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Photos: Memories of Shah's Secret Service SAVAK at Tehran's Ebrat Museum

Photos by Armin Karami, Mehr News Agency

Iran's Ebrat Museum

Iran's Ebrat Museum was once a prison of the shah's secret police, SAVAK. The museum displays and exhibits the documented atrocities of SAVAK including prison cells, interrogation rooms and torture chambers.

SAVAK was the secret police, domestic security and intelligence service established by Iran's Mohammad Reza Shah with the help of the United States' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). SAVAK operated from 1957 to 1979, when the Pahlavi dynasty was overthrown. SAVAK has been described as Iran's "most hated and feared institution" prior to the revolution of 1979 because of its practice of torturing and executing opponents of the Pahlavi regime. At its peak, the organization had as many as 60,000 agents serving in its ranks according to one source, although Gholam Reza Afkhami, whose work on the Shah has been described as a "sympathetic biography", estimates SAVAK staffing at between 4,000 and 6,000.


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