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Amini Becomes Prime Minister

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May, 5, 1961 A.D.:
Amini Becomes Prime Minister

By: Mir M.Hosseini

Dr. Ali Amini started his term as the 67th Prime Minister of Iran on May, 5, 1961. Mohammad Reza Shah was under pressure from US President John F. Kennedy. He was a member of the National Front, but broke away from the party in 1952. His pro-American tendencies were to the extent that made even the Shah uncomfortable. Mohammad Reza Shah in particular distrusted Amini's popularity and friendship with John F. Kennedy.
The first Iranian contact with new American administration occurred in 1961 in which Lieutenant General Teimur Bakhtiar visited Kennedy in Washington. Bakhtiar conveyed Shah’s letter to President Kennedy, using the opportunity to appeal for military-economic aid from the US. In the meeting, Kennedy said that he understood Iranian needs, the issue of foreign aid was up for review and W. Averell Harriman would be sent to Iran to visit the Shah. In Shah-Harriman visit on March 13, no assurance was given to Mohammad Reza Shah. Political unrests and uprising shook the country. To implement Kennedy Doctrine, the Shah dissolved Jafar Sharif-Emami cabinet and replaced him with Amini as the Prime Minister, encouraged by the US. The Pahlavi Regime had faced such a complex situation that American MPs described it a miracle if the US could save the Shah.
Amini's efforts aimed at a gradual change in Iranian economic and social structure that created more resentment than credit specially among the conservative ruling society. Land reforms, anti-corruption campaigns, and the economic stabilization program had alienated the most influential high classes in Iran. Therefore pressure was high and he was not given the chance to complete his Five Year Plan.
Hence, Shah hastily departed for the US in April 1962, visiting many influential political and economic figures of the country. In his sincere meeting with Kennedy, the Shah promised to change his priorities from military to socio-economic demands. He also could win the favor of Kennedy for his continued reforms. The initial political implication of this visit was dismissal of Ali Amini early in the summer. The Shah himself assumed the responsibility for controlled reform policies thereafter.
After 14 months in office, Amini presented his resignation to Shah on July, 17, 1962. He was replaced by Shah's close friend and a major Birjand landowner Asadollah Alam.
In the late 1970s, Amini attempted a comeback into Iranian politics at the age of 70. He served as advisor to the Shah during the final days of the Pahlavi Dynasty.
In 1979, Amini moved from Iran to Paris, France. He wrote his biography which was published by Harvard University. He was one of the main opposition figures to establishing an Islamic Republic at the time. He died on 12 December 1992 at the age of 87.

KEY TERMS:Ala , Alam , Ali Amini , American , Asadollah Alam , Bakhtiar , Birjand , Dynasty , France , Harvard , Harvard University , Iran , Iranian , Islam , Islamic , Islamic Republic , Jafar Sharif-Emami , John F. Kennedy , Kennedy , Kennedy Doctrine , Land reforms , MP , Mohammad Reza Shah , National Front , Pahlavi , Pahlavi Dynasty , Paris , Prime Minister , Prime Minister of Iran , Reza Shah , Shah , Teimur Bakhtiar , US , W. Averell Harriman , Washington

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