Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership
Heads of State of Iran An ancient Kingdom became an Islamic Republic in 1979

See also Iran Substates, Iranian Exile Leaders and Iran Ministers

BCE 521-482 Co-reigning Queen Atossa (Hutaosa) of Persia
She was married to her broter, Kambyses II (529-22), co-ruler with second husband, Darios ) and as dowager Queen she was very influential during reign of king Xerxes I (486-65)

227-43 Influential Queen Denak of the
Sasanian Empire
Sister and wife of Ardeshir Papakan, the founder of the Sasanian Dynasty. One of her seals has survived and is currently at the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg and shows her without her husband. The Sasanian aristocratic women had great wealth and influence and managed their extensive wealth with their own administration.

309-32? Regent Dowager Queen N.N. of Persia
For King Sapur II the Great (309-79) of the Sassanide Dynasty

630-31 Queen Regnant Purandokht of Persia

631-32 Regent Dowager Queen Azarmedukht
of Persia
Succeded her sister, but died within less than a year.

Around 976 Politically Influential Dowager Queen of Persia
Together with vizier Abu'l-Husain 'Abd-Allah ibn Ahmad 'Utbi, she assisted her son, Nuh II ibn Mansur, of the Samanid Dynasty (d. 997) who ascended to the throne as a youth.

997-1028/29 Regent for the Caliph-Governor Sayuda Sirin Hatyn of Gabal of Persia
She was regent for son and grandson, both of the Bayide Dynasty

1172-74 Politically Influential Terken Khatun of the Khwarezmian Empire

After the death of her husband, Shah Il-Arslan, his sons began fighting over who would succeed him. Sultan Shah was the younger son, but he was considered the formal heir and she placed him on the throne. The elder son, Tekish, fled to the Qara Khitai and was given a large army, and he soon set off for Khwarazm. She and her son decided to flee, and Tekish installed himself in Khwarazm unopposed in December 1172, but she gained the support of Mu'ayyad al-Din Ai-Aba, a former Seljuk Amir who had set himself up in Nishapur since the collapse of Seljuk power there, he led an army into Khwarazm, but was defeated, captured and executed. Her son eventually found refuge with the Ghurids, but she was hunted down and killed by Tekish's forces.


1200-20 De-facto Co-Ruler Terken Khatun of Khwarezmian Empire

After the death of her partner, 'Ala' al-Din Tekish (1172-1200), she so dominated the court of their son, 'Ala' al-Din Muhammad II (1200-20) and quarreled so bitterly with his heir by another wife, Jalal al-Din, that she may have contributed to the impotence of the Khwarazmshahi kingdom in the face of the Mongol onslaught. She had a separate Divan and separate palace and the orders of the sultan were not considered to be effective without her signature. The Shah ruled the heterogeneou peoples without mercy. In face of Mongol attacks, Khwarazm empire, with a combined army of 400.000, simply collapsed.  Harezmshah Muhammed had retreated to Samarkand towards the end of his domination and he had to leave the capital city of Gurgenç to her.

1208-20 Queen Ahmadilidyn of the Urmiya Dynasty of Persia
She succeded her father as head of the Ahmadilit-dynasty

1252-60 Regent Orgina Khatun of Khurasan

1316-17 Acting Caliph Governor Qutlug Sah Hatun of Persia
Member of a Mongol Governor-dynasty.

1325-36 Politically Influential Baghdad Khatun of the Ilkhanate (Iran)
he was first married to Shaykh Hasan Buzurg, founder of the Jalayirid dynasty, whom she married in 1323. Two years later, they divorced on the orders of her uncle, Abu Said, the Ilkhan, and they married in 1327, and now enjoyed a period of unprecedented power as the harem favorite, even acquiring the honorific title of Khudawandigar [sovereign]. 1331-32, she briefly fell from grace because of accusations that she had plotted the assassination of Abu Said with her former husband, but in the following year she was restored to favour.  Another blow to her authority came in 734/1333-34, when Abu Sa'id married her niece, Dilshad Khatun, and elevated the latter to the rank of principal wife. She displayed her resentment at her diminished status and when, according to Ibn Battuta, Abu Sa'id died in 1335, she was accused of poisoning him and was beaten to death in her bathhouse either by order of his amirs or his successor, Arpa.

1338-39 Al-sultana al-radila Sati Bek Khan Khallad Allah mulkaha of the Mongols Il Khans Empires in Persia
Also known as Sati Beg Hatun, her title meant: "The just sultana Sati Bek, may Allah perpetuate her reign". 1319 she was married to the Amir Coban, one of the most powerful individuals in the Ilkhanid court, but when he came into conflict with her brother, Ilkhan Abu Sa'id , she was returned to the Ilkhan, and her husband executed. After her brother's death in 1335, the Ilkhanate began to disintegrate. By 1336, she and her son Surgan had taken the side of the founder of the Jalayirid dynasty, Hasan Buzurg. After the latter seized control of western Persia, Surgan was made governor of Qarabag (in modern Azerbaijan), where they moved to. However, when a grandson of Coban, Hasan Kucek, defeated Hasan Buzurg in July 1338, she defected to his camp. Taking advantage of her family ties, Hasan Kucek raised her to the Ilkhanid throne in July or August of that year. Her nominal authority did not extend beyond the Chobanid domains of northwestern Persia. Hasan Buzurg, who still controlled southwestern Persia and Iraq, requested the assistance of another claimant of the Ilkhanid throne named Togha Temur. The latter invaded the Chobanid lands in early 1339. Hasan Kucek, however, promised her hand in marriage to him in exchange for an alliance. This proved, however, to be a ruse; the intent was merely to alienate Hasan Buzurg from Togha Temur. The Jalayirids withdrew their support, and Togha Temur was forced to retreat without gaining her. Meanwhile, Hasan Kucek was growing suspicious of her and her son. Realizing that she was too valuable to be removed completely, he deposed her and then forced her to marry his new candidate for the throne, Suleiman Khan. Hasan Kucek was murdered late in 1343 and her son Surgan found himself competing for control of the Chobanid lands with the late ruler's brother Malek Asraf and his uncle Yagi Basti. When he was defeated by Malek Asraf, he fled to his mother and stepfather. The three of them then formed an alliance, but when Hasan Buzurg decided to withdraw the support he promised, the plan fell apart, and they fled to Diyarbakr. Surgan was defeated again in 1345 by Malek Asraf and they fled to Anatolia. Coinage dating from that year appears in Hesn Kayfa in her name - the last trace of her. Surgan moved from Anatolia to Baghdad, where he was eventually executed by Hasan Buzurg; she may have suffered the same fate, but this is unknown. (d. sometime after 1345).

1577-80 Regent Dowager Queen Mahid-I Uliyah of Persia
She was regent for Shah Mohammed

1848-73 Politically Influential Maleka Jahan Khanum of Persia
Her official name was H.M The Mahd-i-'Aliua, also spelled Mahd-e Olia, "Sublime Cradle," she was grand-daughter of Fath 'Ali Shah, who was shah (1797-1834), wife of her cousin Mohammad Shah (1834-48) and mother of Nasser-ed-Din Shah (1848-96). She was one of the strongest women of the Qajar (Kadjar) Dynasty. Wielding her power from the Harem, once her son ascended the throne of Persia. She ensured the strengthening and survival of the Qajar nobility against the rivalries by commoners elevated to positions of prominence as a result of policies of successive Qajar (Kadjar) Shahs. She is characterized as an accomplished and cunning woman of some political gifts, strong personality, and characterized the undercurrent of matriarchy in the Qajar elite. She lived (1805-73). 

1941-79 Politically Influential HIH Princess Ashraf Pahlavi of Iran
In 1946 her twin brother, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, send her to negotiate with Stalin in the Kremilin, to secure the return of some Soviet occupied parts of Iran. She was Head of the Woman's Organization of Iran and a Special Ambassador to the United Nations. Her first two marriages ended in divorce, her third husband died. According to Iranian usage, her sons two sons and their children had the title H.H. Prince and father's surname. Her daughter is H.H. Princess and the husband's surname. (b. 1919-).

2005 Vice-President and Minister of Environmental Protection Prof. Dr. Masoumeh Ebtekar
(b. 1961-)

2005-09 Vice-President Fatemeh Javadi
Also Head of the Environmental Protection Organisation. Until her appointment she was paleontologist teaching at the University of Shiraz.

2009-13 Vice-President for Science and Technology Dr. Nasrin Soltankhah
Member of the Theran City Council since 2003 and Cabinet Member and Director of the Center for Women's Participation and Presidential Advisor on Women’s Affairs 2005-09

2009-13 Vice-President for Juridical Affairs Fatemeh Bodaghi

2009-13 Vice-President and Head of National Youth Organization Farahnaz Torkestani

2013- Vice-President for Legal Affairs Elham Aminzadeh
MP 2004-008 and Vice-Chair of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee.

Last update 13.09.13