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Mostowfi ol-Mamalek : biography

5 October 1875 - 28 August 1932

Mirza Hasan Ashtiani Mostowfi ol-Mamalek or Mirza Hasan Mostofi al-Mamaleki, also Mostofialmamalek, Mustawfi al Mamalek, Mustawfi al Mamalik or Mostofi ul-Mamalek (October 5, 1874 - August 27, 1932) was an Iranian Politician who served as Prime Minister of Iran on six separate occasions.

Prime minister

The First Term

Sometime after his return to Iran, Mostowfi became the minister of war until the bombardment of Majlis. Following the conquest of Tehran, first he was appointed the minister of finance in Sepahdar Azam’s cabinet and then became the minister of Ahmad Shah’s court. Following to the resignation of Sepadar’s first cabinet, he became Ahmad Shah’s prime minister. Mostowfi’s first term as Prime Minister of Persia began in July 1910 during the 2nd Majlis. His party, Melliyoun Democrats, were mostly young, well educated and had traveled to Europe. They were in favour of the separation of church and state; taxing the landowners and businesses; adopting compulsory national service and borrowing internally instead of internationally. Mostowfi’s cabinet, backed by the Democrats, was known as the “Young Peoples’ Cabinet”.

During his first term Mostowfi faced the issue of security in Iran. Multiple assassinations of political and religious figures occurred. Mostowfi decided to stop these assassinations and declared that all private citizens turn in their arms.Ervand Abrahamian. Iran between two revolutions, Princeton University Press, 1982, ISBN 0-691-10134-5, p. 107 Almost all pro-Democrat forces obliged, however some pro-Moderates forces ignored the order, including Sattar Khan.Ervand Abrahamian. Khomeinism: Essays on the Islamic Republic, I.B. Tauris, 1993, ISBN 1-85043-779-3, p. 93 As a result of the pro-Moderates forces actions the government used the newly appointed Tehran police chief, Yeprem KhanErvand Abrahamian. Iran between two revolutions, Princeton University Press, 1982, ISBN 0-691-10134-5, p. 99 to exercise the order.Ervand Abrahamian, “A History of Modern Iran” (Cambridge University Press, 2008: ISBN 0521821398, 9780521821391), p. 58. With this Mostowfi proved he was able to make tough decisions when necessary.

During his term in office the government received a letter from the British and Russian Ministers in Tehran complaining about the lack of security on the road between Bushehr- Shiraz- Isfahan. The British stated that the Irainan government had three months to rectify the problem. If they failed they would bring in 1500 Indian soldiers under British command to safeguard the route. Mostowfi’s government responded by creating the Swedish Gendarmerie, seeing this as a way to keep Iran independent of British involvement in internal security.

With the death of the Regent in September 1910 Parliament was convened to elect the next Regent. The candidates were Mostowfi and Mirza Abolghasem Khan Naser ol Molk. Mostowfi lost the election.Ervand Abrahamian. Iran between two revolutions, Princeton University Press, 1982, ISBN 0-691-10134-5, p. 106"Record of Current Events", The American Monthly Review of Reviews (November 1910), pp544–547Janet Afary, The Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906–1911: Grassroots Democracy, Social Democracy and the Origins of Feminism (Columbia University Press, 1996) p309

The Second Term

Mostowfi’s second appointment as Prime Minister coincided with the onset of World War I. Iran had declared neutrality in the war and the country further reinforced its neutral stance by appointing Mostowfi, who was known to support neutrality.Joseph J. St. Marie, Shahdad Naghshpour, Iran Revolutionary Iran and the United States: Low-Intensity Conflict in the Persian Gulf (Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2011: ISBN 0754676706, 9780754676706), p. 59. However, his government leaned towards the German and the Turks. It is important to note that being pro-German in this regard was simply seen as a political move to support a third nation that may aid in curbing the influence of the British and Russians in Iran.Cyrus Ghani, Iran and the Rise of the Reza Shah: From Qajar Collapse to Pahlavi Power (I.B.Tauris, 2001: ISBN 1860646298, 9781860646294), p. 20.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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