Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Shahriar Shafiq


Age: 34
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam (Shi'a)
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: December 7, 1979
Location of Killing: Paris, France
Mode of Killing: Extrajudicial shooting

About this Case

Second son of the Shah’s twin, Mr. Shafiq served as a respected captain of the Imperial Navy, as well as head of Iran’s Karate and Judo Federation.  Last of the Pahlavis to leave Iran. 

Information on the assassination of Captain Shahriar Shafiq was drawn from the Memoirs of Ayatollah Khalkhali, the first religious judge appointed by Ayatollah Khomeini to preside over the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal. Further information was taken from the Kayhan newspaper dated 8 December 1979; a face book page assigned to Mr. Shafiq; the official website of Princess Ashraf Pahlavi; and the Qoqnus website. Mr. Shahriar Shafiq was a highly-ranked officer of the Imperial Iranian Navy.  He had fled Iran for Paris a week after the victory of the Islamic Revolution and nine months before his extra-judicial execution.

Mr. Shafiq was born in Cairo on 15 March 1945. He was the second child of Princess Ashraf Pahlavi, twin sister of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. His father, Ahmad Shafiq, was a son of the former minister of Egypt’s royal court and director of commercial aviation companies in Egypt. Shahriar Shafiq studied at Razi High School and continued his studies in the Britannia Royal Naval School (BRNS) at Dartmouth, in England. While studying at the Naval College, he was presented the Sword of Honor. He started his carrier at the Imperial Navy as a Lieutenant Commander of the Bayandor Destroyer in Khoramshahr. He was appointed as the Commander of the Imperial Iranian Navy’s destroyer fleet in 1975. In March 1978, he was also appointed as the head of the Judo and Karate Federation. He was married to Maryam Eqbal (daughter of Prime Minister Manuchehr Eqbal) and had two sons named Nader and Dara.

According to his mother, Mr. Shafiq was “a person of character, integrity and principle. He was generous, selfless and unswervingly patriotic. He was a soldier, willing to sacrifice greatly for his country and people. He would lay down his life for his motherland. (Princess Ashraf Pahlavi’s website)

Arrest and detention

Mr. Shafiq was never arrested.


Ayatollah Khalkhali emphasizes in his memoir that Mr. Shafiq was tried in absentia. There is no official evidence, however, that his case was examined in a public trial.


In a statement published in Kayhan on 08 December 1979, Ayatollah Khalkhali accused Mr. Shafiq of “intending to repeat the 1953 Iranian coup d'état, in order to break up the country into several provinces and to brutally kill millions of people.”  The name of Mr. Shahriar Shafiq was later mentioned in his memoirs, in a list of people executed by order of Mr. Khalkhali. According to Mr. Khalkhali, these people were all charged with "corruption on earth," which he defined in the following terms:  "A Corruptor on Earth is a person who contributes to spreading and expanding corruption on earth. Corruption is what leads to the decline, destruction, and deviation of society from its nature. People who were executed had strived in spreading corruption and prostitution; circulating heroin, opium, and licentious behavior; atheism; murder; betrayal; flattery; and, in sum, all these vile qualities. These people’s problems were aggravated by the fact that they did not repent, once they saw the people’s revolution."  

Evidence of guilt

Ayatollah Khalkhali does not provide any evidence against Mr. Shafiq, neither in his memoir nor in his statement published in Kayhan


Mr. Shafiq was denied the right to defend himself. He was not aware of being prosecuted by Iran's judicial authorities.


While leaving his mother’s house at 1:00 in the afternoon of Friday, 07 December 1979, Mr. Shafiq was shot and killed by two bullets into the back of his neck and head in Villa Dupont street in Paris. The day after, Kayhan quoted the Agence France-Presse and wrote: “An eyewitness described the assassin as a young man between 25- and 30-years-old, who was wearing a biker’s jacket. He followed Mr. Shafiq for several steps, took the pistol close to the back of his neck, and shot him. He then got on his motor bike and left. The police found two shells from a 9mm pistol at the scene.” 

Kayhan, quoting Agence France-Presse, says that, several hours later, an unknown person took responsibility for the terror via a telephone call and said, “Shafiq had to be removed (or killed), keeping in line with our liberation activities. He was an enemy of our faith and our people.” He also added that, “He helped the international Zionists and we killed him. He concluded his talk with, “Long Live Khomeini!”

Kayhan published a statement by Ayatollah Khalkhali in the same report, as a leader of Fada’yan-e Eslam. Ayatollah Khalkhali announces in this statement that “Fada’yan-e Eslam’s warriors” executed Mr. Shafiq.

Three years after Mr. Shafiq’s death on 29 March 1982, the Ettela’at newspaper wrote on page 11, “Martyr Seyed Abdollah Borghe’i, one of the passionate young Hezbollahi people of Qom, who made tireless efforts to combat counter-revolutionary groups and to remove the "Liberals" from the political scene.  He was the one who executed Shahriar Shafiq, nephew of the Shah, in Paris, shot him twice and left without leaving a clue of his presence.”

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