Paris, 26 Nov. (IPS) Iran’s last press giant, Dr Mostafa Mesbahzadeh, better known as “The Father of modern Iranian journalism” died on Friday 24 November 2006 in San Diego, California, after a long suffering. He was 97.
Founder and owner of Keyhan newspaper, Dr Mesbahzadeh, born in south of Iran in 1908, launched the paper on 1933, after his return to Tehran from France, where he studied laws, and at a time that Iran was occupied by Allied forces.
At that time, Etela’at, owned by Mr. Abbas Mas’oudi, another press mogul, was Iran’s only serious newspaper and because of that, it was considered as the unofficial voice of the country’s governments.
From the beginning, Dr Mesbahzadeh, who became a deputy at the Majles and then a Senator, took a more independent, if not a bit left leaning line that quickly attracted a large section of Iranians, mostly among the intelligentsia community.
But probably Mesbahzadeh's most distinguished achievement was the creation of Iran’s first University of Journalism that produced generations of Iranian journalists.
As time passed, Keyhan grew to become Keyhan Institute, printing Keyhan International in English that became the Middle East’s best English-language newspaper, editions in Arabic and French, as well as sports, children and women weeklies, most of them among largest circulations.
But probably his most distinguished achievement was the creation of Iran’s first University of Journalism that produced generations of Iranian journalists and one that, according to Mas’oud Behnoud, a veteran journalist, was viewed by the former Iranian Monarch as “the University for producing guerilleros”.
All along its life until its confiscation by the Islamic Revolution of 1979, a great number of Iranian intellectuals, writers and poets collaborated with the progressive daily which, in turn, offered Iran several of its most distinguished newsmen and commentators, including Dr. Adbdolrahman Faramarzi, the paper’s first and longest serving Editor in Chief, known for his fiery editorials.
Keyhan, like Etela’at, was nationalized by the new Islamic regime and Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i, the regime’s leader, appointed Mr. Hoseyn Shari’atmadari, a security agent, specializing in interrogating dissidents, as the paper’s Chief Editor, making Keyhan, once the most popular and respected of Iranian newspapers, the most hated daily.
Dr Mesbahzadeh left Iran and quickly afterward launched a Persian weekly newspaper from London named Keyhan e Landan (Keyhan of London), with the help of several leading Iranian newsmen who had also fled the new Islamic regime. ENDS MESBAHZADEH 261106