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SAVAK

From Academic Kids

SAVAK (Persian: ساواک, short for سازمان اطلاعات و امنیت کشور Sazeman-i Ettelaat va Amniyat-i Keshvar, National Organization for Intelligence and Security) was the domestic security and intelligence service of Iran from 19571979.

It was founded in 1957 with the assistance of the CIA. Its mission was to protect the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran, and control opposition, especially political opposition. Its first director was General Teymur Bakhtiar, who was replaced by General Hassan Pakravan in 1961 and later assassinated. Pakravan was replaced in 1965 by General Nematollah Nassiri, a close associate of the Shah, and the service was reorganized and became increasingly active in the face of rising Islamic and Communist militancy and political unrest. SAVAK reported directly to the Office of the Prime Minister and had strong ties to the military.

The service had virtually unlimited powers of arrest and detention. It operated its own detention centres, like the notorious Evin Prison. It is universally accepted that SAVAK routinely subjected detainees to physical torture. In addition to domestic security the service's tasks extended to the surveillance of Iranians (especially students on government stipends) abroad, notably in the United States, France, and the United Kingdom.

Following the flight of the Shah in January 1979, SAVAK's 15,000 strong staff were targeted for reprisals, many of the senior officials were executed, and the organization was closed down by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini when he took power in February.

SAVAK has been replaced by the theologically guising SAVAMA, Sazman-e Ettela'at va Amniat-e Melli-e Iran, later renamed to the Ministry of Intelligence. The latter also referred to as VEVAK, Vezarat-e Ettela'at va Amniat-e Keshvar, though Iranians and the Iranian press never employ this term and use its official name as a Ministry.

External links

pl:SAVAK

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