By: Mir M.Hosseini
On Jan, 18, 1937, shortly after cutting diplomatic ties with the U.S., Iran withdrew the Minister Plenipotentiary from Paris because of a pun, as a French newspapers had published photographs of a Paris cat labeled 'Son Majeste le Chat!' meaning his majesty the cat. The word for cat in French reads very similar to the word Shah in Persian meaning king. However, it took two years for the French government to persuade the Shah that he was not being ridiculed, and normal relations were re-established on Feb. 21, 1939.
French newspapers had started mocking the Ahmad Shah of Persia for his irresponsible behaviors in French Riviera while Iran was living in turmoil. Ahmad Shah, the last king of the Qajar dynasty was soon toppled and replaced by Reza Khan after a British backed coup in 1921. Reza Shah who declared himself Shahanshah (king of kings) and later refused to lend Iranian art objects to the Paris International Exhibition in May, 1937 thus giving an international signal that he wanted to see some respect.
Although he was not educated, Reza Shah is known to have been a smart man with vision and determinacy.