Ali Soheili

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Prime Minister Soheili (left), Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Winston Churchill, Tehran 1943

Ali Soheili (* 1896 in Tabriz , † 1958 in London ) was Foreign Minister, Prime Minister and Ambassador of Iran.


After an assassination attempt on the incumbent Prime Minister Mohammad Ali Foroughi , Ali Soheili became Prime Minister of Iran on March 9, 1942.

Iran was occupied in August 1941 as part of the Anglo-Soviet invasion and Reza Shah resigned in favor of his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi under British pressure . It was Prime Minister Foroughi and his Foreign Minister Soheili who informed the British and Soviet ambassadors of Reza Shah's resignation on September 16, 1941, and who in a special session informed the Iranian Parliament about the resignation of Reza Shah in favor of his son Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Foroughi also remained in office as Prime Minister under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and, together with his Foreign Minister Soheili, negotiated with the British and Soviet ambassadors the three-power agreement , which was confirmed by the Iranian parliament on January 29, 1942 , which confirmed the territorial integrity of Iran and the withdrawal of the Soviet and British troops six months after the end of the war.

After Foroughi's resignation, Soheili initially only stayed in office for 5 months until August 6, 1942. Under pressure from the British occupation forces, he had to resign in favor of Ahmad Qavam . Qavam was considered pro-British. In December 1942, the British and Soviet occupation forces were reinforced by US troops to take over the transport of military goods for the Soviet Union through the Persian Corridor , which further fueled the increasing tensions between the occupying powers and the Iranian people. Qavam was only able to stay in office for 5 months due to growing domestic political pressure and Soheili was again Prime Minister on February 14, 1943 and remained so until March 27, 1944.

In August 1943, British and Soviet troops arrested numerous Iranian politicians and military officials who were considered pro-German, which further exacerbated tensions between the Iranians and the occupying powers. Soheili started negotiations with the US to induce them to join the tripartite agreement. Soheili wanted the United States not only to recognize Iran's sovereignty, but also to protect it from the British and the Soviets. President Franklin D. Roosevelt urged Iran to join the war against Germany. On September 9, 1943, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi signed the declaration of war, which was confirmed by the Iranian parliament on the same day. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin then signed the Tripartite Declaration at the Tehran Conference on December 1, 1943, in which they recognized the sovereignty of Iran and confirmed the withdrawal of the occupying forces six months after the end of the fighting.

On March 28, 1944 Ali Soheili was replaced by Mohammad Sa'ed Maraghei as Prime Minister. Soheili went to London as the Iranian ambassador.

Ali Soheili died of cancer in London at the age of 62.

Individual evidence

  1. Gholam Reza Afkhami: The life and times of the Shah. University of California Press, 2009, p. 87.