Ardeshir Zahedi is a descendant of two families that have shaped the history of modern Iran. His father, Fazlollah Zahedi (1897 1963), served as prime minister and was an important political and military figure of the Pahlavi period. His maternal grandfather, Nasrollah Khan Moshir od-Dowleh, served as the first prime minister of Iran after the establishment of the constitution in 1907.
Ardeshir Zahedi has led a very eventful life. During World War II, when Ardeshir was twelve, his father, who was the commander of the Isfahan division, was arrested by the occupying allied forces and imprisoned in Palestine.
After completing his college education at Utah State University, Ardeshir returned to Iran to become deputy director of the Point Four Program. During the tumultuous events of the summer of 1953, he was at his father s side and during General Zahedi s premiership (1953-1955) he was the liason between the prime minister and the Shah Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi.
In 1957 he married the Shah s firstborn, Princess Shahnaz. Princess Mahnaz, the Shah s first grandaughter was born a year later. Although the couple separated in 1964, Ardeshir still remained a close confidant and friend of the Shah until the monarch s death in 1980.
In the last two decades of the Pahlavi dynasty, Ardeshir Zahedi served as ambassador to the United States, to the Court of Saint James and five years as foreign minister of Iran. During his diplomatic career he took an active role in the United Nations discussions after the Arab-Israeli war in 1967 and in the preparation of the first Islamic Conference Summit. As the head of the Iranian Delegation to the United Nations General Assembly, he signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In 1977 Zahedi played a key role in the release of more than 165 hostages during the Hanafi hostage incident in Washington DC.
The Memoirs of Ardeshir Zahedi are the chronicles of an eventful life and at the same time relate over sixty years of Iranian history.
He presently resides in Switzerland.
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