ʿALĀʾ-AL-SALṬANA, MĪRZĀ MOḤAMMAD-ʿALĪ KHAN, Qajar diplomat and minister (d. 14 Ramażān 1336/23 June 1918; Figure 1). The son of the Iranian consul general in Baghdad, Mīrzā Ebrāhīm Khan, he was born in that city in 1254/1838. In 1276/1859-60 he became consul general in Bombay, a post he held until 1287/1870-71 (Eʿtemād-al-salṭana, Montaẓam-e Nāṣerī, Tehran, 1298-1300/1881-83, III, pp. 267, 301). In 1288/1871 he was given the title Moʿīn-al-wezāra and appointed deputy governor of Gīlān by Mīrzā Saʿīd Khan, the foreign minister, and in 1296/1877-78 he was consul general in Baghdad (ibid., pp. 320, 357). According to Eʿtemād-al-salṭana (Rūz-nāma-ye ḵāṭerāt, ed. Ī. Afšār, Tehran, 1345 Š./1966, p. 150) in 1299/1881-82 he became a member of the Maǰles-e Taḥqīq. Sometime later he was appointed consul general in Tiflis, a position he held until 1307/1889, when he entertained Nāṣer-al-dīn Shah on his way back from his third European trip. Displeased with Malkom Khan, the Iranian minister in London, the Shah replaced him with Moḥammad-ʿAlī Khan; at this point he received the title ʿAlāʾ-al-salṭana (Rūz-nāma-ye ḵāṭerāt, p. 674). During the constitutional period he was back in Iran as a member of various cabinets; in Ṣafar, 1331/January, 1913 he became prime minister, a position he enjoyed for seven months. His sons, who include Mīrzā Mahdī Khan Mošīr-al-molk (ʿAlāʾ-al-salṭana II), Ḥosayn ʿAlāʾ, the well-known statesman, and Dr. Moḥammad ʿAlāʾ, were all educated in England.
Bibliography: See also Bāmdād, Reǰal III, pp. 447-49.
(Ḥ. Maḥbūbī Ardakānī)
Originally Published: December 15, 1984
Last Updated: July 29, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 7, p. 784
Ḥ. Maḥbūbī Ardakānī, “ʿALĀʾ-AL-SALṬANA,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/7, p. 784; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ala-al-saltana-mirza-mohammad-ali-khan-qajar-diplomat-and-minister-d (accessed on 17 May 2014).