Jafar Sharif-Emami

Jafar Sharif-Imami (Persian: جعفر شریف‌امامی‎; 17 June 1912[1] – 16 June 1998) was an Iranian politician who was prime minister from 1960 to 1961 and again in 1978. He was a cabinet minister, president of the Iranian Senate, president of the Pahlavi Foundation and the president of the Iran chamber of industries and mines during the reign of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.[2]

Jafar Sharif-Emami
Jafar Sharif-Emami portrait.jpg
38th Prime Minister of Iran
In office
27 August 1978 – 6 November 1978
MonarchMohammad Reza Pahlavi
Preceded byJamshid Amouzegar
Succeeded byGholam Reza Azhari
In office
31 August 1960 – 5 May 1961
MonarchMohammad Reza Pahlavi
Preceded byManouchehr Eghbal
Succeeded byAli Amini
President of the Senate
In office
11 September 1964 – 24 March 1978
MonarchMohammad Reza Pahlavi
Preceded byMohsen Sadr
Succeeded byMohammad Sajadi
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
30 July 1960 – 1 December 1960
Prime MinisterManouchehr Eghbal
Preceded byAbbas Aram
Succeeded byGhods-Nakhai
Personal details
Born17 June 1912
Tehran, Iran
Died16 June 1998(1998-06-16) (aged 85)
New York City, United States
Political partyRastakhiz Party
Spouse(s)Eshrat Sharif Emami (died November 1997)
Alma materTehran University

Early life and educationEdit

Mohammad-Reza Shah welcomes Sharif Emami and his government in Niavaran Palace
Sharif-Emami as President of Senate

Sharif-Emami was born in Tehran on 17 June 1912 to a clerical family and his father was a mullah.[3] After high school, Sharif-Emami was sent (along with thirty other young men) to Germany where he studied for eighteen months, returning to Iran in 1930 to work with state railroad organization until the Anglo-Soviet Invasion.[3] Years later he was sent to Sweden for technical training, returning in 1939 when he received a degree in engineering.[2]

Career and activitiesEdit

Sharif-Emami began his career the Iranian state railways in 1931.[4] Arrested in summer of 1943 for alleged ties to Germany he was kept in detention along with many other members of Iran's elite. After his release he was appointed director-general of the Irrigation Agency.[2] In 1950, he was appointed undersecretary of roads and communications.[4] In June 1950, prime minister and General Haj Ali Razmara appointed him acting minister and then minister of roads, his first cabinet post.[2]

He served as the minister of industries and mines in Manuchehr Eqbal's cabinet.[5] He was prime minister from 1960 to 1961, and again in 1978, a few months before the overthrow of the Shah.[4] He was appointed prime minister by Shah on 27 August 1978 because of his ties to clergy.[6] Sharif-Emami succeeded Jamshid Amouzegar in the post.[6][7]

During his short tenure, he undid many of the Shah's plans including the closing of casinos, abandoning the Imperial calendar, abolishing the Rastakhiz Party and allowing all political parties to be active and personally responsible for preventing SAVAK to get involved and preventing the KGB backed clergyman from creating and continuing the 1979 revolution.[5] All of his efforts to reform the political system in Iran, was overshadowed by the Black Friday massacre in Jaleh Square (8 September 1978), mass protests, martial law and nationwide strikes, which brought the country's economy to its knees. He resigned from office amid riots on 5 November 1978.[8] Gholam Reza Azhari replaced him in the post.[4] He was also long-time president of the Iranian senate[9] and chairman of the Pahlavi Foundation.[10][11] He was one of the close confidants of the Shah.[9]

Personal lifeEdit

Sharif-Emami was married and had three children, two daughters and a son.[4]

For some years he was also the Grand Master of the Freemason Grand Lodge of Iran, which gave him some informal influence among Iran's political elite.[2][3]

Later years and deathEdit

Sharif-Emami left Iran following the 1979 Islamic revolution. He settled in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York City.[4] There he served as the president of the Pahlavi Foundation and later resigned from the post.[4] He died at a hospital on 16 June 1998 at age 85 in New York City.[4] He was buried in Valhalla, New York.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "مؤسسه مطالعات و پژوهش‌های سیاسی". psri.ir.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Memoirs of Sharif-Emami, Prime Minister [Persian Language] [0-932885-22-5] : Ibex Publishers, English & Persian (Farsi) Books about Iran". ibexpub.com.
  3. ^ a b c Abbās Mīlānī (19 December 2008). Eminent Persians: The Men and Women who Made Modern Iran, 1941 - 1979. Syracuse University Press. p. 305. ISBN 978-0-8156-0907-0. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Saxon, Wolfang (23 June 1998). "Jafar Sharif-Emami, 87, Aide to Shah and a Prime Minister". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  5. ^ a b 'Alí Rizā Awsatí (عليرضا اوسطى), Iran in the Past Three Centuries (Irān dar Se Qarn-e Goz̲ashteh - ايران در سه قرن گذشته), Volumes 1 and 2 (Paktāb Publishing - انتشارات پاکتاب, Tehran, Iran, 2003). ISBN 964-93406-6-1 (Vol. 1), ISBN 964-93406-5-3 (Vol. 2).
  6. ^ a b Mansoor Moaddel (January 1994). Class, Politics, and Ideology in the Iranian Revolution. Columbia University Press. p. 160. ISBN 978-0-231-51607-5. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  7. ^ Nikazmerad, Nicholas M. (1980). "A Chronological Survey of the Iranian Revolution". Iranian Studies. 13 (1/4): 327–368. doi:10.1080/00210868008701575. JSTOR 4310346.
  8. ^ "On this day. 5 November 1978: Iran's PM steps down amid riots". BBC. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Centers of Power in Iran" (PDF). CIA. May 1972. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  10. ^ Miri, Rozita. "The Senate". IICHS. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  11. ^ John H. Lorentz (2010). The A to Z of Iran. Scarecrow Press. p. 306. ISBN 978-1-4617-3191-7.

External linkEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Abbas Aram
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Hossein Ghods-Nakhai
Preceded by
Manouchehr Eghbal
Prime Minister of Iran
Succeeded by
Ali Amini
Preceded by
Mohsen Sadr
President of the Senate
Succeeded by
Mohammad Sajadi
Preceded by
Jamshid Amouzegar
Prime Minister of Iran
Succeeded by
Gholam Reza Azhari