* Ali Amini; Foe of Iran’s Islamic Government
Ali Amini, 87, a former Iranian official who became a major opponent of the Islamic government. Amini served as prime minister, U.S. ambassador and in other posts before Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi was toppled by fundamentalists in 1979. Amini fled into exile and led an opposition movement. Born into an aristocratic family linked to the Kajar Dynasty that preceded the Pahlavis, Amini was educated in France and received doctorates in law and economy at the Sorbonne. He was Iran’s finance minister in the 1950s before serving as ambassador to Washington from 1956 to 1958. Named prime minister in 1961, Amini launched the shah’s first agrarian reform project, an unpopular program opposed by the Shiite Muslim clergy and feudal landowners. Amini resigned in July, 1962. In the fall of 1978, with the shah weakened by the revolutionary stirrings led by Muslim clergy, Amini tried to save the shah’s regime. When the shah fell, Amini moved to France. By 1982, he had become coordinator of the Front for the Liberation of Iran, a monarchist movement opposing the Islamic Republic of Iran. But the movement never gained a high profile and, with Amini’s deteriorating health, sank into obscurity. Amini was honored in 1962 by French President Charles de Gaulle with the Grand Croix of the Legion of Honor. In Paris on Saturday.