1896: Mirza Reza Kermani, assassin of the Shah

On this date in 1896,* Persian revolutionary Mirza Reza Kermani was hanged publicly for assassinating the Qajar Shah of Persia.

Shah since his gouty father kicked off in 1848, Naser al-Din Shah Qajar enjoys the distinction of being the third-longest ruler in the long history of Persian polities.

Only 64 years old at his death, Naser al-Din was young enough to have made a good run at the longevity runner-up 16th century Shah Tahmasp I;** however, his increasingly dogged resistance to reform and proclivity for gifting economic concessions to foreign firms bearing lucrative kickbacks eventually induced a young revolutinary named Mirza Reza Kermani to shoot Nasser al-Din dead at a shrine. It’s alleged that he had foregone a previous opportunity to murder the king in a public space frequented by Jews celebrating Passover, for fear that the regicide would be attributed to them and induce pogroms.

Naser al-Din’s sybaritic son Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar struggled equally to manage his restive subjects’ hunger for better statecraft, eventually (in 1906) leading to a constitutional era setting an a parliament at loggerheads with the Qajar princes.

* I’m attributing the date based on original reportage datelines in the Western press. There are some attributions to August 10 and to August 22 to be found.

** Number one is Shapur II, who was king for all of his 70 years in the fourth century.

On this day..

2 thoughts on “1896: Mirza Reza Kermani, assassin of the Shah

  1. Do also realise that the above coment is partly true. The Qajars were of Azeri Turkish origin and not Turkey proper. They were not popular not because of their origin but because of their misrule. The very first Qajar king reunified Persia. Also very importantly the Qajars were Shia and not sunni as Azerbaejan is a Shia state even though it was divided and the northern half was annexed by the Russian Empire along with Armenia, Georgia, parts of Dagestan and Turkeminestan during the Russo-Persian wars of 1812-1823.

  2. Do realize this was a Qajar Shah not a Pahlevi. The Qajar dynasty was unpopular because they were Turcic, related to the Turks and not Persian. They were also suspected of being Sunni leaning, not Shia like their predecessors the Safavid dynasty. which converted Iran in a sea of blood. The Prime Minister Mossadeq was a Qajar on his mother’s side. The Qajar were hardly succesful rulers and committed ethnic cleansing in nearby Georgia. The Qajar’ misrule gave Russia and Britain more chanches.

Comments are closed.