Shapoor Reporter

Sir Shapoor Reporter KBE (1921–2013) was a diplomat, journalist, businessman in Pahlavi-era Iran. He was a confidant to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the late Shah of Iran.[1] Throughout his career, he worked in a variety of capacities, including as an English teacher, a foreign journalist, and primarily as a political and financial broker.[2] He was well recognised for having strong ties to the Pahlavi establishment due to his friendship with the reigning Shah since their days in school.[1] He is alleged to have also worked as a British intelligence agent in Iran and to have had an important role in the 1953 coup d'état against the prime minister of the time, Mohammad Mosaddegh in support of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.[3] This narrative that he was a crucial British intelligence asset has been disputed. According to Fakhreddin Azimi at the University of Connecticut his importance and role ''seem[s] exaggerated and have not been corroborated by the available documentary sources''. His loyalty to the Shah was remarked upon by Denis Wright, the British ambassador when he worked as journalist for The Times. Wright described Reporter, as “the shah’s man,” and noted that “I have yet to read a message from him containing a word which might induce His Majesty’s displeasure”.[2]

Shapoor Ardeshirji Reporter

Born(1921-02-26)February 26, 1921
DiedDecember 23, 2013(2013-12-23) (aged 92)
Espionage activity
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service branchSecret Intelligence Service
OperationsOperation Boot


Shapoor Reporter was born in Tehran in 1921, some sources including Ervand Abrahamian report he was born in Delhi.[4] His father, Ardeshir Reporter, was an Indian Parsi and a British intelligence officer who came from Mumbai to Tehran in 1893 as the agent of Parsis. Ardeshir Reporter was one of the pivotal people in the foundation of the Pahlavi dynasty, and he was personally able to secure British support for the budding officer Reza Khan against the Qajar dynasty.[5]

Educated in Westminster and Kings College, Shapoor Reporter graduated in Political Science and Literature. In 1943 Shapoor Reporter was sent to India to set up the Radio Delhi programs being broadcast in Persian. In 1945 he was assigned to serve in Bahrain, and after one year was sent to China.

In 1947 Shapoor Reporter was sent to Tehran to serve as secretary to the first Indian ambassador in Tehran. During the oil nationalization in Iran, he was accorded as assistant to the U.S. ambassador Loy W. Henderson for three years, during which he had a role in the 1953 military coup. As a reward, he was offered a position in the State Department and U.S. citizenship by the U.S. secretary of state for "his brilliant services to the common cause". Then he was appointed as liaison officer for Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran.

Shapoor Reporter became a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1973, shortly after acting as an intermediary in a £100 million arms sale from the United Kingdom to Iran, for which he also received £1 million from the UK Ministry of Defence.[6] In a 1976 bribes trial in London, he was described as "Mr. Fixit" and he was said to have received £1 million commission on one arms deal. Shapoor Reporter died in London in 2013.[7]


  1. ^ a b Dorril, Stephen (2002). MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-7432-1778-1.
  2. ^ a b Foundation, Encyclopaedia Iranica. "Great Britain vi. British influence in Persia, 1941-79". Retrieved 2022-07-24.
  3. ^ Louis, Wm. Roger (2006). Ends of British imperialism: the scramble for empire, Suez and decolonization : collected essays. I. B. Tauris. p. 775. ISBN 978-1-84511-347-6.
  4. ^ Abrahamian, Ervand (2013-11-05). The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations. The New Press. ISBN 978-1-59558-862-3.
  5. ^ Ghani, Cyrus (2000-10-27). Iran and the Rise of Reza Shah: From Qajar Collapse to Pahlavi Power. Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 978-1-86064-629-4.
  6. ^ Phythian, Mark (2000). The politics of British arms sales since 1964: 'to secure our rightful share'. Manchester University Press. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-7190-5907-0.
  7. ^ مهبد ابراهیمی، آناهیتا شمس (21 August 2019). "نیم قرن خرید تسلیحاتی ایران از بریتانیا (۴)؛ اختلاف‌ها بالا می‌گیرند". BBC Persian. Retrieved 2 February 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)