A chance encounter diverted Abdolreza Ansari from completing his PHD in the US, and set him on a professional journey which mirrored the prolific rise and the precipitous fall of the regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran. Ansari's government career took off when he became Iran's Treasurer General at the age of 32. In this role he restructured the fiscal management of the country and revamped its social security system. He was appointed Minister of Labor and Social Affairs at 34, where he created the Workers' Welfare Bank to support the labour force of the country. As Iran was about to enter a period of rapid development, Ansari was called upon to take charge of the largest development project of the time, the construction of the Dez Dam in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan. Subsequently, Ansari was appointed Minister of Interior where he conducted national parliamentary and city council elections in a single day for the first time in Iran's history. His plan for the urban rehabilitation of towns and population centres continues to be the basis for municipal governance to this day. Ansari's political career was derailed following a cabinet reshuffle.
However, he was hand-picked by the Shah to manage the many charitable organizations headed by the monarch's twin sister, Princess Ashraf Pahlavi. When the Iranian government began preparations for the commemoration of Iran's 2500 years of continued monarchical rule, he was appointed deputy head of the celebration's organizing committee. Prior to the 1979 Revolution, he initiated, introduced and implemented the programmes of Protection of Families and the National Movement for Philanthropy. Ansari's proximity to the Iranian royal court including the Shah and Princess Ashraf and his encounters with a multitude of well-known personalities make these conversations a unique and valuable historical source for the pre-revolutionary period in Iran."
Abdolreza Ansari was a key political figure in pre-revolutionary Iran. Born in 1925, he studied at Tehran University and Utah State University. He entered government service, initially joining the Ministry of Labor and shortly thereafter, transferring to the Ministry of National Economy. During his thirty years of service, Ansari served in a number of ministerial positions, including Deputy Director of Iran-American Joint Fund for Economic Development, Deputy Minister of State for Foreign Assistance, Treasurer General of Iran, Minister of Labor, Managing Director of Khuzestan Water and Power Authority, Governor General of Khuzestan Province, Minister of the Interior, and Managing Director of The Imperial Organization for Social Services. Following the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Ansari took up residence in Paris, where he continues to live.
Foreword by Jamshid Amuzegar, Prime Minister of Iran (1977-1978) Introduction From Birth to Employment The Americans in Iran The Treasury From the New Iran Group to the Nationalist Party At the Ministry of Labour Establishment of the Khuzestan Water and Power Authority Governorship in Khuzestan At the Ministry of Interior The Period After the Ministry Princess Ashraf's Deputy for Social, Economic and Cultural Affairs Celebration at Persepolis Final Questions