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Reputed to be more eloquent in French than most native speakers, Shapour Bakhtiar, Iran’s last prime minister before the Khomeini dictatorship, spent two extended stays in Paris. In the mid-1930s there, he studied political science, philosophy, law, and economics. He stayed in France during the war, serving in the army and as a Résistance courier, and afterward received his doctorate from the Sorbonne. Decades later, fleeing Khomeini’s revolutionary government and a death sentence in absentia, Bakhtiar made his way to Paris. In July 1980, he survived an assassination attempt at his home in the suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine. For over a decade, he led the social-democratic National Movement of Iranian Resistance (NAMIR; not to be confused with the National Council of Resistance of Iran, also headquartered in the French capital). In another Paris suburb, Suresnes, he was killed by two Iranian operatives in August 1991.

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