A Failed Iranian Reformer

He was a Persian aristocrat who struggled to make his country a democracy. Given to mood swings and sulks worthy of Achilles, Mohammed Mossadegh was born in June 1882 just a month before Britain bombarded and occupied Egypt. His formidable mother, Najm al-Saltaneh, belonged to the family of Qajar Shahs who ruled Iran from 1794 to 1925 and instilled in him a strong noblesse oblige that matured into genuine dedication to democratic and constitutional government. During his childhood, the country barely governed itself, yielding important decisions to the Russian and British empires that held it in joint subjugation.

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