Amir Hossein Rabii
Amir Hossein Rabii
|Native name||امیرحسین ربیعی|
9 April 1979|
Qasr Prison, Tehran
|Service/branch||Imperial Iranian Air Force|
|Years of service||1949–1979|
|Commands held||Chief of the Imperial Iranian Air Force (1976 - 1979)|
Amir Hossein Rabii (Persian: امیرحسین ربیعی) (died 9 April 1979) was an Iranian senior military officer who served as the commander in chief of Imperial Iranian Air Force from 1976 to 1979. He was the last commander of the force.
Rabii was among the first military officers of the Imperial Iranian Air Force who were trained at the Furstenfeldbrook air base in Germany during the 1950s and later Reese Air Force Base in the United States. He and other military officers including Nader Jahanbani also took jet pilot instructor course at the air base.
Career and activities
Rabii was a fighter pilot on the F-86 Sabre and later the F-4 Phantom. After returning to Iran he contributed to the foundation of the acrobat team in the air force, named the Imperial Iranian Air Force Golden Crown Acro Jet Team, in 1958. He was the commander of the Shiraz air base until 1976. He served as commander in chief of Imperial Iranian Air Force (IIAF) from Spring 1976 to 1979 with the rank of lieutenant general. He succeeded Fazayel Tadayoun in the post. When he was in command, there were forty-eight thousand men in the air force. Barry Rubin, a veteran Middle East expert, described him as possibly "the most able officer in the top circles of the armed forces."
In August 1978, Rabii indirectly urged Moshe Dayan, then foreign minister of Israel, to meet the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and to tell him the increasing tension in Iran. Rabii complained that the Shah had been ignoring his and others' remarks. The visit was paid by Dayan in the following days.
Rabii was one of the military officials who met General Robert Huyser, then deputy commander of US forces in Europe, during the latter's visit to Iran from 4 January to 3 February 1979. Three days before leaving the country on 13 January, the Shah told all commanders, including Rabii, that they should support the government of Shahpour Bakhtiar. Following the 1979 revolution clashes occurred between supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini and people loyal to the Shah regime. Rabi'i instructed his men not to kill anyone on the other side. When then prime minister Bakhtiar ordered him to bomb the arms factory in central Tehran, he refused to carry out this order. Rabii did not support for the revolution, but a significant portion of the air force cadets and young skilled military technical personnel did. Sa'id Mehdiyun replaced Rabii as commander of the air force.
Rabii married a German woman, Gerda, and had two sons, Arean and Arman. His grandson, Jahan Rabii, is also a pilot.
Rabii was arrested in February 1979 along with Tehran martial law governor Mehdi Rahimi, air force general Ayat Mahaghghi (Mohagheghi) and Isfahan martial law governor Reza Naji, and they were all taken to Alawi school in Tehran. Special press conferences were organized by the Islamic regime to publicly display these officials, including former prime minister Amir Hoveyda, former SAVAK chief Nematollah Nasiri and Rabii, and these conferences were broadcast nationally. During the initial interrogations, Rabii stated that the air force purchased advanced warplanes and other military equipment from the US, which were all in the country, and that the air force of Iran was intact and the second powerful force in the world.
Rabii was secretly tried and in the court, he stated "General Huyser threw the Shah out of the country like a dead mouse." He was sentenced to death on charges of corruption on earth and treason among the others. Local dailies reported that the verdict was based on the confessions of other Shah-period officials. He and nine other civil and military officials were executed by the security forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Qasr prison of Tehran on 9 April 1979.
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