Dr. Shapour Bakhtiar
hapour Bakhtiar, son of Mohammad
Reza (Sardar-e Fateh) and Naz-Baygom was born in 1915 in the
Bakhtiari region of Iran. Bakhtiar's maternal grandfather,
Najaf-Gholi Samsam ol-Saltaneh, was appointed prime minister twice:
in 1912 and 1918.
Bakhtiar's mother died when he was seven
years old. He attended elementary school in Shahr-e Kord and then
attended secondary school in Esfahan
and Beirut, Lebanon where he received his high school diploma from a
On his way to France to continue his studies
in 1934, Bakhtiar learned that his father had been executed by order
Shah. He returned to Iran and remained there for two
He then left for France in 1936, where he earned
degrees in political science, philosophy and law in 1939. In the
same year, Bakhtiar married a French woman and in 1940 he
volunteered for the French army and served in the "Orlean" battalion
in WWII. After the war, he obtained his PH.D. in the field of
political science from the Sorbonne in Paris.
In the winter
of 1946, Bakhtiar returned to Iran and was employed at the newly
established Ministry of Labor. Initially, he was appointed director
of the Labor Department in the Province of Esfahan. Subsequently, he
headed up the Labor Department in Khozestan, center of the oil
industry. During the Premiership of Dr.
Mohammad Mosaddeq, Bakhtiar held the post of deputy
minister of labor.
Subsequent to the coup of 1953, Bakhtiar
was engaged in various activities and he remained a firm critic of
Reza Shah's administration and was subsequently
imprisoned for a total of nearly six years and banned from leaving
Iran for a period of ten years.
In January 1979, Bakhtiar
was appointed prime minister. He was overthrown in less than two
months by the Islamic
Revolution of February 1979.
Bakhtiar fled to France and lived in a suburb of Paris where he
formed and led the National Resistance Movement of Iran, opposed to
the Islamic Republic Government. On August 7, 1991, Bakhtiar was
assassinated in his home.