Keshvar-e Shahanshahi-ye Iranzamin/Imperial State of Great Iran


20,000,000 (the majority of Iranians are considered to be 'Pure Aryans' by Berlin)



Head of State

His Imperial Majesty, Shahanshah Reza Pahlavi, Aryamehr (1925-1951), His Imperial Majesty, Shahanshah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Aryamehr (from 1951)

Ruling Party

Revival Party (1925-1942), Hezb-e Kabud (1942-1953), Hezb-e Sosialist-e Melli-ye Kargaran-e Iran/National Socialist Party of Iran (from 1953)

Head of Government

Ahmad Matindaftari (1941-1943), Bahram Aryana (1943-1950), Mohsen Pezeshkpour (1950-1951), Dariush Forouhar (1951-1953), Fazlollah Zahedi (1953-1963), Davud Monshizadeh (from 1963)


From the early 1930's, the Shah had courted Germany to counter influence of Great Britain and Soviet Russia in Persia. By 1935 the Shah was openly imitating German policies, evident in the official renaming of Persia as 'Iran', literally 'Land of the Aryans'. By the outbreak of World War II, Germany was Iran's largest trading partner. Iranian participation in the invasion of the USSR in 1941 proved to be crucial, allowing Axis forces to penetrate the 'soft underbelly' of the southern Soviet Republics. Iran made some small gains from former Russian territory, including the Talysh region, annexed from Soviet Azerbaijan.

A more thoroughgoing imitation of the German system was initiated in 1942 with the transformation of the venerable monarchist Revival Party into the overtly Naziesque Kabud, which served as a coalition encompassing all nationalist-monarchist forces, notably the Arya Party of Hasan Arfa and Abdolhossein Hafzir.

As in Egypt, disappointment with Iran's continuing dependence on foreign powers, combined with unresolved territorial ambitions in the old USSR and the Persian Gulf, led to the rise of more militant factions within the ruling party. This militancy was articulated by the Pan-Iranist Faction in the Majlis, the Consultative Parliament of Iran. Particularly resented was foreign control of Iran's oil, a situation which dated back to the Qajar Dynasty period.

The Pan-Iranist faction was briefly ascendent when in 1950 faced with the threat of a coup the Shah was forced to appointed a moderate Pan-Iranist, Mohsen Pezeshkpour, as Prime Minister. In 1951 a further factional struggle took place, with Pezeshkpour forced to stand down in favour of the more extreme Dariush Forouhar, leader of the Mellat Iran faction who demanded immediate nationalisation of Iran's oil industry.

Forouhar and his supporters were purged from government in 1953. Fazlollah Zahedi amused the premiership. Davud Monshizadeh, who had led the street-level opposition to Forouhar oversaw the transformation of the Kabud coalition into the National Socialist Party of Iran (SUMKA), further purged any anti-monarchist or other disloyal elements from the Majlis and tied Iran more closely to the Axis. Though the Shah had publicly supported the Pan-Iranists, he took advantage of their overthrow to expand his own powers.