Fereydoun Farrokh (May 5, 1926 – October 27, 2019)
Fereydoun Farrokh, a career diplomat, passed away on October 27, 2019. Born on May 5, 1926, Fereydoun Farrokh was the son of Senator Mehdi Farrokh who was to become an active member in the Iranian political arena from the early twentieth century (he had also fought in the Constitutional Movement) up to his passing in 1973.
Senator Mehdi Farrokh's book published after his mission to Afghanistan, first presented as papers and then published as conference proceedings in Tabriz, capital of Iran's Azerbaijan province (at Left). The Book cover reads "Tarikh e Mokhtasar e Afghanistan" [A Concise/Brief History of Afghanistan] which was published in Tabriz on August-September, 1937. At Right is Mehdi Farrokh's son Fereydoun Farrokh as a child in Afghanistan during his father's mission to that country. Note that Fereydoun holds a polo stick - the game of polo was invented in ancient Persia and continues to be a favorite cavalry sport in Persian-culture nations such as Iran and Afghanistan.
Mehdi Farrokh published his memories in a 2-volume book entitled “خاطرات سیاسی فرخ-Khaterat e Siyasiye Farrokh [The Political Memoirs of Farrokh]“ in 1968.
Mehdi Farrokh was among those officials and military leaders who deeply resented Anglo-Russian interference in Iran and the negative consequences this had upon the civilian population.
Fereydoun Farrokh in Georgian national dress in the late 1920s. The Farrokh’s family has had strong ties with the Caucasus which was largely part of Iran until the Russian invasions of the early 19th century.
Mehdi Farrokh’s father (or Fereydoun Farrokh’s grandfather) was Mir Seyyed Mahd Khan.
The Dar ol Fonnon Academy of Learning circa late 1890s or early 20th century (www.kavehfarrokh.com). This was Iran’s first modern Western-European type academy of learning which was originally founded by one of Iran’s greatest statesmen, Amir Kabir (1808-1862). Mir Seyyed Mahd Khan who was one of the donors for the Dar ol Fonoon at the time (sitting, hands clasped together, wearing north Iranian/Caucasian cape - see above red mark). In the center sits an unidentified Qajar prince – the identity of the other donors in the photo remain unknown.
Fereydoun Farrokh’s mother was Ezzat Saltaneh Tabatabai-Diba of the long-standing Diba family of northwest Iran. Ezzat Saltaneh was the daughter of Nasrollah (Haj Nasser Saltaneh) Tabatabai-Diba. The Diba family is one of the most long-standing families of Iran’s Azarbaijan province with a long history of public service. The Dibas are also closely related to the long-standing Zolfaqari clan.
Senator Mehdi Farrokh (top row at right) during his tenure in Rezaieh (modern Urumieh) in Azarbaijan province in the 1930s (www.kavehfarrokh.com). His wife, Ezzat Saltaneh Tabatabai-Diba is standing to the left). Mehdi and Ezzat’s daughters in the middle row are Victoria (left) and Parvin-dokht (right) and at the front row stands their son Fereydoun Farrokh. The youngest sister Maryam was not yet born.
Fereydoun Farrokh entered the diplomatic service from his early 20s and obtained his law degree from the University of Freiburg in Switzerland. His initial postings from the 1940s (after World War Two) as a career diplomat were in Brussels in Belgium and Bonn in Germany where he was to serve as Premier Councillor (de-facto Ambassador). Fereydoun Farrokh then served as chargé d'affaires in Athens, Greece.
Above is Fereydoun Farrokh (at left), the Iranian chargé d’affaires in Greece meeting with Evangelos Averoff (at right) the Greek Foreign Minister) in 1962 (Source: this photo has been published by Dr. Evangelos Venetis in his book "Greeks in Modern Iran" published in 2014) (www.kavehfarrokh.com). The Minister is entrusting a cheque on behalf of the Greek government to Farrokh to send to Iran to provide financial assistance for Iranian earthquake victims at the time. Kaveh Farrokh was born in Greece in 1962, during his father’s (Fereydoun Farrokh) diplomatic mission in that country.
Much of Fereydoun Farrokh’s subsequent diplomatic career was to be spent in both West and East Germany before the 1978-1979 revolution.
The Iranian embassy staff in Köln (Cologne), West Germany in 1965. The Iranian ambassador is Ali-Gholi Ardalan (in front row with white hair and glasses); Fereydoun Farrokh is seen in the back row to the right; Kaveh’s mother Mahvash Pirbastami stands on the front row to the left. Fereydoun Farrokh became Iran’s Premier Councillor to West Germany during this mission (www.kavehfarrokh.com).
With the retirement of Ali-Gholi Ardalan as ambassador to West Germany shortly after 1965, Fereydoun Farrokh became de-facto Ambassador, or more specifically, premier councillor.
Fereydoun Farrokh and Mahavash Pirbastami welcome the Chinese ambassador in a reception held at the Iranian embassy in Köln (Cologne), West Germany in circa 1966 or 1967 (www.kavehfarrokh.com).
Fereydoun Farrokh's most important post was that of Iranian ambassador to East Germany in 1973-1977.
Fereydoun Farrokh Iran’s first ambassador to East Germany being greeted by a military honour guard in East Berlin in early September 1973 (www.kavehfarrokh.com).
Germany had been divided in two as a consequence of the defeat of the Nazis in 1945. The country (and its capital Berlin) became partitioned into Western and Eastern zones by the Western allies and the former Soviet Union respectively. The Berlin Wall finally came down in late 1989 which quickly led to the re-unification of Germany.
Fereydoun Farrokh’s final post before the 1979 revolution was to engage in a supervisory tour of all of Iranian diplomatic missions in East Asia, notably Korea, Japan and Hong Kong.
Fereydoun Farrokh at his office in the Iranian Embassy in East Berlin in 1975 (www.kavehfarrokh.com).