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Bayat Family

Bayat, a Turkish tribe, is one of the 22 'Oqoz' tribes spread out in Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, Syria and Iraq. The word 'Bayat' means "one who possesses" and "one who brings benedictions." The original tribe, in the legendary Turkish genealogy, reaches "Bay At", second son of Goune Khan, himself the son of Oqoz Khan.

The Bayat tribe, like other Turkish tribes, had its' own ensign carrying different figures according to different sources. The Bayats used to live, before their massive immigrations to West Asia, around the Qaramouran river in northern China.

According to "Jame-o-Tavarikh," groups belonging to this tribe known under the name 'Bavayet' had become a category of Mongol tribes, this having happened decades before Genghis Khan's reign. These used to be, in the categorisation that was proper to Mongols, "Dornegin" tribes, which means "Mongols without a lineage". The two branches of this tribe were named "Jedi Bayavet" and "Kahron Bayavet". The first holds its name from river Jedi in Mongolia et the second, since it lived in the desert. These two tribes participated in Genghis Khan and Holaku Khan's military campaigns in Iran.

In the sixth and seventh centuries, a large tribe that belonged to the "Yamak" or "Kimak"branches of the family named "Bayavout" lived in the Kharazm desert. Because of the assignment of Tarkan Khatoun, mother of Sultan Mohammad Kharazm-Shah, and that of Ozloq-Shah's mother (Ozloq-Shah being Sultan Mohammad's crown prince), the emirs of this tribe won major power in Kharazm-Shah's court; to the point where Qatloq Khan, competing for the place of Sultan Mohammad Kharazm-Shah, tried to assassinate the former in favour of Ozloq Shah. Meanwhile, one cannot equal the Bayats and the Bayavouts with certainty. Mojtaba Minavi, in his writings on the character of Jalaleddin Mirkebreyi, has questioned whether there in fact was a link between the family names. A few researchers have recently stipulated that Bayavouts were not Mongolian tribes, but the same as Turkish Bayats.

The date of entry of the Bayat tribes in the Iranian plateaux is not clear, but according to several historical sources, there is a possibility that these people spread in the highlands of Iran in the early fifth century during the attack of the Qazan and the Seljuk who, in their military dash, had reached the desert of Shaam and the borders of the Mediterranean. In these breakthroughs, groups belonging to this tribe settled in the greater Khorasan, Persian Iraq, Kurdistan and Lorestan. Ibn-Khaldoun informs us of a long term establishment of this tribe in Iran and the Arabian Iraq. The disputes that took place between the Bayats and the Lor tribal chiefs eventually brought the extinction of the Bayats. Abated Shojaeddin Khorshid Shah, the governor of Lorestan, being furious about the encroachment of the Turkish Bayats on his possessions, took them to battle and overtook them; and the Bayat territory became part of Khorshid Shah's sphere of power. At this point in history, the name of the Bayat territory was considered one of the important domain names like Bagdad, Arabian Iraq, Khuzestan and Lorestan. With the passage of time, the name of this territory referred to a more restricted circle that comprised the Bayat castle as its' culminant spot — a castle that was situated on the road between Dezful and Arabian Iraq.

Some Bayats who, in their long migration had reached Anatolia and Shaam, joined Qoreh Ottoman, the governor of Aq-Qovinlou. After the extinction of the Aq-Qovinlou dynasty, the Bayat clan joined the Safavid dynasty once more. Eventually, many tribes left Anatolia and left towards Iran. This group of Bayats named itself Qoreh-Bayat later so that they could be distinguished from the Bayats that remained in Iran. On the same principle, the tribes that remained in Iran were named Aq-Bayat or Bayat-Motlaq ("absolut Bayat"). Apparently, the division of Shaam Bayats that formed the Qajars and the heads of this tribe were part of the lords of Fath-Ali Shah's court.

The heads of the Bayat tribes in Persian Iraq (named "Iraq Ajam") who were considered part of the biggest groups of Aq-Bayat, were counted as illustrious members of the Safavid government during the reign of Shah Tahmasb I (1551-1605). Even the damages that were inflicted upon the tribe by the Shah didn't stop their submission to the royal court.

Two centuries later, one of the groups of this tribe joined Aqa-Mohamed Khan Qajar (ruled 1831-1832) and thereby became one of the illustrious members of the Qajar court. One of the most well-known ones who lived at the time of the reign of the Nassereddin Shah (ruled 1885-1934) was named Ali-Naqi khan Bayat and titled Nizam-Lashkar or Samsam-ol-Molk, and was one Iran's biggest feudal barons while at the same time at the helm of a large armed group. His sons Zolfaqar Khan (Samsam-ol-Molk) and Abbasqoli Khan (Sahm-ol-Molk) were, like their father, considered as some of the illustrious people of their era. Morteza-Coli Khan Bayat (Saham-ol-Soltan), who became a parliamentarian several times and even twice minister and prime minister, was the son of Abbas-Qoli Khan.

In our days, all of the Bayat tribes from Iraq Ajam (Persian Iraq) live around Kazzaz and Karamrood and a few other villages of Arak, and make their living with agriculture. Other tribes who live in Maku live there since the reign of Shah-Abbas I (ruled 1616-1658), or emigrated there around the start of Shah-Abbas II's reign (ruled 1671-1698), going there from Yerevan.

Another group of the Bayat tribes had established itself in Iraq's Kurdistan. Shah Tahmasb II (ruled: 1756-1766) sent them to exile around Teheran and Savejbolaq, near Karaj. In 1765, Nadir Shah who at the time was still an attorney of Shah Tahmasb II's court, sent another group of this tribe to Khorassan after having conquered Kirkuk. Nadir Shah also exiled groups of Bayats, Afshars, Javanshirs, Shahsouns and Bakhtiaris to Afghanistan. The majority of this group established itself in Kabul and named itself Qezelbash. The Qezelbash neighbourhood of Kabul is a reminder of this group.

Another part of these tribes that was present in Iran since the tenth century is composed of Neyshabur's Bayats and made itself known under the name Qoreh-Bayat. The exact date of entry of this tribe into Khorasan is not known, but one can safely assume that this group went there after the Mongolian attacks. Abbas Khan Bayat-Mokhtari, Jafar Khan and Aliqoli Khan are well-known names of this part of the tribe. The three were, one after the other, the governors of Neyshabur until the beginning of the reign of Fath-Ali Shah Qajar.

There still recently were nomadic branches of Bayats among the Khamseh and Qashqai tribes of the Fars province alongside the Turkmens of the north of Iran. Beside these populations, thousands of urban and rural Bayat families live in Zanjan, Teheran, Karaj, Shiraz, Zarand, Kerman, Mashhad, Neyshabur, Arak, Damavand and other cities in Iran.

After having been spread out in the cities and provinces of Iran, the Qajar governors who wanted to weaken them, aimed at dividing them into smaller groups. The only remaining well-known Bayats who could keep their authority were the Bayats of Kazzaz (a province of Arak). This branch of the family attained high posts in government in the Qajar dynasty and even later under the reign of the Pahlavis. It could also make the name Bayat live through its' donations; mainly schools, hospitals and other contributions in Arak and its' surroundings.

Mossadegh and the Coup d'Etat of 1953

The 1953 Iranian coup d'état (known in Iran as the 28 Mordad coup) saw the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh on 19 August 1953 and the installation of a military government. This coup was orchestrated by the intelligence agencies of the United Kingdom and the United States under the name TPAJAX Project. The result of this event was that under the direct orders of Mohammad-Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, the administration of the country got out of the hands of the parliament to find itself under the supervision of an illegitimate government.  The establishment of this power was under major support of its foreign allies until its overthrow in 1979.

In 1951, Iran's oil industry was nationalized with near-unanimous support of Iran's parliament in a bill introduced by Mossadegh, who led the oil commission of the parliament. Iran's oil had been controlled by the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) under license, and was only a source of little revenue for the country. Popular discontent with the AIOC began in the late 1940s as a large segment of Iran's public and a number of politicians saw the company as exploitative and a vestige of British imperialism. Despite Mosaddegh's popular support, Britain was unwilling to negotiate its single most valuable foreign asset, and instigated a worldwide boycott of Iranian oil to pressure Iran economically. Initially, Britain mobilized its military to seize control of the Abadan oil refinery, the world's largest, but Prime Minister Clement Attlee opted instead to tighten the economic boycott while using Iranian agents to undermine Mosaddegh's government. With a change to more conservative governments in both Britain and the United States, Churchill and the U.S. Eisenhower administration decided to overthrow Iran's government though the previous U.S. Truman administration had opposed a coup.

Tehran Mossavvar Cover

Britain and the U.S. selected Fazlollah Zahedi to be the prime minister of a military government that was to replace Mosaddegh's government. Subsequently, a royal decree dismissing Mosaddegh and appointing Zahedi was drawn up by the coup plotters and signed by the Shah. The Central Intelligence Agency had successfully pressured the weak monarch to participate in the coup, while bribing street thugs, clergy, politicians and Iranian army officers to take part in a propaganda campaign against Mosaddegh and his government. At first, the coup appeared to be a failure when on the night of 15–16 August, Imperial Guard Colonel Nematollah Nassiri was arrested while attempting to arrest Mosaddegh. With this arrest, the plan was put in action differently. After the Shah getting away from the country, on 19 August, a pro-Shah mob paid by the CIA marched on Mosaddegh's residence. According to the CIA's declassified documents and records, some of the most feared mobsters in Tehran were hired by the CIA to stage pro-Shah riots on 19 August. Other CIA-paid men were brought into Tehran in buses and trucks, and took over the streets of the city. Many people were killed during and as a direct result of the conflict. Mosaddegh was arrested, tried and convicted of treason by the Shah's military court. On 21 December 1953, he was sentenced to three years in jail, then placed under house arrest in Ahmad Abad for the remainder of his life.

After the coup, the tangible benefits the United States reaped from overthrowing Iran's elected government included a share of Iran's oil wealth as well as resolute prevention of the slim possibility that the Iranian government might align itself with the Soviet Union, although the latter motivation still produces controversy among historians. Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi ruled as an authoritarian monarch for the next 26 years, while depending on the support of the powers that had supported him in the coup until he was overthrown in a popular revolt in 1979.

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Khadijeh Mossadegh

The late Khadijeh Mossadegh was born in Teheran, Iran on 17 December 1923 and passed away on 19 May 2003 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

Khadije Mossadegh

Her illness began in 1940 as the result of a shock she received by witnessing the arrest of her father, who was subjugated violently by the police before being sent to a prison in the desert area of Birjand. Indeed, she had a profound admiration for her father, the late Mohammad Mossadegh.

I personally witnessed this event at her side. A friend of our uncle, Ahmad Mossadegh, who was close to the police force, had tipped us regarding the arrest and we had rushed to the central station alongside him and my mother Zia-Ashraf, together with Khadijeh. Hiding behind the trees that faced the entrance of the station. It was a very moving scene to watch.

Another account of this story is seen in my other uncle's memoirs, Dr. Gholamhossein Mossadegh, which owing to the oversight of the narrator and inadvertence of the editor, does not pay the necessary attention needed to the details of the event.

On the way back home, Khadijeh showed profound signs of distress and her condition never really improved thereafter.

Because of the way depressed patients were treated at the time in Teheran, of electric shocks and countless injections of insulin, as well as the imprisonment of her father, Khadijeh's depression and distress deteriorated much further.

I was sent to Switzerland in 1948, three years after the end of World War Two. A little later, Khadijeh and my grandmother Zia-o-Saltaneh joined me in order to pursue her treatment abroad.

She was first treated at a clinic in Nyon near Geneva, and was then moved to another facility in Neuchâtel, under the supervision of a specialized nurse.

At first, Khadijeh's fluctuations were such that the medical team in Neuchâtel placed her under therapy with hopes that her condition would improve, but then another team in Bern decided to perform a lobotomy on her, which actually worsened her situation, as she was  condemned to remain at the sanatorium for the remainder of her lifetime.

After her return to Perfargier in Neuchâtel, which was a well-known institution, she lived a  comfortable but quiet life alongside her nurse Ms. Baum, who took her to excursions twice a year, until the advent of the Iranian revolution in 1978.

Every week, a short letter, together with 50 CHF, were sent to her by either my mother or myself, informing her of the well-being of her relatives, to which she would respond in Persian with a postcard, usually with the following text: "Dear Maman and Papa, I hope you are well. In case you are wondering about me, I am fine and have no other issue than being away from you..." A few samples of these postcards are available at the Foundation.

I used to visit her in Neuchâtel once or twice every month. She was always happy to see me and to receive presents. However, she did not like to talk about her parents. If I was away from Switzerland, my Swiss friends would visit her instead, although she would get tired of speaking with others quickly. Because of this condition, it was made known that those whom she wasn't used to see, should not visit her. She used to like chocolates and cigarettes, which were sent to her regularly.

With the political situation in Iran worsening and the war with Iraq beginning, Khadijeh's circumstances also worsened. Her revenue consisted of the rent of two buildings that weren't being paid fully anymore. These properties consisted of two buildings that Dr. Mossadegh had purchased in order to meet her costs of living; buildings that were supposed to be eventually bequeathed to the Najmieh hospital according to their deals. In addition, Dr. Mossadegh had left, according to his will, the responsibilty of Khadijeh's care with his children according to their age, and then to his grand-children going in the same term. After his death, my mother (Zia-Ashraf) took the responsibility of her care and after her death and the death of his other children, the responsibility was laid upon me.

The increase in rate of currency exchange became another problem to deal with, and ultimately, we were indebted to the Perfargier Institute. Ms. Baum also passed away. At this point, the lack of funds forced us to seek a replacement from her private quarters for her. Khadijeh was then transferred to where all the other patients resided.

From then on, Khadijeh's expenditures were hardly ever covered through the old scheme, and I personally settled her bills until her death.

Geneva, 18 April 2012
Abdolmajid Bayat-Mossadegh

Biography of Mohammad Mossadegh

Mohammad Mossadegh was born on June 16, 1882 in Tehran. His father, Mirza Hedayat Ashtiani, was surveillant of the Iranian treasury, and his mother, Malek-Taj Najm al-Saltaneh, was closely related to the Qajar dynasty. His father died when he was ten. He and his sisters were then raised by their mother.


Having held several positions within the State, Dr. Mossadegh went to pursue his studies in France. He then lived in Switzerland from 1906 to 1913, the year he earned his doctorate in law at the University of Neuchatel.

His political life was sealed by his perseverance to instill democracy in Iran and – both during and after World War II – to ensure the political independence and economic development of the country. Believing that the first step to achieve this quest would be the nationalization of Iran’s natural wealth, in other words its natural resources, Mossadegh fiercely confronted British Petroleum (which controlled Iran’s oil resources). The consequences of this battle were not only limited to the political and personal fate of Mossadegh, but also dramatically determined the political developments of modern Iran.

Moreover, in the dawn of the fifties, the message of this frail man – who had won a showdown against unreasonnable colonial powers – echoed beyond the borders of Iran. Mossadegh passionately inspired emerging anticolonial movements in the then Third World.


Pages d'histoire d'Iran

Mosssadegh pages d histoire d Iran

Adbol Madjid Bayat Mossadegh
Éditions Geuthner - 2012

More information here