(HISTORY OF IRAN) More accurately known as Reza Shah; founder of the Pahlavi Dynasty (1925-1979), shah (emperor) of Iran from 1925 to his ouster in 1942 (by invading British and Russian armies).
Born, 1878; died, 1944. Originally in the regular Iranian Army, when the Iranian monarchy was bankrupted he contracted out to command a cossack division for the Anglo Persian Oil Company (British Petroleum). As a result, he actually had a lot of money and was able to become the prime minister (1922), and then depose the old Dynasty, the Qejars.
As Shah, he promised to revise the hated concession to Anglo Iranian Oil Company, but they managed to stall and thwart him with the help of the International Court of Justice. As a result, he turned to the Axis Powers. When World War II broke out, he offered some help to the Germans and Italians, so the British invaded and replaced him with his son, Shah Muhammad Reza.
Shah Reza Pahlavi is often compared with Ataturk, a contemporaneous dictator of Turkey. However, Reza Shah was much more reliant on a cooperative clergy than Ataturk was.