Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi

Political Leader

Born: 26 October 1919
Died: 27 July 1980 (cancer)
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
Best known as: The Shah of Iran, 1941-1979
Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi became Crown Prince in 1925, when his father, Reza Shah Pahlavi, became the official monarch of modern Iran. His father was forced into exile in 1941 and Mohammad Reza took the throne. In 1953 political opposition forced him to leave the country, but he was restored to power with the help of the United States. Mohammad Reza embarked on a domestic policy that encouraged nationalism and modernization, but by the late 1970s his repressive regime was becoming increasingly unpopular. In 1979 a theocratic revolution, led by Ayatollah Khomeini, sent the Shah into exile. He went to the U.S., where he was treated for lymphatic cancer; Iranian militants seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran and demanded the Shah's extradition in exchange for 50 hostages. The U.S. refused and the Shah eventually moved to Egypt, where he died.

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