Abu al-Hasan Bani Sadr
Abu al-Hasan Bani Sadr (Persian ابوالحسن بنیصدر; March 22, 1933 Hamadan - October 9, 2021) was an Iranian Muslim intellectual and politician who was Iran's first president in 1980-1981. Prior to that, he briefly held the position of Foreign Minister.
Abu al-Hasan Bani Sadr, the son of Ayatollah Nasrallah Bani Sadr, studied economics at Tehran University and later theology and sociology at the same university. As a young man, he served in the National Front, founded by Muhammad Mosaddek, and in the early 1960s took part in demonstrations against the regime of Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlaví, which brought him several times behind bars. After wounding in protest in 1963, he emigrated to France.
In Paris, Bani Sadr joined the Islamic opposition in exile, recognizing Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iranian Shiites, who had lived in Iraq since 1964 and called for the overthrow of the Shah. When Khomeini returned to his homeland triumphantly after the Islamic Revolution in February 1979, Bani Sadr was part of his entourage, and as a leading opponent of the former regime, he immediately took a position at the height of his power. In 1979, he first became Deputy Minister of Economy and Minister of Finance, and was later appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. On January 25, 1980, parliament elected him the first president of the Islamic Republic. He was accused of mismanaging the army in the first months of the Iran-Iraq war, which caused incalculable damage to the country; for this reason, he lost the position of commander in chief of the armed forces, which was transferred to Khomeini.
On June 22, 1981, Bani Sadr's parliament removed Khomeini at his instigation, as the president wanted to limit the influence of the clergy on political decision-making and prevent further deepening of the theocratic nature of the state. After the demonstrations of Bani Sadr's followers were bloodily suppressed, the former president fled with the People's Mujahideen leader Masoud Rajavi to France on June 29, where he also died. He soon broke up politically with Rajavi in exile because he rejected the methods of violence against the regime used by the People's Mujahideen.
Robin Wright, The Last Great Revolution, Turmoil and Transformation in Iran, Alfred A. Knopf, 2000.
Pictures, sounds or videos on Abu al-Hasan Bani Sadr on Wikimedia Commons
Personal pages of Baní Sadra (Persian)