Kaveh Farrokh, who was born in Athens, Greece, is cited as “…a leading authority in the history of Persia“ by the University of British Columbia website. He has been recognized as an expert in the field of Iranian history:
- As noted by ASMEA (Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa): “Dr. Kaveh Farrokh is a … member of many distinguished organizations. He is a well-known and highly respected author and expert on Iranian history, language and culture.“
- The Persian Heritage Magazine (Volume XIX, No. 73, Spring 2014) cites Kaveh Farrokh as a “…Historian and Researcher” (p.29 [English version], p.32 [Persian version]).
- Palgrave-Macmillan, a leading international academic venue, has listed Kaveh Farrokh among its list of contributors (p.xiii, 2015) for its 2015 text “The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism” who are cited as “…an international team of experts and scholars…”
Kaveh Farrokh on the front cover of the Persian Heritage journal (Volume XIX, No. 73, Spring 2014). The primary photo is of Farrokh at the WAALM ceremonies in London on October 31, 2009, where he obtained the “Best History Book Award” for 2008. He is also Head of Department of Traditions & Cultural History of WAALM (World Academy of Arts, Literature and Media – affiliated with United Nations organization ACUNS) – WAALM was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011.
NOTE: readers are cautioned that all of the photos are from the private archives of the Farrokh, Diba-Tabatabai, Pirbastami and Behzadi clans. Readers need to attribute these photos correctly as a professional courtesy – otherwise these are historical sources for educational purposes for the entire global readership.
Kaveh has has been lecturing at the University of British Columbia (UBC)’s Continuing Studies as well as at UBC’s Persian Studies initiative program in the university’s Asian Studies department. He is affiliated with a number of world-renowned organizations, including the Hellenic-Iranian Studies Society, The Iran Linguistics Society and Stanford University’s WAIS (World Association of International Studies) program.
The University of British Columbia’s Asian Studies program gave a strong tribute to Kaveh Farrokh acknowledging his long association with the University of British Columbia – kindly see video showing the distinguished Professor Harjot S. Oberoi who is a world-class historian at the University of British Columbia’s Asian Studies program.
Professor Harjot S. Oberoi of the University of British Columbia’s Asian Studies program introduces “An Evening with Dr. Kaveh Farrokh – Sassanian Architecture” (Monday March 12, 2011). This talk was given as part of the overall drive to promote support for the University of British Columbia’s Iranian Studies and Persian language initiative.
Kaveh has been noted for a number of citations including the following:
- The Wall Street Journal and Reuters News Service (2011)
- The Peer-Reviewed Iranshenasi academic Journal (2010)
- The Scholarship and Merit Award (2009)
- Best History Book Aaward in London (2008), citaiton by the Indepedent Book Publisher’s Association in the United States (2008), citation of book in the BBC (2008) and the Kayhan Newspaper of London (2008) (the Iranian equivalent of the New York Times).
The Nobel Peace prize awarded to Sir Ralph Norman Angell (1872-1967) in 1933 (Photo in Public Domain). The United Nations affiliated organization ACUNS has noted that The World Academy of Arts, Literature and Media – WAALM has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize report (also posted in Iranian.com, the Persianesque on-line Journal). Kaveh Farrokh is the chair of WAALM-School of Cultural Diplomacy’s Department of Traditions & Cultural History (for more information see Blog).
Kaveh’s second book “Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War” received praise by Dr.s Geoffrey Greatrex (University of Ottawa), Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones (University of Edinburgh, Department of Classics), Patrick Hunt (Stanford University), Nikoloz Kacharava (The University of Georgia in Tbilisi, Member of Academy of Sciences in Georgia, Active Member of New York Academy of Sciences) (posted on Amazon.com) .
Shadows in the Desert Ancient Persia at War – Recent Persian translation by Qoqnoos Publishers with the English to Persian translation having been done by Shahrbanu Saremi (at LEFT), The original publication by OspreyPublishing (at CENTER) the Farrokh text translated into Russian (consult the Russian EXMO Publishers website) (at RIGHT).
Note that the foreword of Kaveh’s second book was written by Harvard Professor Emeritus Richard Nelson Frye.
Meeting his mentors: Farrokh greets the late Professor Emeritus Richard Nelson Frye of Harvard University(shaking hands with Farrokh) and the late world-renowned Iranologist, Dr. Farhang Mehr (at center), winner of the 2010 Merit and Scholarship award (photo from Persian American Society, March 1, 2008).
Farrokh delivers short speech at the WAALM ceremonies in London in 2008.
Kaveh Farrokh’s third textbook, Iran at War: 1500-1988 (Osprey Publishing, 2011) has been translated into Persian by one of the most prestigious academic Persian-language publishing houses, known as Qoqnoos Publishers (انتشارات ققنوس). The translation (ایران در جنگ) has been conducted by Maryam Saremi. Qoqnoos has translated into Persian academic textbooks by scholars such as David Nicolle, Josef Wiesehofer, Duncan head, Touraj Atabaki, Nino Piglokevskaya, Sandra Mackey, Touraj Daryaee, Mohammed Dandamaev, Agrar Aliev, Christopher Foster, and Mary Boyce.
Cover pages of Iran at War (1500-1988) (Left) and the 2018 translation “ایران در جنگ” by Maryam Saremi of Qoqnoos publishers (Right). Iran at War is Farrokh’s third textbook on the military history of Iran. The total number of translations of Farrokh’s first three books are now seven (discussed further below). To date (Fall of 2018), Farrokh has published and co-authored eight textbooks on the Military History of Iran (three have been published in 2018).
The publishing of the Persian translation of “ایران در جنگ” (Iran at War) has been announced by major Persian-language news outlets such as:
- Tasnim News (September 22, 2018/31 Shahrivar 1397): ایران در جنگ از چالدران تا جنگ تحمیلی” منتشر شد “
- Saba News (September 8, 2018/17 Sharivar 1397): کتاب »ایران در جنگ« نوشته کاوه فرخ با ترجمه شهربانو سارمی
- Ibna (September 28, 2018/6 Mehr 1397): ققنوسی که در طول تاریخ بارها و بارها از خاکستر خویش برخاست
- IRNA (September 22, 2018/31 Shahrivar 1397): ایران در جنگ؛ جستاری در تاریخ جنگی خونبار ایران
- Miras Maktoob (August 26 2018/4 Shahrivar 1397): سرنوشت ایران از جنگ چالدران تا جنگ تحمیلی
For more information kindly see “Award & Recognition” and “Books” on the main menu panel of kavehfarrokh.com.
Fereydoun Farrokh, Kaveh’s father in Georgian-Russian national dress in the late 1920s.
The Diba-Tabatabai clan
Nasrollah (Haj Nasser Saltaneh) Tabatabai-Diba.
The Diba family is one of the most long-standing families of Iran’s Azarbaijan province with a long history of public service. The Dibas are also closely related to the long-standing Zolfaqari clan.
Ezzat Saltaneh Tabatabai-Diba in childhood with her French tutor and nanny in the early 20th century.
Nasrollah (Haj Nasser Saltaneh) Tabatabai-Diba was among the first citizens to import automobiles into Iran in the early 20th century. At the time, the expression for such self-propelled vehicles as “Masheen Doodi” (smoke vehicle/car).
Kaveh Farrokh’s grandfather, Senator Mehdi Farrokh (top row at right) during his tenure in Rezaieh (modern Urumieh) in Azarbaijan province in the 1930s. His wife, Ezzat Saltaneh Tabatabai-Diba (left) is of the long-standing Diba family of northwest Iran. Ezzat Saltaneh was the daughter of Nasrollah (Haj Nasser Saltaneh) Tabatabai-Diba (see previous photo). Mehdi and Ezzat’s daughters in the middle row are Victoria (left) and Parvin-dokht (right) and at the front row stands their son Fereydoun Farrokh.
Mehdi Farrokh strongly opposed the Soviet Union’s attempt to forcibly absorb Iran’s Azarbaijan province in 1941-1946. He also opposed the Russo-British occupation of Iran during the Second World War, especially due to the severe hardship and famine this imposed on Iran’s civilian population. Note that Iran’s civilian population suffered terribly during and after the First World War as a result of Russian, British and Ottoman military activities and political interference.
The Farrokh clan
The Farrokh clan hails originally from northern Iran with ties to the Caucasus. Kaveh Farrokh’s grandfather, Mehdi Farrokh was to become an active member in the Iranian political arena from the early twentieth century to his passing in 1973. Mehdi Farrokh wrote his memories in a 2-volume book entitled “خاطرات سیاسی فرخ–Khaterat e Siyasiye Farrokh [The Political Memoirs of Farrokh]“. Mehdi Farrokh was among those officials and military leaders (see Taghi Khan Pesyan below) who deeply resented Anglo-Russian interference in Iran and the negative consequences this had on the civilian population.
The Dar ol Fonnon Academy of Learning circa late 1890s or early 20th century. This was Iran’s first modern Western-European type academy of learning which was originally founded by one of Iran’s greatest statesmen, Amir Kabir (1808-1862). Mir Seyyed Mahd Khan (great-great grandfather of Kaveh Farrokh), was one of the donors for the Dar ol Fonoon at the time (sitting, hands clasped together, wearing north Iranian/Caucasian cape – see above red mark). In the center sits an unidentified Qajar prince – the identity of the other donors in the photo remain unknown.
The Dar ol Fonoon was originally built as a polytechnic to train Iranians in military sciences, medicine, geological sciences and engineering. The Dar ol Fonoon continued to develop and expand its academic programs – eventually becoming the University of Tehran.
[CLICKTO ENLARGE] Mashad in Khorasan province circa 1920-1921. Kaveh Farrokh’s grandfather, Mehdi Farrokh (10th person from left) standing next to Colonel Taghi-Khan Pesyan (the very tall officer with white fur Bashlyk-type hat). An extremely capable and talented officer, Pesyan remains a highly enigmatic figure in Iran’s military history.
Pesyan and Farrokh enjoyed a deep-standing friendship: both shared a deep loathing of self-serving and corrupt officials running the country at the time. Both men wished to have major reforms implemented throughout Iran. Pesyan soon had a major falling out with Prime Minister Ghavam ol-Saltaneh in 1921 leading to a major military showdown. Pesyan was killed in major clashes with troops that had been sent by Ghavam. Ghavam then issued an edict to have the late Pesyan’s ally, Mehdi Farrokh, arrested and killed, but all of these efforts failed. Ironically a few decades later, Mehdi Farrokh was to later come to the rescue of Ghavam in the Iranian Majlis (parliament).
[CLICK TO ENLARGE] A close friend and ally of Mehdi Farrokh, Colonel Taghi-Khan Pesyan (1891-1921) in Imperial Germany (note German officer to the left) during World War One (Picture from page 143, Mehdi Farrokh, “Khaterate Siyasiye Farrokh” [Political memoirs of Farrokh], Tehran: Amir Kabir Publications, 1968). Mehdi Farrokh noted that Pesyan was “متهور [Motehaver-Persian: ultra-courageous/bold]. Pesyan had in fact flown several combat missions for the German air force during World War One, reputedly shooting down up to 25 British aircraft. It is believed that Pesyan was decorated with the “Eisernes Kreuz” [Iron Cross] by the Germans for his daring exploits in air to air combat.
After his mission with the German air force, Pesyan returned to Iran to fight against invading Anglo-Russian forces. The British had no love for Pesyan – they openly declared that Pesyan should be killed to undermine the military leadership of the Milliyun (Iranian nationalists). The Milliyun were fighting against British and Russian interests (consult Kaveh Farrokh, 2011, “Iran at War: 1500-1988″). Mehdi Farrokh has also noted of Pesyan’s deep sense of integrity, honesty and charisma in his memoirs.
[CLICK TO ENLARGE] –Prime Minister Mohammad-Ali Foroughi (1877-1942) with cabinet ministers in 1935 in Tehran (Foroughi identified by thick green line). Mehdi Farrokh is also in attendance (identified by thick red line).
As a young man, Mehdi Farrokh was also an avid follower of the Constitutionalist movement and fought in the ranks of Sattar Khan (Constitutionalist leader from Tabriz, historical Azerbaijan province in northwest Iran) against the despotic and anti-democratic rule of the Qajars who were by the early 20th century, strongly beholden to Anglo-Russian interests. In one of the battles against the Qajar-regime and their supporting Russian troops, Mehdi Farrokh was captured and imprisoned but was soon released along with other Constitutionalist prisoners who also had been in captivity.
Rare and damaged photo of a cavalry detachment of Sattar Khan’s forces in the environs of Tabriz. The photo shows these constitutionalist fighters about to partake in a cavalry raid against (anti-democratic) Qajar government forces and their allies, Russian Tsarist troops occupying northwest Iran. Mehdi Farrokh is the second cavalryman from right – the first cavalryman (who is in command) at right next to Mehdi Farrokh is raising his hand to signal the onset of the raid. The Russians were supporting the despotic rule of the Qajars. The Russians and their British allies were opposed to industrial, educational, social and political progress in Iran. One example was Russia’s opposition to the building of a railway system in Iran, a sentiment supported again by the British (albeit not so openly and vociferously as the Russians). Iranian Azeris were to again fight occupying Russo-Soviet forces and their puppet forces occupying northwest Iran during and after World War Two.
While little known in mainstream and Western historiography, the British Empire played a fundamental role in supporting Tsarist Russia crush Western Asia’s first democracy movement. Ironically, the British had been supportive of this movement at first but were swayed towards accommodation with the Russians. The global implications of these (politically short-sighted?) decisions resonate well into the 21st century.
[CLICK TO ENLARGE] Mehdi Farrokh’s mission to Afghanistan. Mehdi Farrokh wrote a concise book on the history of Afghanistan; he first presented these as papers and had them published as conference proceedings in Tabriz, capital of Iran’s Azerbaijan province in northwest Iran (at Left). The Book cover reads “Tarikh e Mohtasar e Afghanistan” [A Concise/Brief History of Afghanistan] which was published in Tabriz on August-September, 1937. At Right is Mehdi Farrokh’s son Fereydoun (see his career further below) as a child in Afghanistan during his father’s mission to that country. Note that Fereydoun holds a polo stick – the game of polo was invented in ancient Persia and continues to be a favorite cavalry sport in Persian-culture nations such as Iran and Afghanistan.
Mehdi Farrokh’s tenure in Afghanistan was at a time of great political turmoil in Afghanistan. Before his departure from Afghanistan in 1929, Farrokh had predicted that a coup would take place against King Amanollah Khan of Afghanistan (1892-1960; reign 1919-1929).
[Left] Mehdi Farrokh as a younger man [at right with cane] and a paternal cousin pose for a photo in Tbilisi, Georgia before World War One and the arrival of the Bolsheviks. On the left of the photo is written in Russian “Court Photographer” and on the left is written “B. Mishchenko, Tbilisi”. The photographer (B. Mishchenko) was apparently a Ukrainian who was a resident of Tbilisi, Georgia; [Right] back side of the same photo displaying images of the Persian imperial crown, the Russian Czars (coin) and the Romanov Two-Headed eagle, a symbol adopted from the Byzantine Empire.
Many of the facts pertaining to those events were often glossed over by Iranian, Afghan and British officials for fear of exposing scandals with top officials. Mehdi Farrokh finally wrote a comprehensive textbook on the political history of Afghanistan which was approved for publication by Mehdi Azar, Iran’s Minister of Culture in 1952 (during Prime Minister Mossadegh’s time). As soon as the book went into circulation, it was met with bitter opposition. At issue was the exposure of certain Afghan officials who had been implicated in the 1929 coup d’etat led by Bacheh Sagha as well as the role of the British Empire at the time. The Afghan mission to Iran in 1952 applied much pressure to have Farrokh’s book removed from circulation. Mehdi Farrokh invited the Afghan ambassador to an open debate (to be transparent to the public) on the facts, an arrangement which Mehdi Azar agreed to. The date (unknown date in 1952) and place (Mehdi Azar’s residence or office) for this debate was arranged – Mehdi Farrokh showed up but the Afghan ambassador failed to show for the debate. Nevertheless, Mehdi Farrokh was overruled and all copies of his book were removed from circulation in 1952.
[CLICK TO ENLARGE] Ambassador of Iran to China, Mehdi Farrokh, being greeted in Nanking by the President of nationalist China, Chiang Kai Shek (1887-1975) in 1949. Chiang Kai Shek was deeply embroiled in major battles against Mao Tse Tung’s Communist armies – Mehdi Farrokh was to witness the occupation of Nanking by Mao’s troops. Chiang Kai Shek and the nationalist forces then fled to modern-day Taiwan.
Mehdi Farrokh wrote a book on his mission to China entitled “سفر به کشور اسرارامیز چین [Safar be Keshvar e Asrar Amiz e Chin= Travel to the Wondrous/Mysterious Country of China]” in which he highly praised the people, culture, cuisine, civilization and work ethic of China. Mehdi Farrokh also noted the deep sense of integrity, intelligence, kindness, and spirit of generosity in the person of Chiang Kai Shek and all Chinese whom he had the opportunity to contact during his mission to China. This book along with scores of others from the late Mehdi Farrokh’s office, had been donated by Kaveh Farrokh to the “کتابخانه ملی ایران [Ketabkhaneye Melli Iran = National Library of Iran]” in Tehran in the summer of 2001
[CLICK TO ENLARGE] Mehdi Farrokh deplanes from an Iran-Air (apparently a DC-3 Dakota) aircraft at an airfield near Shiraz in 1956 when he assumed the governorship of Fars province.
[CLICK TO ENLARGE]Mehdi Farrokh, as governor of Khorasan province in northeast Iran, inaugurates the Mausoleum of Firdowsi in Tus, Khorasan in 1956. Mehdi Farrokh’s stay in Khorasan was brief; he returned to Tehran just 40 days later.
Kaveh Farrokh’s late uncle Mohammad Farrokh (1911-1933) during his graduation ceremony as a military officer from the St. Cyr Ecole de Guerre (Military academy) in France in circa 1932-1933 (graduation ceremony at St. Cyr on left photo with Farrokh at the right of the left photo- graduation photo from St. Cyr at right). He graduated with top honours and was reputed to be one of the most capable students of St. Cyr at the time (he was even given the title of “Sur Royanne”). Unfortunately, he died very shortly after his graduation; he was severely injured as he was jumping over an obstacle with his horse. He was bought by plane from France to Iran in 1933, where he was tended by Iran’s top doctor at the time, Dr. Ayyadi. Mohammad Farrokh died in Tehran in 1933.
Farrokh was to publish his political memoirs “خاطرات سیاسی فرخ [Political memoirs of Farrokh], Tehran: انتشارات امیرکبیر [Amir Kabir Publications] in two volumes in 1968.
خاطرات سیاسی فرخ [Political memoirs of Farrokh], Tehran: انتشارات امیرکبیر [Amir Kabir Publications], in two volumes in 1968.
The Farrokh clan is related to the Jahanbani and Farzaneh clans who have produced numerous noteworthy individuals of note in the political, economic and military history of Iran. One of these was Lieutenant General Nader Jahanbani (1928-1979)-سپهبد نادر جهانبانی–
The Iranian air force produced an excellent cadre of top-gun pilots – these were as adept in air to air combat as they were in ground attack missions. This was in large part due to the efforts of a large pool of highly capable officers and personnel, one of these having been Nader Jahanbani.
In one incident in June 1975, Iraqi tanks invaded Iran’s Khuzestan province in June 16, 1975. Iranian F-4E Phantoms wiped out an entire iraqi tank column in 20 minutes – none of the Iranian F-4Es were lost with the Iraqi invasion force thrown back for just 3 Iranian casualties (for more information see Iran at War: 1500-1988, 2011, pp. 316-317).
[CLICK TO ENLARGE] -Tayyara! Tayyara! (Arabic: Airplane! Airplane!). Iraqi crew of a BMP invading Iran in 1980 (at left) abandon their vehicle in haste at the sound of the roaring engines of two US-made Iranian F-4E Phantoms. Iranian Phantoms (at right) were also reported to be flying just meters above ground level to fire their 20mm cannon at Iraqi tanks and armored vehicles (Picture Source at left: www.Acig.org; Picture Source at right: Iran at War: 1500-1988, 2011).
Iranian pilots repeatedly exhibited their deadly skills throughout the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-1988. It was during the liberation of Khuzestan province in March-May 1982 when up to 95 F-4 and F-5 fighter aircraft virtually annihilated the Iraqi 12th armored division in a single operation (for more information see Iran at War: 1500-1988, 2011, pp. 363-364). Such feats set Iranian pilots on par with the world’s best.
[CLICK TO ENLARGE] –Elements of the Iraqi 12th Armored Division assemble at Fakkeh (in the Dezful area) on March 23rd 1982 to rescue remnants of the Iraqi 4th Army Corps crushed by a powerful Iranian offensive (Left – Steven J. Zaloga, Modern Soviet Combat Tanks, Osprey Vanguard 37, pp.32). As these units deployed to attack, they were bombed and strafed by up to 95 Iranian F-4 and F-5 combat aircraft. The Iraqi 12th Armored Division was virtually eliminated. At right are Iranian regular army troops atop an overturned Iraqi tank of the 12th armored division (source: www.shahed.isaar.ir). Note that the vehicle has been overturned as a result of aerial bombardment by Iranian F-4 and F-5 combat aircraft.
The legacy of the Golden Crown acrobatic team and their team leader Nader Jahanbani did much to defend Iran against Saddam Hussein’s attempts towards annexing Iran’s Khuzestan province in 1980-1988.
[CLICK TO ENLARGE] –LEFT: Nader Jahanbani the flight leader of the Golden Crown aerial acrobatic team in 1960 (highlighted by red line) (Source: IIAF website). RIGHT: Painting of an Iranian air force F-14A depicted in combat during the Iran-Iraq war (picture by Osprey Publishing’s “Iranian F-14 Tomcat Units in Combat” by Tom Cooper and Farzad Bishop, 2004). Nader Jahanbani worked hard to inculcate world-class air to air combat skills among Iranian fighter pilots. Iranian Tomcats repelled Russian flown Mig-25s violating Iranian air space before the 1978-1979 revolution and downed several Iraqi air force aircraft in 1980-1988, including aircraft flown by Western, Soviet and Pakistani pilots (for more on this topic consult Iran at War: 1500-1988,, 2011, pp. 397, 401).
One of the significant legislative bills that Mehdi Farrokh worked to pass as senator before his passing in 1973, was a regularized pension plan guaranting retirement plans for persons who had worked in the private, educational, military and government services.
Mehdi Farrokh [front row at far left with bowtie] in circa 1971-1972 consults with colleagues in the Iranian Majlis [legislative assembly; parliament]. One of Mehdi Farrokh’s last motions in parliament before his passing in 1973 was the passage of a comprehensive egalitarian pension bill for all citizens, regardless of class or income.
The Pirbastami and Behzadi clans
Kaveh Farrokh’s mother, Mahvash, hails from the Pirbastami (paternal) and Behzadi (maternal) clans of northern Iran, regions with historical and cultural links with the Caucasus and Georgia (see study by Nasidze, I., Quinque, D., Rahmani, M., Alemohamad, S.Y., Stoneking, M. (2006). Concomitant Replacement of Language and mtDNA in South Caspian Populations. Current Biology, 16, 668–673).
The Pirbastami and Behzadi clans have long-standing military backgrounds, having contributed generations of professional military men for the armies of Iran. The Pirbastami clan for example has ancestry traceable to the Moayyeri clan whose ancestor served as an administrator with the armies of Nader Shah Afshar (r. 1736-1747).
[CLICK TO ENLARGE] A photo taken in 1926 of a military assembly in Tehran (book cover for Iran at War: 1500-1988). This was the Iranian Army headquarters at the time and is today the Iranian University of the Arts (محوطه ساختمانی که قبلا ستاد ارتش بوده و الان دانشکده هنر است ). The troops are about to pose for a military review. Colonel Haji Khan Pirbastami (grandfather of Mahvash “Sara” Pirbastami, Kaveh Farrokh’s mother, of Northern Iranian origin) standing at far left. Note the diverse nature of the Iranian troops – reminiscent of the armies of Iran since antiquity: one can see Kurds, Azaris, Lurs, Baluchis, Qashqais, Persians, etc. partaking in the assembly. Note that Colonel Haji Khan and the officer to the right are members of the Gendarmerie para-military forces.
Haji Khan died just a year later when fighting as a colonel with the Iranian army against Bolshevik/Communist and Russian troops attempting to overrun northern Iran after World War One. The Bolsheviks attempt (and failed) to detach northern Iran’s Gilan province as a puppet “socialist republic” on behalf of the emerging Soviet Union, much as they attempted again during and after World War Two with Iran’s Azerbaijan province in the northwest.
Undated photo of Haji Khan Pirbastami before his final mission to fight off the Bolsheviks in northern Iran in c.1926-1927. Haji Khan believed in the concept of fighting alongside the troops he commanded. Fate finally caught up with him as he was engaged in close quarters fighting against the Bolsheviks – as he was locked in hand to hand combat, one of the Bolsheviks shot him at close quarters. Although Haji Khan did survive the battlefield, he had to be bought back from the north to Tehran for medical treatment. Haji Khan reached the capital city but it was already too late: he finally succumbed to his wounds shortly thereafter.
Thanks to information provided to kavehfarrokh.com by the distinguished Arian Zarrinkafsh (Bahman-Qajar), the following information has also been unveiled regarding the Pirbastami clan and its links to the Afshartoos and Zarrinkafsh clans.
Pari Soltan Khanom Pir-Bastami was the daughter of Mohammad Hossein Khan (Pir-)Bastami “Mir Panj”, a military commander (Farmandeh) in northern Iran and the Caucasus, who was around 1853-1857 in charge for the security of Iran’s borders near Yerevan on behalf of Nasser od-Din Shah Qajar. He married the shah’s half sister Princess Effat od-Dowleh Khanom and they had two daughters, Pari Soltan and a sister, who was born in Georgia and married Agha Mirza Sana’ ol-Molk. In 1867 Pari Soltan married Agha Mirza Zaman Kordestani Khan-e Zarrinnaal “Lashkar-nevis”, the muster-master of Kurdestan and both had three children, Agha Mirza Ali Akbar Khan Zarrinnaal “Lashkar-nevis II” “Nasr-e Lashkar” – the father of the Zarrinnaal family, Mirza Ali Asghar Khan Zarrinkafsh – the father of the Zarrinkafsh family and Banou Fatemeh Soltan Khanom Afshartous – the mother of the Afshartous family.
[CLICK TO ENLARGE] The above assembly area as it appears today in Tehran 2011. As noted in the above 1926 photo, the assembly area seen in the previous photo was the Iranian Army headquarters –ستاد ارتش– at the time which today is the Iranian University of the Fine Arts –دانشکده هنر-. This is a very large building – the southern and western angles of this building are connected to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs- وزارتخارجه -. A beautfiul building known as the “Hakhamaneshi” [Achaemenid] –هخامنشی– which has been built in the Persepolis style is now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – وزارتخارجه-and is located to the south of the former Iranian Army Headquarters. The above photos were taken in 2011 from the southern angle of the assembly area. –دو عکس از نمای جنوبی همان ساختمان است –محوطه ساختمانی که قبلا ستاد ارتش بوده و الان دانشکده هنر است ساختمان بسیار بزرگی است ضلع جنوبی و غربی آن به ساختمانهای وزارتخارجه وصل است. ساختمان بسیار زیبای معروف به هخامنشی که به سبک تخت جمشید ساخته شده و الان متعلق به وزارتخارجه است در ضلع جنوبی آن است–
هدایت بهزادی [Hedayat Behzadi] of the Iranian air force (at left) in a photo taken circa 1958-1960. Behzadi was among Iran’s new generation of post-World War Two jet-age pilots to fly the F-86 Sabre fighter aircraft (at right – from the IIAF Website). Behzadi then resigned from the air force to join the Iranian army where he served as a colonel until his retirement from the force in 1976. He was to make valuable recommendations for the Iranian army’s logistics and tele-communications systems before his retirement.
[CLICK TO ENLARGE] Kaveh was born in Greece in 1962, during his father’s (Fereydoun Farrokh) diplomatic mission to Greece. Above is Fereydoun Farrokh (at left), the Iranian chargé d’affaires in Greece meeting with Evangelos Averoff (at right) the Greek Foreign Minister) in 1962 (Source: this photo has been published by Dr. Evangelos Venetis in his book “Greeks in Modern Iran” published in 2014). The Minister is entrusting a cheque on behalf of the Greek government to Farrokh to send to Iran to provide financial assistance for Iranian earthquake victims at the time.
Kaveh spent much time in Germany due to his father (Fereydoun) having been assigned by the Iranian government to diplomatic posts to both West and East Germany.
[CLICK TO ENLARGE] The Iranian embassy staff in Köln (Cologne), West Germany in 1965. The Iranian ambassador is Ali-Gholi Ardalan (gentleman in front row with white hair and glasses); Kaveh’s father Fereydoun is seen in the back row to the right; Kaveh’s mother Mahvash “Sara” Pirbastami stands on the front row to the left. Fereydoun Farrokh became Iran’s Premier Councillor to West Germany during this mission.
With the retirement of Ali-Gholi Ardalan as ambassador to West Germany shortly after 1965, Fereydoun Farrokh became de-facto Ambassador, or more specifically, premier councillor.
Fereydoun Farrokh (as ambassador of Iran) and Mahavash Sara Pirbastami welcome the Chinese ambassador in a reception held at the Iranian embassy in Köln (Cologne), West Germany in circa 1966 or 1967.
Fereydoun Farrokh’s most important post was that of Iranian ambassador to East Germany in 1973-1977.
[CLICK TO ENLARGE] Fereydoun Farrokh Iran’s first ambassador to East Germany being greeted by a military honour guard in East Berlin in early September 1973. As far as is known, the late Fereydoun Farrokh was the only international diplomat to have served as ambassador to both West and East Germany during his career.
Despite living in East Berlin, Kaveh had to cross what was the Berlin Wall just to get to the Berlin American High School (B.A.H.S.) (See Kaveh’s photo in the B.A.H.S yearbook in 1975 by clicking this line, note that Kaveh’s name is cited as “Kevin Farrokh”).
Germany had been divided in two as a consequence of the defeat of the Nazis in 1945. The country (and its capital Berlin) became partitioned into Western and Eastern zones by the Western allies and the former Soviet Union respectively. The Berlin Wall finally came down in late 1989 which quickly led to the re-unification of Germany.
Hot spot of the Cold War -Berlin in the 1960s and 1970s. LEFT: Checkpoint Charlie in the 1960s at the height of the Cold War. Above is a major military standoff between US M-48 tanks (note US M-113 armored personel carrier at left) and Soviet forces at Checkpoint Charlie which was along the Berlin Wall which separated East from West Berlin (Checkpoint Charlie was on the Western side). RIGHT: Berlin American High School (B.A.H.S.) now known as the Wilma-Rudolph-Oberschule. B.A.H.S was permanently closed in 1994 during the withdrawal of US forces from Berlin following the end of the Cold War. Kaveh crossed the Berlin Wall from East to West Berlin on a daily basis in the 1970s just to get to school (B.A.H.S.).
Late 1970s to the Present
With the end of his father’s ambassadorial post to East Germany, Kaveh and his family came to Iran in 1977. Tehran had become a major world metropolis by then, and was a favorite destination for international tourists; see old Iran Air commercial from the 1970s below:
The tumult of the revolution led to a massive exodus in 1979, with Kaveh and his family arriving to southern France.
As a result of his life experience, education, and studies of linguistics, Kaveh now speaks a number of languages. He has also lived in and traveled to several countries, including West Germany, East Germany, France, England, Belgium, Italy, Russia, and Iran.
A view of one of the adminstration buildings of the Institut Chateaubriand in Cannes, southern France in 1971 (at left, the city of Cannes today at right). Kaveh attended Institut Chateaubriand in 1979-1980. Kaveh’s talents in history were first recognized in 1980, during his senior year at the Institut Chateaubriand where he was granted the Leonardo Da Vinci Prize for high achievement in history from the city’s mayor.
Kaveh obtained his undergraduate arts degree in May 1985 and his Ph.D. on September 24, 2001 from the University of British Columbia, where he specialized on the cognitive and linguistic processes of Persian speakers.
Professor Yarshater meets Kaveh Farrokh during the Persian American Society’s honoring ceremonies for Professor Emeritus Richard Nelson Frye on March 1, 2008. It was during one of the key speeches at this event when Professor Yarshater raised alarm with respect to anti-Iran historical revisionists and the dangers of insufficient support for Iranian Studies in the West.
Kaveh Farrokh has been recognized as an expert in the field of Iranian history and as being among recognized Iranologists in the field. He received the Iran Heritage and Persian Gulf Award in 2009 for his contributions to Iranian history. This award is annually issued to academics of note in Iranian Studies such as Dr. Farhang Mehr, the winner of the 2010 Merit and Scholarship award.
[CLICK TO ENLARGE] Brochure cover for the 2nd International Conference on Talishi Studies at Yerevan, Armenia Nov. 12-13, 2011 (left) and page 4 of that brochure at right. Note that Kaveh Farrokh was one of the Key Presenters at the conference which was reported in Armenian print and YV media.
The Late Henry H. Farrokh (1970-2015)
The late Henry Farrokh (1970-2015).
Kaveh Farrokh’s brother, the late Henry H. Farrokh (1970-2015) passed away on January 31, 2015. A prodigy since early childhood, Henry’s legacy of excellence in French Literature and Language is being honored on an annual basis with a Memorial Book Prize in his name for graduates of the French Department of Simon Fraser’s French Department, where Henry (known to students and faculty by the French pronunciation “Henri”) acted as instructor as he pursued his Graduate program at the university. Below is a photograph of the Henry H. Farrokh Memorial Book Prize awarded to Simon Fraser’s exceptional students of French Literature (awarded to Julia Galmiche in 2016). The book prize for 2016 featured the French literature doyen essayist, novelist and critic Marcel Proust (1871-1922), whose works were among the late Henry’s favorite teaching subjects at Simon Fraser University.
The annual Henry Farrokh Memorial Prize awarded to students in 2016 who achieve excellence in French Literature at Simon Fraser University’s French Department. The 2016 book prize features Marcel Proust’s monumental novel “À la recherche du Temps Perdu”. More photos of the Graduation ceremonies as well as other awards granted for students in 2015 event may be viewed on Simon Fraser University’s French Department Facebook page …
The Farrokh family dedicated the late Henry’s massive collection of books in French literature to Simon Fraser University’s French Department on October 8, 2016. These books are to be housed in a dedicated section named after Henry Farrokh within Simon Fraser University’s French Department library.
The Henry Farrokh Memorial prize of 2017 (awarded to Umut Incescu in June 2017) stated: “In recognition in French Literature at the Masters level in the 2016-2017 Academic year“.