Taqizdeh’s extraordinary career involves three distinct but interrelated phases. In the first he is an influential young intellectual of the constitutional revolution and becomes a leading spokesperson of the Democrat party. This is the “first Taqizadeh” who in 1910 goes into voluntary exile in Europe and does not return until 1923, having in the meantime led the Berlin National Committee of Iranian intellectuals against the Anglo-Russian intervention in their country. The second phase of Taqizadeh’s life — beginning with his membership of the fifth Majlis in 1923 and ending with his dismissal as the Iranian minister counselor in Paris in 1934 — shows him as a mature politician, no longer idealistic but still hoping to contribute to Iran’s sociopolitical development under Reza Shah Pahlavi’s new regime. It is in this phase that he signs the Anglo-Iranian oil agreement of 1933 against his own will and eventually ends up as an exile, this time as a professor at the University of London. In the third phase, Taqizadeh returns to Iran in 1947, having been Iranian ambassador to London for five years, and becomes a Majlis deputy and then chairman of the Senate. He is now far too advanced for Iranian politics and, although still a public figure until the early 1980s, keeps to the margins of political life. He then confides to Iraj Afshar his deep regret that he had vehemently opposed any compromise with Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar when the latter had willy-nilly tried to reach a settlement with the constitutionalists.

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