|Biographical detail : ||Iranian feminist
A born princess who renounced her own title as it did not fit in with her Marxist ideals, Princess Maryam Firouz Farman Farmayan simply became Maryam Firouz and engaged in political feminist movement in Iran.
An intellectual quest drove Maryam towards communism, to the dismay of much of her family, with a lasting impact. She joined the communist Tudeh (people’s) party that was founded in 1941. Her move attracted huge media attention and she was dubbed the “Red Princess.” She was one of the founder members of the Tudeh women’s organisation.
In April 1950, Muhammad Mossadegh, a cousin of Maryam, became prime minister. He was committed to oil nationalisation, which triggered a crisis with the British. Maryam, by then part of politics at the highest level, was said to have been involved in the 1953 revolution.
The Anglo-American-backed coup, Operation Ajax, toppled Mossadegh in August 1953. The Tudeh party was banned, Mossadegh was arrested and Maryam went into hiding. Three years after she went into exile in Eastern Europe.
After the 1979 Islamic revolution, Maryam returned to Iran. She headed the Iran Democratic Women’s Organisation. In April 1983, Tudeh party was banned and she was led to house arrest. Her health deteriorated after the death of her husband in 1990, which was a sad blow. She never lost her interest in politics and women’s issues.
Princess Maryam Firouz Farman Farmayan was born in the provincial city of Kermanshah and was educated in Tehran at a prestigious French school.