Two years after the coup

Photo essay: Shah and Soraya in Miami Beach, Flroida

by KA
Wow...I hadn't seen these before. From LIFE Magazine's recently-released, rare and never-before published photos of Iran and Iranians. [Also see: "Past LIFE" and "The price of foreign interference"]. These photos show the Shah and his then wife Soraya vacationing in southern Florida, two years after the 1953 coup.



by Amir Khosrow Sheibany (not verified) on

Ali1234 there is more to the story than your initial observation. You need to dig a bit deeper to see why we are where we are. What are the alternatives. And what do we want to achieve and why.


PHD in Nothing

by PhD in somthing (not verified) on

Just curious to know where you got your PhD from? State University of Drivel Writing?

The only urgency in Transformation is in your transfer from Nothing to Something.


Shah VS. Khamenei

by PHD in Nothing (not verified) on

Shah was not very brave - but he was an intelligent person and he did have a vision. His vision was to transform Iran into a place that was more like Miami. Not a bad idea- except that he wanted to make this transformation in a few short years. His biggest mistake was that he did not take internal social forces into account.

In contrast, the IRI leadership is more brave than visionary. They too are intelligent-but they seem to have failed to present a vision for the development of the country.

I personally think that Khamenei is a visionary person but he is paralyzed by social forces and by his conservatism. I think that he too recognizes that Iran needs to be transformed. His biggest mistake might prove to be lack of recognition for the urgency of this Tansformation.


In reply to ...

by Le Repondeur (not verified) on


A beautiful woman is always a beautiful woman regardless of the contex,


The Shah always looked "vulnerable" - that was the strength of his character.

Also MRP was the world's most eligible bachelor even before marrying Soraya - don't be jealous,

na shah na iri:

and were are your buddies Mujahedi? buried in camp Ashraf - LoL!


Mossadegh would have handed the country to the fanatics only 2 years later - may be you preferred that!!


see my anwer to Alborzi,


don't be pussy - don't say I "hate" to say it to please a nobodys on this page. For once be brave woman,


well said,

Mitra and Anon Observer:

You are both right on target. Well said
Ye Irani:

where did you learn oyur western manners? from the depth of a "hojreh" in "madresseh feyzieh"?


You live up to your name - fater all without mixed up people like you neither the Shah nor the IRI could rule. LOL


for once you said something right!! LOOOOL


Bakhtiar asked him to leave not Sullivan. Get your facts right old man!


Well said

I wonder:



Why are you afraid of the facts? The moanrchists have been vindicates 100 time over by now.


you are truly a son of eroon.


You are not cultivated enough to understand the power of European monarchies. They all started fro a similar point but lasted to this day because their people were not "kishmish khor" like you !! - in other words they didn't sit on their backs to come up with such bases less philosophies.


You have adopted the name that Arabs have given you. This is enough to tell us about your origin and your future.

DK (encore):

You have done your home work right but need to practise a little more.


The gift!

by Ajam (not verified) on

Dear Ai1234, good point there! Indeed for monarchists, what gives the nation its meaning is the rule a figure-head from the Pahlavi bloodline! Otherwise, Iranians are a bunch of backward, unworthy and ultimately, ungrateful creatures who took good's greatest gift to Iran for granted.

It's as if IRI were to be replaced by a more brutal regime like Taliban, supporters of Khomeini feel vindicated and start justifying IRI's use of the iron fist vis a vis people's demands for freedom and democracy as inevitable!


To shahdooneh: When it comes to corruption and ghaarat ...

by Dose of reality (not verified) on

Dear when it comes to corruption, theft and robbery, nobody can hold a candle to your turbaned benefactors and the evidence of their financial corruption is far too conspicuous to dismiss as mere slander.


He should have

by Anonymous^2 (not verified) on

executed that treasonous Mosadeq and the mullahs.


Ali1234, I don't know if you are aware.

by Shadooneh (not verified) on

But the "Shahi" jamaat who fled Iran way before the Shah, were saying we're just going on vacation. They maintained they'd be asked to be back soon becuase the akhondhaa bisavaadan, and they "need" us to run the mamlekat. These people have lived in aalam-e haparoot for a long time. If you look carefully you won't find any of these parasites in Shah's last picture who was leaving Iran with teary eyes. In the picture you just see HIM, his wife, his gog and an office who was trying to kiss his hands. Those who are beating the chests to "restore" the Saltanat were Gone, way gone (of course they did not forget to pad their US and EU bank accounts and fill their suitcased with opium).

Darius Kadivar

Kishmish not entirely true

by Darius Kadivar on

The British Monarchy as we know it today was in fact Restored after a quarter of a century of a Theocratic Republic just like Iran. In addition, they Beheaded the king Charles Ist and Cromwell installed a Republic much earlier than the French Revolution. After Cromwells death, and internal division between the politicians of the time, it was decided to Restore the Monarchy with the Beheaded King's son exiled in France. Charles II ascended as Monarch and the country became (albeit several decades) a Parlimentary Constitutional Monarchy where the King Reigns and does not Rule.

In the  20th Century, Both Belgium and Spain became Constitutional Monarchies despite the fact that the Royal Institution was totally discredited. In Belgium King Baudouin succeeded his father accused of Collaboration with the Germans and who was not allowed to return to his country. He was buried in Belgium only after his death while in exile.

In Spain the Monarchy was restored after more than Half a Century following the abolishment of the monarchy, a Civil War and a Republican state ( shortlived ) which was followed by more than 40 years of a Fascist Government under Franco. Franco of course prepared his succession by naming Bourbonne Prince Juan Carlos as his successor and after Franco's death Juan Carlos was named King and took oath in Front of the Parliament.

Franco declares Juan Carlos as successor ( in front of die hard Fascists)


 Juan Carlos Takes Oath as King in Front of Parliament:


Juan Carlos opposed a military Coup of General in Parliament in the 1980's which put a final point to Fascist unpredictable attempts to reinstate a Fascist Sate. 

Spain has since elected Left Wing Prime Ministers and non of the traditional Parties today endorse Franco's Obsolete Fascist state or ideology. ( It should be noted that Franco's Fascist Government did not participate in WWII nor deported any Jews to concentration camps unlike in Germany or Italy) Spain was more a neutral zone during the War and anti semitic laws did not exist. But Franco's Spain was a tough dictatorship nevertheless up to 1975 when he stepped down from Power in favor of an unknown Crown Prince Juan Carlos. 

The King Reigns but does not Rule in Spain which does not mean that the King has not at times been challenged in his position as last summer when President Chavez of Venezuela tried to provoke him calling his former Prime Minister ( Right Wing) a Fascist which made Juan Carlos angry because he felt he was  insulting the political and democratic institutions of his country ( which firmly oppose Fascism ever since Franco's death) :


Dunno Now if our Mullah's particularly in the likes of Khatami have considered the same in regard to a Restoration of the Monarchy if all other options fail and if they see in Reza Pahlavi a possible alternative to National Reconciliation ? I Very Much doubt that mainly because the Mullah's are stupid and shortsighted when it comes to considering the interests of their people and also because they have a blind hatred for the Monarchy which they consider wrongly as more corrupt than the Religious Dynasty they have created more than 30 years ago in dubious circumstances.

But you never do know do you ? History does offer surprises. Ultimately it will depend if Iranians are offered the choice.  


to: eroonman

by Kishmish (not verified) on

You say that "Can we envision a future in which Iran's government is run by a democratic free system, but with a ceremonial monarchy as the informal head of state?".

If it is run by a democratic free system, why would Iran even want a ceremonial head of state? Why not just have a democracy. The British Royals and others are different in that they were not all of a sudden installed as monarchs in the 20th century, they were a monarchy that gave way to democracy while they were still there (they were not overthrown).


Proves a point...?

by eroonman on

Judging by the more curiously positive comments on this piece, it appears that the temperature for considering monarchy (albeit powerless ceremonial one) might actually be somethgin to consider one day. Can we envision a future in which Iran's government is run by a democratic free system, but with a ceremonial monarchy as the informal head of state? Because that might actually make everyone (except the Mollahs) happy.


I have never seen any group

by Ali1234 (not verified) on

I have never seen any group resenting their own people as much as Iranian monarchists do!! Just take a look at the comments here on I have rarely seen a post by a monarchist where the Iranian people are not put down and insulted. To them, Iranians are just a bunch of "ignorant", "namak nashnas", "backward" people who failed to did not deserve their wonderful king. To them, shah is always above the nation! No wonder people kicked these arrogant people out.

Anonymous Observer

She Was Pretty..

by Anonymous Observer on

Much prettier than Farah...


What a beautiful and

by Mitra Khuzestani (not verified) on

What a beautiful and handsome couple. Shah was so very good looking and happy! You can see the love between the king and the Queen. What a teragic ending for both.

May they both rest is peace


To Hakim

by I wonder (not verified) on

I just don't get it when it comes to all the freedom fighting political opponents of the Shah, aside from the IRI supporters and lackeys, who preferred to live in Iran to fight the Shah back then but left Iran the first chance they got after the Shah's overthrow. What happened?



by Sad (not verified) on

May they both rest in peace and may God bless their souls!

It will take at least one more generation (after all these defunct tudehees, and the brainwashed relics and dinosaurs/oghdehees of Jebhe so called melli die out) before the deceived gullible Iranians realize, once and for all, what they had during his time, and what they gained in his place.

Noor be ghabr e har do shoon bebareh ...


He left when they told him to go

by Hakim (not verified) on

He was the king of Iran and left Iran the very next day that US ambassador in Iran, Sullivan, told him to leave. I just don't get it. Even poor African leaders do better than this.

Jahanshah Javid

Politics aside

by Jahanshah Javid on

There's a sweetness in the love affair between the Shah and Soraya that is timeless.


God Bless Them

by ca (not verified) on

God bless their souls. They had the love story of the century. I wish he knew his people better and how "namak nashnas" they were, so he would not let Soraya go just because she couldn't produce an heir to the throne. If only he knew, they would be living together very happy in Monte Carlo. I wonder what thoughts went through his mind when she called him after the revolution while he was on his dying bed. I wish we knew the details of that conversation. What would you have said if you were him? What would you have said if you were her?



by Wisconsin Shooter (not verified) on

Because I just like to shoot, I don’t care whom. I especially like to shoot in summers when it’s hot, but winters would do too. I’m not really a hateful person and I don’t know much about history, but I know he didn’t own the West, especially Wisconsin. Maybe that’s why I’m allowed to shoot.


I support IRI and I Love

by Dehati (not verified) on

I support IRI and I Love shah at the same time, Maybe i'm just crazy. Shah Loves his country but he was stupid and fail misirably. IRI does not really love Iran, but they are smart and they will protect Iran till Mahdi comes and saves us.


Shah was a copy cat

by Ye Irani (not verified) on

He had no substance. He hired many westerners to teach him and his family how to live like Europeans. He literally injected and overdose of western culture blindly and become alienated from his own people. Just like the botoxed Tehranjelesis now.

Don't get me wrong! Contrary to some irrational Irani's who think blindly whatever we have is the best, we have to go long way in many respects to learn from western culture and correct ours in a positive way rather than blindly copying or defying. Extremes are always doomed for FAILURE!

Mort Gilani

Nice Photos

by Mort Gilani on

Shah was larger than life and the best political figure to run Iran at his time.  May God bless his soul.



Summer in Wisconsin

by Aziz (not verified) on

When it is open season in wisconsin, going out into the woods is dangerous. Hunters shoot without hesitation at anything that moves.
just print 4 letters S*H*A*H in your site and the guns come out blazing.
Who are these anti-**** people presumably living in the west who hate him so much and why?
Do they really know their history or they just need to shoot?


Looks good

by Niki on

well, i hate to admit it, but the shah looks pretty good in these photos.


Soraya doesn't look her best in these photos

by farrad02 on

Soraya looks sort of puffed up and a little on the chubby side in these pictures. I have seen a lot better pictures of her, especially the photos of her during the 1960's and earlier when she had just separated from the Shah. She was beautiful!


They were undeniably regal.

by desi on

They were undeniably regal.


celebrating killing Iran's democorcy?

by asefati on

and handing the country over to the fanatics 20 years later?


Marg bar shah

by Na Shah na IRI (not verified) on

Where is he now? In the garbage bin of history where he belongs.

Darius Kadivar

Nudity Vs Vulnerability ...

by Darius Kadivar on

Funny how the Shah looks vulnerable in these pictures. One always remembers him in Uniform and full regalia but these photos bring him back to a more human and approchable level which ironically makes him also look more vulnerable.

In the years that followed he worked out more and it shows even in some of the photos where he appears more muscular with his wife and kids on the Caspian Shores.

Funny how images can influence one's perception of a person.

Hmm... I like Soraya's Cherry Lips and Looks.

MRP was indeed a Lucky Guy ! ... ;0)