By: Mir M.Hosseini
In protest to Lebanon's refusal to extradite Teimur Bakhtiar, Iran broke ties with Lebanon.
Born in 1914 in Isfahan, Teimur Bakhtiar studied in Beirut together with Shapour Bakhtiar until he was admitted to a French military academy in 1933. Two years later, he returned to Iran and served as captain in Zahedan. During the WWII, he was dispatched to Isfahan. He became a colonel after active participation in battles against Russian backed separatists in Azerbaijan.
As the head of the Imperial Guards, he played an important role in the CIA backed coup in 1953, after which he became the military governor of Tehran. He became Iran's youngest three-star general in 1954 and was appointed as the head of Shah's notorious secret service, SAVAK in 1958. His luck did not last long when Shah dismissed him on March, 15, 1961, appointing General Pakravan as the new head of SAVAK.
Teimur Bakhtiar left Iran on Jan, 6, 1961 for France. His properties were confiscated. Bakhtiar retaliated by establishing contacts with Iranian dissidents abroad. That was indeed the source of Iran's political row with Lebanon. He was accused of serious charges including smuggling of arms, alongside injuring a cab driver in Tehran. Therefore, Iran broke diplomatic relations with Lebanon on April, 2, 1969 and refused permission to a Lebanese passenger jet to land at Mehrabad Airport on April, 7. Shah was showing his teeth.
Shortly after seeking refuge in Iraq, It did not come as surprise when Teimur Bakhtiar was assassinated near Baghdad on Aug, 7, 1970. There are many speculations about his assassin and his fate but Mohammad Reza Shah was himself quoted as claiming the assassination a personal success.
Shah's second wife, Queen Sorayya and his last prime minister Shapour Bakhtiar were relatives of Teimur Bakhtiar.
On Sep, 18, 1971, Iran-Lebanon relations became normal with the arrival of the new Lebanese Ambassador to Tehran.