Lotf Ali Khan


Lotf Ali Khan

Lotf Ali Khan (Persian:لطفعلى خان زند) (c. 1769-1794) was the last Shah of Persia (Iran) (reigned 1789-94) of the Zand dynasty.

The son of Jafar Khan, he came to the throne in 1789. He faced the resurgent Agha Mohammad Khan of the Qajar dynasty from 1792. He fought against him with his small army, then he escaped to the city of Shiraz and ordered the gates to be closed.

Lotf Ali lost Shiraz when his chancellor, Haji Ibrahim, betrayed him and opened the city gates to his enemy. Lotf Ali failed to capture Shahr-i Babak from Agha Muhammad Khan and turned towards the city of Kerman.

In 1793 he defeated the Qajars and in 1794 captured Kerman. But soon, he was besieged in Kerman for six months by Agha Mohammad Khan. When the city fell to Agha Mohammad Khan, angered by the popular support that Lotf Ali Khan had received, all the male inhabitants were killed or blinded, and a pile was made out of 20,000 detached eyeballs and poured in front of the victorious Agha Muhammad Khan. [Hasan Pir Nia, A. Eghbal Ashtiani, "History of Persia" (Tarikh-i Iran), ISBN 9646895166, Tehran, 2003, p.655] The women and children were sold into slavery, and the city was destroyed over ninety days.

Lotf Ali however escaped the siege but was again betrayed and captured soon after, near Bam. He was blinded personally by the hands of Agha Mohammad Khan, imprisoned in jail in Tehran and tortured to death by having his testicles cut off and a spear going through his heart [Hasan Pir Nia, A. Eghbal Ashtiani, "History of Persia" (Tarikh-i Iran), ISBN 9646895166, Tehran, 2003, p.655] .

His tomb is in Emamzadeh Zeid in the Old Bazaar of Tehran.His portrait is in the Museum of Fine Arts in Sadabad Palace.

References


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