Browse oral history

Interview with Atabai, Abol-Fath

Recollections of childhood at the Qajar court; on Reza Shah’s
coup of 1921; characteristics of the last Qajar Crown Prince and his relations with Ahmad Shah; reminiscences of Reza Khan’s premiership; Reza Shah’s relations with his entourage; Ahmad Shah’s life in exile; recollections of Reza Shah’s trip to Lorestan; on building the Iranian railway system; Mohammad Reza Shah’s childhood and temperament; on the character of General Teymur Bakhtiyar; recollections of the young Shah’s wedding with Queen Fawziyeh, and reasons for their divorce; Shah’s marriage to Queen Sorayya; recollection of the events of 1953; Mosaddeq’s attitude towards the Shah; on the Shah’s decision to leave Iran in 1953; Shah’s stay in Iraq and Italy and subsequent return to Iran in 1953; relations between the Shah and other members of the Pahlavi family; on the Shah’s personal friends; on Generals Hosein Fardust, Karim Ayadi, Gholam Reza Azhari, Mohammad Khatami and Amir Hosein Rabi`i; on the Shah’s decision to avoid bloodshed in the months preceding the Revolution; Queen Farah’s role in the last months of the regime; memories of the last meeting with the Shah.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5


Abolfath-Atabai-AP-I Abolfath-Atabai-BP-II Abolfath-Atabai-English


83pp. + summary + biographical note + index

About the interviewee