TEYMOUR BAKHTIAR AND HIS FAMILY BACKGROUND
by Professor Manuocheher Vahidnia. Edited and translated by Bahman Oskoui

There is no consensus as to the origin of the Bakhtiaris and name of the tribe. One plausible version is that the word "Bakhtiari" is derived from "Bakhtar". Bakhtar, which literally means the "West", was situated between Iraq, Hamedan, and Pars. The original name of the tribe was probably "Bakhtari" and the word was changed to Bakhtiari over time. Some historians are of the opinion that the Bakhtiaris were remnants of Greeks that colonized Iran after the death of Alexander. Others are of the opinion that the ancestors of the tribe migrated to the present territories from Assyria.

According to historians. Bakhtiaris have been continuously residing in their present location since the time of Cyrus the Great (540 BC).

In this summary, intention is not to go through the ancient and turbulent history of the Bakhtiaris but instead, it is intended to mention the contemporary leaders of the tribe and introduce some of the notable personalities in the past 100 years.

The present heads of the Bakhtiari family are descendents of Jafar Gholi Khan. He had 4 sons namely:
Hossein Gholi Khan
Haj Emam Gholi Khan
Reza Gholi Khan
Mostafa Gholi Khan
Hossein-Gholi Khan was the undisputed leader and Ilkhani of Bakhtiaris from Haft Lang group until his murder in 1882 by the order of Nasser-al-Din Shah Ghajar. Hossein-Gholi Khan is always referred to as the Grand Ilkhani a title of reverence he earned through his achievement in the creation of a Bakhtiary Federation by uniting all the branches and sub-branches of the tribe together. He achieved this, through wars and marriages and it was during his time, that the Bakhtiaris enjoyed the greatest degree of power and influence. After his death, Emam-Gholi Khan was appointed the Ilkhani and after him, the title and position of Ilkhani and Ilbegi were passed on to the children of these two leaders.

Many notable Bakhtiaris held important positions of prominence in the early 20th century. Many held cabinet posts or were Members of Parliament, Senators, Governors, and Prime Ministers. The first Bakhtiari Prime Minister was Samsam-Saltaneh Bakhtiari who was a son of Hossein-Gholi Khan (Ilkhani), and the 2nd Prime Minister was Dr. Shapour Bakhtiar, grandson of Haj Emam-Gholi Khan (Haj Ilkhani).

The role of Bakhtiaris in the events related to the Constitutional Revolution was extremely important and significant. Haj Ali-Gholi Khan (Sardar Asad Bakhtiari) made many sacrifices for this cause. After the restoration of the Constitutional Monarchy, he was appointed Minister of Interior and Minister of War. Another notable Bakhtiary and a son of Haj Ilkhani and grandfather of Teymour Bakhtiar, was Lotfali-Khan Amir Moffakham who became the governor of Lorestan province and later held the post of Minister of War in Samsam-Saltaneh's cabinet.

Teymour Bakhtiar was born in his grand father's Fort of "Dezzak" in Chahar Mahal Bakhtiary on the 14th of February 1914. , His father, Fath-Ali Khan Sardar Moazzam Bakhtiari was married to Bibi Koakab, daughter of Sardar Jang Bakhtiari.

His mother Bibi Koakab was amongst a handful of remarkable women of her time. She completed her studies in the traditional manner in Isfahan and enhanced her knowledge of literature, history, and religious issues by constant reading and association with specialists and authorities in those fields. One of her unique and most valuable work is the journal of her travels in Europe in which she has written in great detail her observations and comments. Bibi Koakab showed her strong political convictions in a typical instance by giving refuge and hospitality to Dr. Mossadegh who had resigned his post as Governor of Fars over disagreements with the new Prime Minister. Mossadegh remained in Bakhtiary territory as an honored guest of Bibi Koakab and other Bakhtiari Khans until a new government was formed in Tehran. There is a handwritten order from Bibi Koakab to the Alderman of the village of Dizzak ordering him to provide complete hospitality to Dr. Mossadegh and to put her personal Carriage at his disposal.
Handwritten order from Bibi Koakab
Many other dignitaries spent time in Dizzak and enjoyed Bibi Koakab's hospitality. Dehkhoda began compiling his monumental work on Persian idioms and Folklore while staying at Dizzak Fort and its vast library.

After completing his basic studies in Isfahan, Teymour and his cousin Shapour Bakhtiar were sent to Beirut University by their parents. After two years in Beirut, the two young students decided to move to Paris to continue their studies. Shapour Bakhtiar was accepted at the College of Political Science and Teymour Bakhtiar entered the famed Saint-Cyr Military Academy where he successfully completed his military studies and returned to Iran soon after graduation. In Tehran, he had to attend the Military Academy again as his officer's rank from Saint Cyr was not recognized by the authorities. He graduated from Tehran's Military Academy at the top of his class with honors.

Teymour Bakhtiar distinguished himself during the Azerbaijan's separatist movement, when he fought the separatists and foreign elements alongside the partisan forces of Zolfagharis and other freedom fighters. In recognition of his bravery and outstanding service during this period, he was promoted from the rank of Captain, to Colonel.

For a period of time, he joined the faculty of the Tehran Military Academy where he taught military tactics. His next appointment was commander of the Armour Brigade of Kermanshah with the rank of Brigadier General. His march towards Tehran on the 19th of August 1953 at the head of an Armoured Column was one of the decisive factors in the collapse of the central government.

General Zahedi, the new Prime Minister, appointed Teymour Bakhtiar Military Commander of Tehran and promoted him to the rank of General. He later became a Deputy Premier and succeeded in uprooting the Communist Party and communist elements in the country. General Bakhtiar was assassinated in Iraq on the 12th of August 1971 while on a hunting trip.

Bakhtiar married twice. His first wife Iran was daughter of Khosrow Khan Sardar Zafar Bakhtiari. Golnar, Shahrokh, Hossein, and Niloufar are his children from this marriage. From the second marriage to Ghodrat, he has two sons, Bahman and Esfandiar.


Teymour Bakhtiar and his family background by Professor Manuocheher Vahidnia
Bakhtiar, Teymour as retrieved from wikipedia.org

CONTACT: Lily Sardarian - Email: lilyoskoui@gmail.com