Order of Zolfaghar

The Order of Zolfaghar (Persian: نشان ذوالفقار, Neshan-e Zolfaghar) is the highest military honour of Iran. The Order was established in 1856 as the Decoration of the Commander of the Faithful, by Naser al-Din Shah. It was given its current name in 1925, by Reza Shah I. It was the pinnacle of the Imperial honours system, and was limited to the Sovereign and the individuals who had performed the most outstanding acts of patriotism on behalf of Persia and Iran.

Order of Zolfaghar
Zulfaqar Medal.svg
The Star and Ribbon of the Islamic Republic
Awarded by
Emblem of Iran.svg
Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Armed Forces
TypeChivalric and dynastic order
Royal houseHouse of Pahlavi (formerly)
RibbonIRIA Zolfaghar Ribbon
Supreme LeaderAli Khamenei
GradesKnight Grand Officer
Knight Officer
Next (higher)None (highest)
Next (lower)Order of Fath
IRIA Zulfaqar Ribbon.svg
ribbon of the Islamic Republic
Order of Zolfaghar (Imperial Era) Ribbon Bar - Imperial Iran.svg
ribbon of Imperial Persia & Iran


The Order was a military order of Imperial Persia and Iran named after Zulfiqar, "Spine-cleaver", the famous two-pointed sword of Imam Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad. It was founded as the Decoration of the Commander of the Faithful by Naser al-Din Shah Qajar in 1856, to commemorate the recapture of Herat. Reza Shah, the penultimate Shah of Iran, renamed it the Order of Zolfaghar in 1925 and made it an exclusively military order.


The original Star of the Order comprised an enameled five-pointed star, with an inscription representing the Imam Ali on a red boss in the center, mounted over two crossed curved Zolfaghar swords and a sunburst of rays, as seen in the traditional Lion and Sun symbol.

The Star of the Islamic Republic is larger, simpler and more stylised, comprising a golden eight-pointed star within a silver eight-pointed star; stylised inscriptions on the stars provide decoration and contrast.


The Order consisted of three classes:

  • 1st Class: worn with a badge and a sash
  • 2nd Class: worn with a collar, as a neck-order
  • 3rd Class: worn as a medal.

It was revived in 2019 when Major General Qasem Soleimani received the decoration, the first time it had been awarded since 1979.[1]

The Order of Zolfaghar at its foundation


Imperial Iran
Islamic Republic

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "General Soleimani receives Iran's highest Medal of Honor". Tehran Times. March 11, 2019.
  2. ^ «نشان «ذوالفقار» چیست؟ و به چه کسانی اعطا می‌شود؟»

External linksEdit