Nematollah Nassiri

General Nematollah Nassiri (1911 in SemnanFebruary 16, 1979), was the director of SAVAK, the Iranian intelligence agency during the rule of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. A personal friend of the Shah, he had gained fame by personally delivering to Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh the warrant for the prime minister's arrest in 1953. (See Operation Ajax.) Nassiri was appointed head of SAVAK following the failure of General Hassan Pakravan, the previous director, to prevent the assassination of Prime Minister Hassan Ali Mansur on January 21, 1965. In the aftermath of Mansur's assassination, Nassiri brutally cracked down on various elements of Iranian society and was one of the most hated figures by the eve of the Iranian Revolution.

In late 1978, at the encouragement of Ambassador to the United States Ardeshir Zahedi and Martial Law Chief General Gholam Ali Oveissi, Nassiri was imprisoned with several other high-ranking officials, including Pakravan and former Prime Minister Amir Abbas Hoveida. When the Shah left Iran on January 16, 1979, Nassiri remained in prison until the fall of Shahpour Bakhtiar's government on February 11. He was executed two days later by firing squad.

Further reading

  • Hoveyda, Fereydoun. The Fall of the Shah. Trans. Roger Liddell. New York: Wyndham Books, 1980.
  • All Fall Down: America's Fateful Encounter with Iran ISBN 1-85043-009-8

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