Monday, August 30, 2010

Mehdi Samii, Central Banker and Elder Statesman, Dies in Los Angeles

By Nader Uskowi

Mehdi Samii, a member of the intellectual and political elites during the Shah’s era, died in Los Angeles in early August at the age of 92. Samii was a prominent banker and central planner and was the long-time director of Iran’s Central Bank and the country’s influential Plan Organization. Samii was the grandson of Adib-ol Saltaneh, a leading statesman during the Qajar and Reza Shah era, and the son of Nabil-ol Molk, a leading figure of the prominent Samii family in Rasht.

Samii’s directorship of the Central Bank coincided with the tenure of other prominent figures running the country’s economy in 1960s and 70s. Among them were Alinaghi Alikhani, the minister of economy; Safi Asfia, the director of Plan Organization; and Abolqasem Kheradjoo, the director of the Bank of Industries and Mines. Together they led Iran’s economy during one of its golden periods.

Sadly, the city of Rasht lost three of its prominent sons this month: Mehdi Samii; Ali Behzadi, a senior journalist and former editor of Sepid-O-Siah, who died at the age of 85 in Tehran; and Bahman Mohasses, a popular painter and sculpturist, who died at the age of 79 in Rome.

I was related to Mehdi Samii. He was a cousin of my mother, Soraya “Mimi” Samii. I extend my belated condolences, due to traveling and lack of easy access to the Internet, to Mehdi Samii’s family and to all students of Iran’s economy and politics. Also my condolences to the people of Rasht for loosing three prominent sons in a single month.


reader said...

It is very sad to bid mortal farewells to such distinguished figures from my city, but it is wonderful when they leave a great legacy for the next generation. My thoughts are with Samii, Behzadi and Mohasses families

Unknown said...

I was sad about Mehdi´s passing away.
Mohsen Mirab Samii