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In memory of Nosratollah Amini: 1915-2009

Nosratollah AminiNosratollah Amini (1915-2009) was a member of the original Iranian National Front; he was the mayor of Tehran during the premiership of Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, the prime minister toppled by the CIA in 1953.  After the premier's exile by the Shah, he became Mossadegh's personal attorney and the only person besides his immediate family who could visit him in his estate of Ahmad Abad, some 30 kilometers from Tehran. Amini was an honest lawyer, a formidable judge and one who not only defended the famous but the ones less known. Once on an outing with Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, after visiting the impoverished southern parts of Tehran, the Shah told him, "Mr. Amini, this was one of the most memorable days of my life; I wish every day were like this."

Nosratollah Amini, who left Iran for the US in 1971, returned shortly after the 1979 revolution to become Governor of Fars, one of the largest provinces of Iran. On the first day of his governorship, he abolished the Komites.  In first month of his tenure as the Governor, while the infamous "hanging judge" Khalkhali and his thugs were on their way to ruin Persepolis, the ancient capital of Persia, he declared that "Persepolis will be destroyed over my dead body." With that courageous act, he saved this ancient historical site for future generations, and the intruders returned to Tehran.

In April 1979, one month into his tenure as Governor, he tendered his resignation to Ayatollah Khomeini after being refused full authority. Khomeini, who knew Amini from the old days, did not respond directly but took his resignation and put it under his blanket. He was the first Governor after the Revolution who resigned from his post. He next returned to the US, only to go back to Iran for shorter visits. 

Amini voted for the first time in a US election in January 2009, casting his vote for Barak Obama.

Nosratollah Amini died at the age of 94 in Virginia on the morning of April 20th 2009 from complications from pneumonia. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Nahid, one daughter, four sons, eight grandchildren and one great grandchild. Amini was a champion of democracy and of the rule of law. He never gave up hope that, one day, his homeland, Iran, will be a bastion of all that he struggled and strived for all his life.

May he rest in peace.

Friday April 24th at 2 PM
National Memorial Park
7482 Lee hwy
Falls Church, VA

Memorial Service

Sunday April 26, 3-6 PM
Westin Hotel (formerly Double Tree)
7801 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA

... Payvand News - 04/23/09 ... --

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