RUMI shirts by Arash Norouzi
Andre Agassi Is NOT Iranian
Rumors of Agassi's Persian Heritage Exaggerated

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project
| August 22, 2007        

Andre Agassi, tennis champion American tennis star Andre Agassi is himself the son of an athlete, Iranís former boxing champion Mike Agassi (born Emmanuel Agassian in 1930). An Iranian born Christian Armenian, his family changed their name Agassian to Agassi to disguise their Armenian heritage from Turkish oppressors.

Following his boxing career in Iran highlighted by competition at the Olympics in 1948 and 1952, Agassi relocated to Chicago during the Mossadegh era ó November 1952 ó and eventually settled in Las Vegas. His son Andre Agassi, whom he mentored in tennis, would become the number one ranked tennis player in the world.

Though it is common to hear mention of Andre Agassiís supposed Persian heritage, he is actually the son of an American mother and an Iranian-born father of Armenian and Assyrian extraction. As Andre said in an interview on CNN [Larry King Live, September 7, 2006]:

LARRY KING: The name Agassi is what derivation?

ANDRE AGASSI: Armenian, so my father was from Armenia and his parents sort of settled in Tehran.

Agassi referred to his Dad as ďan immigrant from IranĒ in a September 3, 2010 CNN interview with Anderson Cooper. Video:

The Agassi Story

Here is an excerpt from Mike Agassiís 2004 autobiography / memoir The Agassi Story [which contains misleading language and numerous factual errors]:

'The Andre Agassi Story' by Mike Agassi It didnít help that in 1951, in defiance of the shahís wishes [the Shah claimed to be in favor of nationalization] Premier Mohammed Mossadeq forced the Majlis to nationalize Iranís British-owned oil industry-- [Iranís parliament was not "forced" to nationalize, it was passed legally] a move that prompted Great Britain to impose economic sanctions whose primary effect was to make life harder for people like us. Politically speaking, things got a bit touchy after that. Mossadeq, who was ousted in 1952 [he was not ousted, he resigned voluntarily] returned with a vengeance, gathering enough power to persuade Mohammad Reza Shah to flee that same year. [the Shah fled Iran on his own accord] With the support of the CIA, the shah would return in 1953 and overthrow Mossadeq, but things in Iran werenít exactly stable in the interim. [The American CIA and British MI6 overthrew Mossadegh in August 1953, after which the Shah returned to Iran from exile in Rome].

So I set my sights on America.

Related links:

Twitter / Google Billionaire Omid Kordestani: Educate People About Iran

Robert De Niro and Matt Damon on CIA Coup in Iran

Half-Persian Broadcaster Christiane Amanpour on Iran

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — ďIf I sit silently, I have sinnedĒ

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