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Nematollah Nassiri
Born 1911
Died February 16, 1979(1979-02-16) (aged 67-68)
Place of birth Semnan
Place of death Qasr Prison, Tehran
Allegiance Iran
Years of service 1950s–1979
Rank Lieutenant General

Nematollah Nassiri (1911 in Semnan – 16 February 1979), was the director of SAVAK, the Iranian intelligence agency during the rule of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Career activities

Nassiri served as the commander of the Imperial Guards.[1][2] He was arrested by the followers of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh when he delivered two decrees of the Shah to prime minister.[1] A personal friend of the Shah, Nassiri had gained notoriety for removing democratically elected Mosaddegh from power (see Operation Ajax). He 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 21 January 1965. Nassiri was also made deputy prime minister.[3] He served in the post until 6 June 1978 when he was dismissed by the Shah.[4] Then Nassiri was appointed ambassador of Iran to Pakistan.[5]

Arrest and execution

Nassiri was called back from Pakistan[5] and was arrested together with 60 former officials on 7 or 8 November 1978.[4] He was imprisoned with several other high-ranking officials, including Pakravan and former Prime Minister Amir-Abbas Hoveyda. When the Shah fled Iran on 16 January 1979, Nassiri remained in prison until the fall of Shapour Bakhtiar's government on 11 February. On 16 February he was executed by firing squad after a summary trial.[6]


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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