Shah’s Handwritten Letter Found by Iranian Police in Illegal Antique Shop

By Azadeh Karimi                                                      

Tehran police have discovered a handwritten letter by the late Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi (1919-1980) during a raid on an illegal antique shop, the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported.

The police reportedly found the letter inside a rare, stolen Quran. The letter bears the Pahlavi royal stamp on the top and Shah’s signature at the bottom. In the letter, the Shah highlights the importance of placing the correct diacritical marks (or accents) in the text before the publication of the Quran.



the handwritten letter that bears the Pahlavi royal stamp on the top and Shah’s signature at the bottom. Source: Kayhan London

Acting on an anonymous tip, officers stationed in the central Baharestan district of Tehran raided a house on Sa’adi street, where they seized a large inventory of historical objects including tiles, mirrors, clay water jugs, porcelain earthenware, and the Quran with the Shah’s letter inside, all dating back to the Qajar dynasty (1796-1925).

The police also found drug-related items at the house and arrested a 50-year-old man who confessed to trading in antiques without an operating license. They also detained the man’s 35-year-old brother, who was in the house at the time of the raid. Both men are drug addicts.

Experts from the Cultural Heritage, Handcraft and Tourism Organization of Iran have been examining and authenticating the objects.

[Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi]