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Obituary: Ali Amini

BAQER MOIN's admirable account of Ali Amini's career (obituary, 17 December) makes no mention - apart from stating that he incurred many Iranian nationalists' disapproval - of Amini's key role in the negotiations that resulted in agreement with the international oil consortium to run Iran's oil industry after its nationalisation in 1951 by Dr Mossadeq, writes Sir Denis Wright.

Amini, who had been appointed Minister of Finance in General Zahedi's government in August 1953, headed a small Iranian team in two separate negotiations with, first, the oil companies (represented by Howard Page of New Jersey, John Loudon of Shell and William Snow of Anglo-Iranian, now BP) and, second, Her Majesty's Government and Anglo-Iranian, led by the Ambassador, Sir Roger Stevens, for compensation for the dispossessed Anglo-Iranian.

These difficult, complicated and inter-connected negotiations dragged on in the hot Tehran summer from April until August 1954. Amini conducted both negotiations with a brilliance, good humour and indefatigability that won the respect and admiration of those on the other side of the table. The Shah remained on the sidelines until a very late stage in the negotiations and gave him no support. Iran has reason to be grateful to Amini for securing an agreement that, in the circumstances then prevailing, was probable the best possible.