August 7, 2003
October 14, 2006
3rd Edition: April 3, 2014
Amir Abbas Hoveyda
The One who came with the Spring and The One who left with the Fall!
Amir Abbas Hoveyda,
as captured in my memory...
I wrote this
piece, a long time ago...
then revised it with my tears...
To memory of
The Orchid Man,
I dedicate this
- to Fereydoun
Hoveyda, the valuable scholar from last of the Great Statesmen,
- to My Mother,
my dear mentor, who loved and respected Amir, forever and ever more,
- to All Lovers
Amir Abbas Hoveyda
Orchid: Prime Minister of Iran's Trademark
It was a cloudy
hazy afternoon in Tehran, one of those days that makes you want
to cry, no sun, no birds in the sky, no breeze, just a cloudy hazy
afternoon with no circulation of air, makes one's heart feeling
heavy! Makes one sad, made me feel Moody Blue ......,
and then he
made me smile and he brighten up my day! I heard his gentle voice
and my heart warmened! That's when I first heard him talk! They
called me over to talk on the phone and to "Aqa"! They
called him Aqa (Sir)! Around the cabinet, family and friends, that
was the name, I knew him by. Aqa wanted to talk to me on the phone!
Aqa wanted to talk to me, a little brat! I grabbed the phone from
my mother and said:
X: Hello Sir!
A: Hello My Big Boy, how are you?
X: Fine Sir, how are you?
A: I have heard a lot about you!
X: I have heard a lot about
you too, oh yes Sir!
A: Do not call me Sir, no more. I am your Uncle Abbas.
X: OK Uncle Abbas, when will
I get to see you?
A: Soon my Big Boy, soon............
was the first time I talked to him ......
Iran has lost
a great mentor, a great patriot, a great nationalist, and one of
the greatest Iranians of
all times. Another blood-stain on the guilty and filthy skirt of
the lslamic Republic Regime, another brave son of Iran has lost
his life for Iran. One of my greatest mentors in life, "Amir
Abbas Hoveyda" The Great Prime Minister of Iran has joined
the Persian Eternal Hall of Fame. Amir became a legend and he left
us his legacy.
They used to
ask him: Where are you from? What state are you from?
Amir used to respond: "I am from all states of Iran, every
drop of Persian soil has been my home!"
Amir was a man of many cultures, many languages, and many talents.
He was a classic diplomat, an excellent negotiator, an expert politician
and a true patriot. When it would come down to defend Iran's benefits,
one could count on Amir to be there in the international scene.
April 7, 1979
marked the Anniversary of Hoveyda's shameful execution. I have read
this paragraph and how true it is indeed and now I shall quote from
it that, "It is perhaps timely to ask ourselves 'What are the
qualities of a good statesman?' A good statesman is one who puts
the interests of others above his own. He is a public servant who
asks no more of others than he himself is willing to do. He must
be selfless, not self-serving. He is a patriot we, our children.
And our children's children can look up to and remember. He is not
perfect, but he is willing to accept responsibility for his errors,
along with the consequences. For him, substance is his hallmark.
Style or an orchid is just an afterthought. He is not necessarily
handsome, but he is a beautiful person. He is a person of character,
integrity and principle. He is willing to sacrifice greatly for
those he serves and, if necessary, lay down his life for them."
Perhaps Amir Abbas Hoveyda was not all of that, but he certainly
was most of it, he did not want to leave our homeland and he gave
his life for Iran...
Amir, his cane,
pipe, and Orchid in his top coat pocket, a true classic and a true
patriot. He was quite a man, a great statesman, a man who spoke
many languages, a man of culture, a lover of Iran who refused to
leave, faced the Islamic murderers in a puppet trial, even though
he expected a fair and just trial, but did he get one?! That was
his gravest mistake! He forgot that who he was dealing with! A murdering
illiterate mob of the Mullah's regime.
He stayed, cause
he truly believed that he had done nothing wrong. He had many chances
to leave Iran. When the jails opened up and all escaped, he stayed
and he said: "I will face the people of Iran, I will state
the truth in a trial and I will stand the consequences, I had committed
no crimes to be ashamed of!" The murdering IRI goons never
gave him a fair trial, never gave him a fair defense, just a show
trial and finally the mentally deranged Executioner of Khomeini,
Ayatollah Khalkhali, an escapee from the mental hospital, and his
thugs, shot and killed him with bullets in the brain.
The man done
nothing but to serve his nation. Islamic Republic of Mullahs took
away another one of our Greatest Nationalists of all time.
may your intellectual sacrificing soul, rests in peace. We the Sons
and Daughters of Iran are awake. Amir rest in peace, your blood
gave Orchid to our gardens, you were "The Orchid Man."
...... for me,
Amir Abbas-e Hoveyda, was not just another patriot whom we lost,
yet he was my dear godfather, my Padrino (if anything would have
happened to my father, I would have been his responsibility to look
after). Little that we knew, my father out lived him!
of Amir, maybe vague but sweet! My father had a various number of
relations with Hoveyda. My father was a Minister in Hoveyda's Cabinet,
he was also a well known Journalist, Author and a Historian. My
father was one of the handful of people in Iran, who was granted
a "Political License" by Alahazrat Shahanshah Aryamehr,
to publish a Political Hard Cover Media Publication, naturally his
interest was politics and he conducted many interviews with Hoveyda
and wrote many articles about him. Beside the fact that he was working
for and with Hoveyda, he had also another relationship with him.
They were close friends.
as a journalist, my father routinely interviewed Hoveyda to get
an update on his work and fast-beat schedule on the run. As a cabinet
minister, he served in Hoveyda's cabinet. As a friend, they had
a very special relationship.
My father admired
Hoveyda's organizational power, power of speech, fluency in several
languages and his dedication for always trying to do as much good
for the masses and the nation, from within the system. Hoveyda was
a type of a man who was devoted to the cause of progressing Iran,
Industrializing Iran and possibly "reforming the system from
within" and as much as it was allowed! He had the power to
do it! In his youth, he was a rebel with a cause, who helped the
resistance against the Nazi Germany in Europe and in his later years
as the Prime Minister of Iran; he kept on rebelling, but in a milder
manner and format! He was practically a progressive visionary and
a reformist from within the system. He changed things from within
the framework of the regime and amazingly, to a great point, he
was successful! He always believed that if any good can be done,
then it must be done from gaining power inside the regime and then
to do some good from within the Imperial Regime. He was popular
amongst the masses, he was embraced by the masses and he was always
running around Iran, from Tehran to farthest points of Iran like
He was always
in between the masses, amongst the tribes, villagers, and poor people,
people of South Tehran, people in the Boon towns of distant states,
amongst the masses and within the masses. I still remember him traveling
around Iran, from large cities to small villages, walking amongst
the masses, trading kind words, ordering severe constructive and
progressive tasks to start in various states or observing and monitoring,
what has been done for the people of these small towns and villages.
He truly cared
for the under dog and the small man with the little voice. He carried
their voices from Baluchestan, Khuzestan or Kerman, all the way
to the Parliament in Tehran! At the time, his political party (The
Neo Iran aka Iran-e Novin) was popular not because of the Bureaucracy
and Hierarchical administration of the party, but because of him
personally! He was the man, whom the little guy cared about, not
him, because he was always travelling all around Iran, large cities,
small towns, little villages and even to nowhere lands! He was going
to these places and made sure that government would facilitate and/or
build various services for these people including but not limited
to hospitals, clinics, industries, houses of justice, and provide
them with irrigation systems and farming equipment. He was asking
the little guy, what he needed to become a productive labor or farmer?
Next, he would set a condition: "If I'll get you everything
which you need, then you must promise me to put 100% productivity
to progress your lifestyle and our nation?" He made them promise
him to do their best, then he would provide them with what they
needed from him and made sure that they carried on with their promise!
"I do my part, you do yours," he held them responsible
for their words and checked up on them! He actually went back over
and over to make sure they were up to their words! The man was restless!
He spent more
time running around Iran, working closely with the Cabinet on facilitating
material and services for people, and visiting Industries and Agricultural
Facilities or Farms, than spending time with loved ones, friends
or the Government figures!
He was not a
man of luxury, yet he had an acquired taste. Can you picture that
the prime minister of Iran, except campaign times and official occasions,
did not ride in a limousine with a driver and a bodyguard?!
always driving that Peykan himself! They would often ask him: "When
will you stop driving that beat-up Peykan and purchase a Cadillac
or a Benz?" This was one of his typical replies: "How
can I? I am only a civil servant! I am too busy to get used to the
not live in a palace or a mansion, but he lived in a modest apartment!
An apartment not in Za'feraniyeh or uptown, but in Pahlavi Avenue,
central city! Can you believe it? Decades of having the most important
position in the country, but refusing to move out of an average
After the Islamic
Revolution (Reaction), when pasdaran broke into his apartment, they
found nothing but books, pipes and canes! No luxury at all. His
apartment same as his bank account was empty, simply because unlike
many Imperial Family members and Imperial Statesmen, he was not
a thief! He stole nothing and whatever salary he made; he spent
it on his friends and lived a modest life! He was an intellectual
who developed his brain, not his wallet! Hoveyda was a step short
of a saint!
He was always
driving around in that Peykan and getting things done. He was not
a type of man, who would attend many formal receptions, ceremonies
and superficial shows, yet he preferred to run around Iran and accomplish
things! When he would find time, his interests were politics, journalism,
history, music and literature, oh did he like literature?!
He was a scholar
and a gentleman, he was fluent in several languages, meaning that
he could read or write literature in those languages! He shared
common interests with my father, including Journalism, Politics,
History and most important, the Literature. He could debate/argue
on Iranian and European Literature and Poetry, both classical and
modern, with my father for hours!
They would just
sit together for hours at a time, smoke their pipes, maybe have
a cup of tea and get down and dirty with a bundle of books, magazines
and news papers thrown on the coffee table and furniture, discussing
various subjects of literature from classic novels, legendary authors,
and fine poets, all the way to modern journalism.
You see, one
of the reasons which he was so interested in journalism, was that
himself was once a journalist! He was the publisher and editor in
chief of a newspaper himself.
my father would start from Shakespeare, travel to Tolstoy and then
on to philosophy of Immanuel Kant, Hegel, Marx, Russell to Pragmatism,
Realism, Individualism, Existentialism, deeply philosophical, and
then turn around and do a left turn to Iran and start from Nationalism
of Ferdowsi to Sufism of Moulana and bring it up-to-date to Modern
poetry of Shamlu or Foruq Farokhzad!
Then they would
kick it down with literature. For some bizarre reason, all the talks
about literature, poetry and philosophy would end up to politics,
Time Magazine, Newsweek, Le Monde, Le Figaro, Der Spiegel, current
affairs, global politics and naturally politics of Iran! They would
get hot and get deeply in to it! Uncle Abbas would keep his cool,
and speak slowly and calmly, that was his style of crossing the
message over, with absolute peace and slow pattern of talk! My father
was passionate and very defensive in his stands but through the
years, he learned to compromise, also give and take a bit. He learned
these skills from Uncle Abbas. He also learned about flavors of
Pipe Tobacco and started a pipe collection! Uncle Abbas started
my father's collection, by giving him his first pipe!
turned my father to a pipe smoker! My dad was a cigarette smoker
before that, and I hated the smell of cigarettes and cigars, so
being confined to smelling the apple tobacco was way better than
cigarettes! Oh lord, Amir Abbas and his legendary collection of
pipes and canes! Sometimes, I would catch them making home made
flavors of pipe tobacco by mixing different blends of tobaccos and
putting pieces of apple inside the tobacco jars, kind of like marinating
tobacco via apples!
everything from Pushkin to "Satyricon"! At those tender
ages of childhood and later on pre-teen and teen years, it was simply
not comprehensible for me to see these two, read books like "The
Mongol History", "The Modern Philosophies" or history
and then sit down and debate about them! I would find these two
interesting, but at the same time, I would find their studies boring!
How little did I knew that I, myself would end up becoming a History
Freak and an amateur Historian one day!
two, along with a number of other scholars among the family and
friends, started a fire in me which eventually consumed my whole
body! These guys built a foundation of knowledge inside my young
soul! To observe these guys with so much passion for knowledge and
intellectualism, I started hanging around my father and my mother's
libraries (each, had a library of their own). My mother's library
was mostly poetry, literature and modern politics, while my dad's
library in his study was loaded with books on history, philosophy
and biographies amongst other topics.
Later on, I
started my own library! At the age of ten, I was practically reading
biographies of the great historical and political characters and
the world history. This led to later studies in history, geography,
philosophy and politics.
These chat sessions
between my father and Uncle Abbas were taken place, sometimes with
a few others but mainly just the two of them in various places.
Sometimes they held them in our main state in Sepah Avenue.
We had various
states in various locations of Tehran and other cities, but this
house was our main state where we used to live. My Grandmother (head
of the family), mother, father, butler, chef, cook, chauffeur, servant
and a few maids were living there. My Grandmother's medical practice
(while working) was also located on part of the first floor of this
state. I particularly loved this two and a half story; large white
marble building with the beautiful garden which surrounded it. Our
main state was located on a very important strategical location.
The house and the state were a full city block, right in the mid-town.
On its left was the Senate Building, on its further left in Kakh
Avenue was one of Alahazrat's palaces, a few streets up was Prime
Minister's Palace, and in front of it was the Military Academy.
This is exactly why Mullahs took over this particular house and
now an important Mullah lives on each floor of this house, so they
don't have to go far to reach today's Majlis (yesterday's Senate)!
Actually Mullahs stole a number of our states, houses and lands!
There were two
streets on both sides of our state and Sepah Avenue on the front.
There was a large girls' high school at the end of one of these
streets and at the back of our state. After the 1979 revolution,
they blocked both of these streets and they closed down the girls'
I do not know
the new names of the streets but today, On Central Sepah Avenue,
from Kakh Avenue to Baq-e Shah, and from Military Academy to Pastor
Avenue, the complete area where our old house and state was located,
is now blocked by Pasdaran! No one except Regime's high ranking
Mullahs in bulletproof limousines and Pasdaran can pass through
these pass points. Today, this complete city area is closed to public.
In early days,
I was just a kid and when he would see me, oh boy, I would walk
towards him, hold my hand forward for him to shake and say, "Hello
Uncle Abbas!" I was just an itsy bitsy kid when I was behaving
like this! He would crack up and tell my dad: "Look at this
'Big Boy' (that's what he called me), he doesn't jump, hug and kiss
you, but he just walks towards you smoothly and wants to shake your
hand and greet you! He looks like a kid but acts like a veteran
politician!" Then, he would shake my hand and reply: "Hello
my Big Boy"! But right away, he could not hold himself back
with the sophisticated charade and resist my childish charm! He
would grab me and pull me off the ground, bear-hug me, lay a big
one on my both cheeks and tell me, "you little rascal, drop
the politician act and give Uncle Abbas a big kiss!" He would
continue, "Whose Big Boy are you?"
and I would respond,
"Uncle Abbases Big Boy". "That's right and don't
you forget that", he used to whisper!
Later on, I
grew up and become a hot head and well-informed in politics. When
I would see Uncle Abbases face, something heavy would be lifted
off of my heart and soul! He used to put a smile on my face. The
man was so pleasant that he would shine, oh yes, he would shine
like the sun and he would make others around him to shine too! The
man would actually glow from time to time! Him and his orchid, his
pipe and his big smile without showing his teeth (more like a smirk)!
A classic, I tell you, a true classic, they don't build them like
that any more! What a character!
In my pre-teens,
I used to always read about him in my father's magazine. I used
to read his interviews to understand his views. In my teen years,
I was grown enough to actually conduct a conversation with him.
We actually had a number of discussions and I had learned a lot
about history, philosophy and politics from him. A few times, I
actually sat in some of those monthly intellectual chat sessions.
I sat next to him, observing his facial moves, speech patterns,
hand jesters and learn from his wisdom. I used to study the way
he was debating and discussing various issues with my father and
sometimes with other politicians and journalists attending those
chat sessions. Those memories and what I have learned from this
man are priceless!
My mother practically
loved the man. She had so much respect for him and he also adored
my mother in return. My mother had two positions, one with Health
Ministry and one directly under Empress Farah. From time to time
she would see Uncle Abbas in Formal Banquets, Night Receptions,
Diplomatic Parties, Friendly Gatherings or just random visits and
Uncle Abbas would always kiss her hand like an honorable gentleman
and sometimes hug her and kiss her on both cheeks, traditional style.
He admired my
mother for her bluntness, individuality, straight forward talk with
no hide backs. Uncle Abbas always used to talk about the way my
mother is very honest in her behavior and the way that she conducts
herself, is more like Germans, because she studied in Germany and
spent her youth over there. She did not have the traditional Persian
Flatteries and Charm Talks in her, and that's why Uncle Abbas and
her superiors in the Government could rely on her word to be the
truth! My Mother found him a generous and a gentle scholar.
Abbas and my
mother had a few things in common! They both done their best to
help the poor people, the lower classes and the under dogs of the
society. My Mother used her power in the Ministry of Health to force
Doctors and Hospitals to visit and hospitalize poor patients for
free. Abbas used his power to bring them goods, provide them basic
facilities of life and build hospitals, electric plants, water reservoirs
and decent housings for them. They both had a mutual understanding
with each other, cause they both were coming from the same background
and Ideology! They both studied and lived in Europe and were back
to Iran to serve the MotherLand. They were both anti Hypocrisy and
Bureaucracy. They both despised the corruption inside the Imperial
Regime and they both believed that the only way to change things
was from within (The Imperial Regime, which unlike IRI, was reformable).
They perfectly understood each other, an interesting mutual understanding.
Once, in a Night
Reception, a memorable incident had occurred!
acts so mature for his age, he will go places....", Uncle Abbas
"Will I become a Cabinet Minister, Uncle Abbas?" I asked
"Yes, I will keep an open position in my cabinet for you! As
soon as you grow up, you can grab it!" He replied!
"You are planning a lengthy premiership your Excellency, I
certainly hope so!" Mother replied with a smile!
" His Excellency been in office for a few decades, what's a
few decades more?!" Grand Mother's Remark!
"Well, I'm trying to break the record for the longest prime
minister in office, so don't worry about your future position in
my cabinet, I'll give you a job my Big Boy!" Uncle Abbas stated
with a smile!
.....and everyone laughed out-loud........
(My Grand Mother
was a Powerful woman who made many smart remarks!)
In a way, these
Formal Night Receptions and Banquets bored me, especially when it
was mandatory to attend them! Yet from time to time, some interesting
incidents would occur in them that would interest me to attend them!
this, are some of my sweet memories left for me from those Golden
Days. Sweet memories which I have captured via my memory snap shots
or hard copy snap shots of family photo albums. From time to time,
I review family photos and go back in time, decades back to the
same old room where my father and Uncle Abbas were smoking their
apple tobaccos in their designer pipes, chat about politics and
trade a smile or two, a remark or two, a tale or two with each other.
I look at the pictures of them walking together, talking together,
blending tobacco together, my father interviewing him or shaking
his hand or just chatting the afternoon away! Some of those moments
were captured by the photographer who used to work for my dad and
that's all I have left of Uncle Abbas and those Golden Days back
In a way I can
travel in time! My brain is a Time Machine:
are traveling to the past,
My Dreams are traveling to the future!
From time to
time, I open the fancy case of the Gold Parker Ball Pen/Ink pen
set, that once he gave me as a present, when I was a child. I polish
them, stare at them and think of the time he gave them to me, and
think of the last time that he talked to me on the phone.
In cabinet he
was known as "Aqa". Everyone would know who are you talking
about, when you speak of his name "Aqa"! They also called
him "Aqa" (Sir) at my home........, my Mom called me and
yelled, Aqa is on the phone and he wants to talk to his "Big
Boy" (that's what he called me!) I was then well grown but
I was always his big boy! I ran from my room to my dads office and
grabbed his office-line phone, and said:
Abbas, I love you..."
, and Amir said: "I love you too, my Big Boy......, now uncle
has to go away for a while, make sure that you will behave like
a Big Boy, OK?"
I whispered: "OK uncle Abbas..."
"Hold your thoughts and when I get back, we will have a chat"
he whispered gently
"Sure do" I replied
"So long now" he finished saying.
"So long Uncle Abbas" I finished saying.
And that was
the last time, I heard from Abbas........until one day I found myself
on the telephone and my Mother on the other end, crying her heart
out like a child, in her study, and when I asked:
she replied: "Your uncle Abbas......, went away for good...."
And that's when my world crashed! At the time, I did not fully understand
the details of what was going on and what was the situation, but
I knew that I will never see him again.....
up the phone cause she could not talk anymore, something was choking
her, I could only hear random cries, moans and sighs, I could not
speak any more and it did not hit me then, but it hit me years later!
All I knew was that my world collapsed and turned dark!
stare at the old family photos,
Sometimes I stare at the set of Gold Parker Pens,
Sometimes I stare in to my memories in my mind,
Sometimes I search, deep soul searching,
Sometimes I remember the Good Old Times,
I get deeply
saddened by the fact that, men like,
Amir Abbas Hoveyda
Dr. Kourosh Aryamanesh
Dr. Fereydoun Farokhzad
Dr. Shapour Bakhtiar
so on ........
are gone and
done with. They don't build them like that anymore! The Golden Era
of The Master Statesmen are gone, once we had legends and now we
have Sewer Rats!
Sewer Rats wanting
to become Master Statesmen!
Sewer Rats are Rats, they can never become Legends!
Sewer Rats in Dreams of Greatness that they can never achieve!
are gone and all we have, are the memories of those days ........
One of the old
time greats of the Classical Iranian Statesmen from the Golden Era
of the Iranian Politics is Mr. Fereydoun Hoveyda. Fereydoun is Amir
Abbases brother and a veteran diplomat, politician and a great statesman.
Fereydoun Hoveyda is one of the "Last of The Mohicans!"
Fereydoun is of The Generation of Endangered Species and Great Statesmen
with The BackBone! Fereydoun Hoveyda had done a great task and it
was keeping Amir Abbas Hoveyda's memory alive! He created a website
dedicated to Amir, his life and times, and his legacy. I strongly
recommend All, to view this wonderful site. Among other good readings
are a couple of books written by Dr. Abbas Milani about Hoveyda.
"The Persian Sphinx" & "The Charade of Hoveyda".
Both books are results of a lengthy research, very elaborative,
full of documented historical facts and exploring deep inside Hoveyda's
Mind! Dr. Milani has done a fine job on these two books.
Amir Abbas Hoveyda,
He was only
the gentlest soul that I knew in my childhood, pre-teen and early
He is only one of the Greatest Prime Ministers, that Iran ever had.
He was a Generous, Kind, and Passionate Soul!
His heart never stopped beating for Iran ....
Amir rest in
peace, cause we are awake & we make sure that your blood has
not been shed in vain.....
For more information,
Amir Abbas Hoveyda Photo Album
Amir Abbas Hoveyda, The Official
Site (very informative)
We recommend these valuable books about Hoveyda:
...... It was a cloudy hazy afternoon in Philadelphia, one of those
days that makes you want to cry, no sun, no birds in the sky, no
breeze, just a cloudy hazy afternoon with no circulation of air,
makes one's heart feeling heavy! Makes one sad, made me feel Moody
Blue, ...... and then, he made me smile and he brighten up my day!
Phone rang, I picked up the phone but I could not hear his gentle
voice to warmen my heart! I whispered:
Aqa? Uncle Abbas? This is your Big Boy! Are you there?
dial a Tone
.............. Deadly Silence .......... No one on the other end
.......I was all grown up and it had finally hit me, years later,
but finally hit me, tears of blood, never ending tears of blood
Aqa was gone,
Rest in peace
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