Former Iranian Vice Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Passes Away
The former vice minister of Iran's Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance passed away July 31 in Los Angeles after battling cancer. Mohsen Shidfar, born in Tehran in February 1928, was a successful private businessman and entrepreneur turned public employee in the Shah's regime.
Shidfar, the sixth of seven children, began his education at Sharaf High School and then went on to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Tehran. After graduating, in the mid-1950s, Shidfar left Iran for America where he learned how to assemble and install sugar factories.
A year later, Shidfar's interest in engineering led him back to Iran where he took a job as an engineer at Iran's government sugar factories.
But Shidfar's inherent entrepreneurial nature-which was partially imparted to him by his father Mohammad Rajaboff, who was one of the first people to import oil to Iran-led him to become the co-founder and managing partner of a company responsible for the installation of industrial factories in Iran.
Shidfar continued his back and forth between the public and private sector for most of his life. After leaving the company he co-founded, Shidfar took a position as the president of business development and operations for all governmental factories in Iran-where he designed and installed 15 factories.
When he left his post as the president of business development and operations, he switched back to the private sector, where he took a position in which he oversaw the design and installation of the Iran Yasa Tire and Rubber Factory.
But once again, Shidfar left the private sector to take a job in government as the CEO of Iran's International Trade and Convention Center, after which he co-founded the Saveh Rolling and Profile Mill-which manufactured steel and pipe.
Shidfar then rose through the ranks of the government, first as the advisor to Iran's Minister of Trade and then as the Vice Minister of Iran's Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance.
His advisor post was his last in the Shah's government, after which he co-founded the Honda Factory of Iran, of which he was also the chairman and CEO.
Following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Shidfar moved to Cannes, France, and later settled in Santa Barbara, California. He and his wife, Mitra, moved back to their native country of Iran in 2001. In late 2010, the couple came to visit their son in Los Angeles, where Shidfar passed away less than a year later.
The father of three enjoyed classical music, loved to paint, taught himself piano and was known throughout his extended family for his famous cooking.
Shidfar is survived by his loving wife Mitra, his daughter Katayoon and his two sons Kasra and Farid.
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