was the vision of Hossein Amanat, then a 23 year old graduate.

The BBC's Rebecca Kesby asked him where he got the inspiration for this symbol of modern Iran.

Ali Najafi

Azadi Monument

by Ali Najafi on

Great interview with Hossein Amanat, the architect of the Azadi Monument.


Maryam Hojjat


by Maryam Hojjat on

Thanks for responding to Ignorant farzad1.  I believe whole heartedly in what you said about Bahai faith.  Indeed, it is very unfotunate that we have not embrassed this persian faith(Bahai) but has continued our loyality to a backward, barbaric and brutal religion which was imported and enforced on us 1400 years ago.   May GOD opens our eyes and heart to see better and understand better. 



In desparate need of attention !

by alborz on

According to previous reports, the structure has not been well maintained and grounds have settled due excessive watering of the vegetation, and is now at the risk of cracks permeating the entire edifice.  The marble facade, as evidenced by the recent photos, has not been maintained and therefore the ravages of pollution has tarnished its once pearl like luster.

Never the less, it remains as the uncontested and iconic landmark of Iran.  A brilliantly inspired structure that reflects Iran's heritage through the ages and is associated with historic and contemporary events.




by soroush (not verified) on

Imagine the fact that the Baha'i Faith started in Iran. Long before slavery ended in the west it called for the equality and unity of races. Long before women had the vote in the west it called for the education of the daughters and the equality of the sexes. Long before there was a United Nations it called for the equality of and a league of nations. Long before the Euro, etc., it called for an international currency. Long before WWI and WWII and nuclear arms it called for an end to war and an end of the waste of resources on weaponery. Long before the Holocaust and repeated religious genocides around the world it called for a unity and tolerance of all religions. Long before the call for democratic processes it established democratic institutions and banned clergy in its own administration. Long before student uprisings, investigative media and internet search engines, it called for an independent investigation of the truth by every man and woman on the face of this planet.
Instead of recognizing this product of Iran with pride, many such as Farzad1 have ridiculed and persecuted the Baha'i Faith and Baha'is in general. They have called it a creation of the British or Russia, when neither had what the Baha'i Faith called for 165 years ago. They have stubbornly clung unto their 1400 year old Arab superstitions and prejudices and sank into a stagnant mindset that is now devouring and suffocating Baha'i and non-baha'i Iranians alike.
Imagine the possibilities lost to Iran and grieve, not just for the Baha'is but for all Iranians.


Baha'is are

by Farzad1 (not verified) on

Hossein Amanat is a Baha'i, he specifically built the tall building to go stand on and fullfill his spying mission for the British, Israel, USA, ... against Umat Shahid Parvar Islam.


Great interview - everything aside it is a beautiful design

by ramintork on

Putting everything aside it is a beautiful design, and its design has aged well.

The winged base has esthetic harmony, and its organic shape and span is very welcoming, allegorically echoing one of greatest qualities i.e. Iranian Hospitality ( at least before the Islamists!).

The natural stone makes it ageless, the archway and its geometric ornamentation reflects existing Iranian (Sassanid and Islamic) design so unlike many monuments done for Middle East it sits nicely with its surrounding.

I really prefer the name Azadi (freedom). Ok we haven't reached it but as a universal ideal it is as real as the stones of this monument.

The tragedy is that a bright individual such as Amanat has to live outside his homeland because he would be persecuted as a Bahai and his crime is he lovingly created such a wonderful monument for our people during the previous regime.