The well-founded history of the family goes back to more than 300 years ago. The family members have mainly been notable for being the hereditary viziers of the province of Kermanshahan during the Qajar era, the descendants of the vizier and court historian of Nader Shah Afshar, Mirza Mehdi Khan Esterabadi, and important figures in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1905. They bore the honorific titles of Mirza and Khan from the 17th century onwards and received individual titles of nobility from 1736 until 1925 from the Afshar and the Qajar dynasties
Around 400 years ago, during the reign of the Safavid dynasty (1501-1736), the ancestors resided in Esterabad (current day Gorgan), a former prominent city located in the North-Eastern area of Iran. The oldest ancestor whose information is available is Mirza Nassir Khan Esterabadi, a bureaucrat living in the 17th century.
His son Mirza Mehdi Khan Monshi-Mamalek Etemad-Dowleh Esterabadi, grew up as a scribe in the Safavid court. He defended Nader Shah Afshar when the Afghans invaded Persia and he became his official chief secretary, court historian, biographer and advisor when Nader became the king from 1736 to 1747. He is known to be a prominent intellectual and author of his era. In 1747, Mirza Mehdi Khan was appointed as the Persian ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. In the same year, Nader Shah was assassinated and Esterabadi went back to Persia with an army in an attempt to put a Safavid prince on the throne, but the army was defeated by Karim Khan Zand. Esterabadi spent the rest of his life writing books and poetry. He wrote the most well-known history of the Afsharid era called Târikh-e Jahângoshây-e Nâderi which was translated into French in 1770 as Histoire de Nader Chah, Empereur de Perse by Sir William Jones on behalf of King Christian VII of Denmark and was later translated into English as The History of the Life of Nader Shah, King of Persia. Mirza Mehdi Khan died some time between 1759 and 1768.
The Qajar dynasty took power in Persia or Iran in 1794. Persia at that time was divided into 5 provinces (Hokmrani) and 12 governments (Hokoomat). The administration changed during the reign of Nasereddin Shah Qajar (who ruled from 1848 to 1896) and Iran was then divided into 4 provinces (Iyalat) and 23 governments (Velayat).
Kermanshahan was part of the second largest and most important province after Azerbaijan which included Kurdistan, Kermanshahan, Persian Irak (Isfahan, Ray, Qazvin, Kashan) and Lorestan. Kermanshahan itself was an important government of western Persia and was affluent thanks to its fertile soil and advantageous geographical position being the main border with the Ottoman Empire and the important city of Baghdad.
In the beginning of the Qajar era, the Zangeneh family came to power in Kermanshahan and in an effort to bring in notable intellectual forces from the other regions of the Empire, the chieftains contacted Esterabadi's son Mirza Bozorg Vazir who moved from Shiraz to Kermanshahan and became the vizier of the government.
Mirza Abolghassem Vazir's son, Mirza Ahmad Khan Motazed-Dowleh Vaziri (1869-1924), followed his ancestors' path and was the vizier of the government of Kermanshahan. He also was one of the great figures in the Constitutional and Freedom movement that occurred in Persia in the beginning of the 20th century. He founded the first private school of Kermanshah called "National Sherafat school", under the direction of Mirza Mohammad Khan Vaziri. In 1905, he founded the school of Law of Kermanshah and appointed Prince Mohammad Bagher Mirza Khosravi as its principal.
He also created the first printing office of Kermanshah called Sherafat Ahmadi. Furthermore he imported the engines from India, which put Kermanshah at the same level as Tehran, Tabriz and Shiraz. It was one of the first printing offices in Persia. This printing office led to the creation of the first newspaper of Kermanshah in 1906 called Rooznaameye Kermanshah (the Newspaper of Kermanshah), which was under the direction of Seyyed Hedayatollah Fasih-ol-Motokallemin. The newspaper had modern contents and promoted democratic values and was therefore later forbidden by Salar-ed-Dowleh. He published and helped in the development of important books such as Shams o Tagra, Ghassed e Soltani, Divaane Mohammad Bagher Mirza Khosravi, Makhsane Laali, Shabaabe Kermanshahi, Shahnameye Laahooti.
Because of his fight for freedom and democracy against the existing absolute monarchy, his estates were often attacked. When the anti-constitutionalist king Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar sent Salar-ed-Dowleh to Kermanshah to fight against constitutionalists, Vaziri went to Tehran, with Mirza Ali Khan Sartip and other important constitutionalists of Kermanshah to form an alliance with the constitutionalists and liberals of Tehran. Salar-ed-Dowleh closed the printing office and newspaper of Kermanshah but Vaziri didn't accept it and went back from Tehran to open them again.
Motazed-Dowleh's brother Mirza Ali Akbar Khan a.k.a. Mirza Ali Jaan (d. 1909), was well-known for his courage: he stayed in Kermanshah to fight for the Constitutional revolution but was assassinated by Salar-ed-Dowleh in 1909.
In 1914 during the First World War, there was a famine in Iran and Motazed-Dowleh donated 500 tons of wheat to the people of Kermanshahan, and opened a bakery that would distribute bread to people. He also purchased people's properties for high prices and gave them back to their former owners as a means to help.
Motazed-Dowleh was elected as a deputy of the first parliament of Persia during its fourth term. He died of an infarct in 1923.
The district called Barzeh Damagh in Kermanshah was renamed Vaziri and a square named Vaziri Square (Meydoone Vaziri) was built. Motazed-Dowleh's mansion is today classified as a national monument. During the end of the 19th century, as well as in the beginning of the 20th century, the family became closely related to the ruling dynasty by intermarrying with the Qajar princely families, as well as with other families present in the royal court of Tehran.
Motazed-Dowleh's eldest son, Mirza Mehdi Khan Motazed-Dowleh II Vaziri was a chief tax inspector of Kermanshah and Hamedan and a controller in the ministry of finance. He died in 1963. His second son, Mirza Abolghassem Khan Motazed-Daftar Vaziri was born in 1908. He completed his education in the American University of Beirut in 1918 and graduated in electronic engineering from the University of Grenoble in France in 1937. He was among the first (modern university educated) engineers of Iran. Today, the family mostly resides in Tehran, Europe and North America.
*: « We must stress the importance of these socio-economic classes from urban backgrounds, and their impressive presence in the device of the Qâjâr power. The stability of the dynasties of vazir (vizier), through the waltz of the Safavid, Afshâr and Zand dynasties already testified of their importance. », Pouvoir et succession en Iran: les premiers Qâjâr, 1726-1834 by Hormoz Ebrahimnejad
Vaziri Square in Kermanshah
"History of Nader Shah" (Taarikhe Jahangoshaaye Naaderi), 1759, Mirza Mehdi Khan Esterabadi
"ASTARABADI, MIRZA (MOHAMMAD) MAHDI KHAN B. MOHAMMAD-NASSIR" in Encyclopaedia Iranica, by J.R. Perry
"Sword of Persia" by Michael Axworthy
"The Cambridge History of Iran" by P. Avery, G. R. G. Hambly and C. Melville
"Vaziri Family" in "Historical Geography and Comprehensive History of Kermanshahan" (Tarikhe Mofassale Kermanshahan), 1994, Mohammad-Ali Soltani
"Political Parties and Secret Societies in Kermanshah", 1999, Mohammad-Ali Soltani
"A History of Journalism in the Persian-Speaking World ", 1998, Nassereddin Parvin
"La Perse d'Aujourd'hui", 1908, Eugène Aubin
Archives of the American University of Beiruth and the University of Grenoble
Website of the Municipality of Kermanshah: http://kermanshahcity.ir/index.aspx?siteid=1&pageid=1382
"Motazed-Dowleh, from the creation of the printing office to the foundation of school", 2015, Farzaneh Karami, Hamshahri newspaper