Art And Culture

Documentary on Former PM Ali Razmara

Documentary on Former PM Ali Razmara
Documentary on Former PM Ali Razmara

Seyyed Ehsan Emadi’s documentary on the private and military life of assassinated ex-prime minister Haj Ali Razmara is on the screen in a limited number of cinemas.

“Razmara, a Silent Dossier” premiered at the 11th Cinema Verite, Iran’s International Documentary Film Festival, last October and was appreciated by the jury. In February it took part in the main competition section of the 36th Fajr Film Festival, IRNA reported.

Razmara was the third prime minister to be  assassinated. He was killed by the 26-year-old Khalil Tahmassebi of the Fada’iyan-e Islam group outside the Shah Mosque in Tehran in 1951 at the age of 49. (Although Tahmassebi confessed to the murder there are still doubts as to whether or not he was the killer). The prime minister was gunned down two days after he made a long speech in Parliament in which he outlined the problems inherent in nationalizing the oil industry and openly was opposed to the move.

Born in Tehran in 1901, Razmara studied at the Saint-Cyr Military Academy in Paris. In 1950 he was appointed prime minister by the former king, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. Soon after taking office he set out to downsize the bloated bureaucracy, trimmed government payrolls and removed a large number of personnel from the total 187,000 civil servants.

With one stroke of his pen he terminated nearly 400 senior officials. By so doing, Razmara earned the wrath of the powerful land-owning and merchant class, according to He promoted a plan for decentralizing the government. His idea was to bring government to the people; an unheard-of idea in Iran at the time. His plan called for setting up local councils in 84 districts to run local affairs such as health, education and agricultural development.

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