|Monarch Mohammad Reza Pahlavi|
Monarch Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Spouse Zahra Sharif
Deputy Gholam-Reza Azhari
Preceded by Manouchehr Eghbal
Education University of Tehran
|Preceded by Jamshid Amouzegar|
Name Jafar Sharif-Emami
Party Rastakhiz Party
Succeeded by Gholam Reza Azhari
Role Iranian Politician
|Died June 6, 1998, New York City, New York, United States|
Jafar Sharif-Imami (9 September 1910 – 16 June 1998) was an Iranian politician who was prime minister from 1960 to 1961 and again in 1978. He was a cabinet minister, president of the Iranian Senate, president of the Pahlavi Foundation and the president of the Iran chamber of industries and mines during the reign of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Early life and education
Sharif-Emami was born in Tehran on 8 September 1910 to a clerical family and his father was a mullah. After high school, Sharif-Emami was sent (along with thirty other young men) to Germany where he studied for eighteen months, returning to Iran in 1930 to work with state railroad organization until the Anglo-Soviet Invasion. Years later he was sent to Sweden for technical training, returning in 1939 when he received a degree in engineering.
Career and activities
Sharif-Emami began his career the Iranian state railways in 1931. Arrested in summer of 1943 for alleged ties to Germany he was kept in detention along with many other members of Iran's elite. After his release he was appointed director general of the Irrigation Agency. In 1950, he was appointed undersecretary of roads and communications. In June 1950, prime minister and General Haj Ali Razmara appointed him acting minister and then minister of roads, his first cabinet post.
He served as the minister of industries and mines in Manuchehr Eqbal's cabinet. He was prime minister from 1960 to 1961, and again in 1978, a few months before the overthrow of the Shah. He was appointed prime minister by Shah on 27 August 1978 because of his ties to clergy. Sharif-Emami succeeded Jamshid Amouzegar in the post.
During his short tenure, he undid many of the Shah's plans including the closing of casinos, abandoning the Imperial calendar, abolishing the Rastakhiz Party and allowing all political parties to be active. All of his efforts to reform the political system in Iran, was overshadowed by the Black Friday massacre in Jaleh Square (8 September 1978), mass protests, martial law and nationwide strikes, which brought the country's economy to its knees. He resigned from office amid riots on 5 November 1978. Gholam Reza Azhari replaced him in the post. He was also long-time president of the Iranian senate and chairman of the Pahlavi Foundation. He was one of the close confidants of the Shah.
Sharif-Emami was married and had three children, two daughters and a son.
For some years he was also the grand master of the grand lodge of Iran, which gave him some informal influence among Iran's political elite.
Later years and death
Sharif-Emami left Iran following the 1979 Islamic revolution. He settled in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York City. There he served as the president of the Pahlavi Foundation and later resigned from the post. He died at a hospital on 16 June 1998 at age 87 in New York City. He was buried in Valhalla, New York.