Iranian Studies Directory

» Back to Listings    

Nahid Pirnazar


Academic Profile

UCLA lecturer

Sample Publications

                                 Nahid Pirnazar, Ph.D.

University of California

at Los Angeles

                                                                                                        September 5, 2017  



The Controversy of Mr. Shemuel Haim

Iranian Jewish Deputy in the 5th Session of Majles


Shemuel Yahazqel Haim, generally known as Mister/ Monsieur Haim  (b. Kermanshah 1891; executed in Tehran 1931)  was a journalist and a  deputy in the fifth session of the Majles. While working in the customs office in Kermanshah, he had developed contacts with representatives of the British government, contacts which continued after he moved to Tehran. To promote his candidacy for the sole Jewish deputy in the Majles, Mr. Haim established his own weekly publication named he-Haim through which he expressed his aspirations for the civil rights of Iranian Jews as a member of the Iranian nation.  After having won the election, he used his influence in two key areas, by developing his ties with the opposition in the Majles and by being bold enough to bring the attention of the League of Nations in Geneva to the oppression of the Jewish minority in Iran. Both causes strained his relations with the Iranian authorities.  His bad relation with the leaders of the Jewish community, cost him a second term in the Majles. Mr. Haim was arrested in October 1926, accused by the authorities, of conspiring to assassinate the Shah and plotting  to establish a republican regime. Mr. Haim’s non Jewish colleagues in the alleged conspiracy were executed immediately and, in spite of insufficient evidence against him, he was executed by firing squad in December 1931. To this day, the Iranian Jewish community remains divided as to whether he was a hero or someone whose ambitious aspirations  threatened  the entire Iranian Jewish community.  The discussion of this ambiguity, based on newly released British Public Records , can help us understand better this ambiguous Iranian Jewish personality.


Scholarly Interests


Current Position

lecturer, UCLA