Dr. Ismail Yazi (1931-2020) دکتراسماعیل یزدی
Noted Maxillofacial Surgeon, Treated Mossadegh

Ebrahim Norouzi, MD
The Mossadegh Project | March 18, 2020                     

Dr. Ismail Yazi (1931-2020) دکتراسماعیل یزدی The passing of Dr. Ismail Yazdi, the distinguished Iranian Maxillofacial surgeon, from Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been announced in Tehran. We share the pain of losing this great physician with his family and the Iranian nation.

Born in Ghazvin in 1931, Ismail Yazdi graduated from Tehran University School of Dentistry in 1953 at the top of his class. He was awarded a scholarship to further his education in the United States, where he successfuly completed his training in Maxillofacial surgery and pathology from Harvard Medical University and Tufts University School of Dentistry in Boston.

After returning to Iran, Dr. Yazdi founded the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology at the Faculty of Dentistry and later became the Dean of the School of Dentistry, University of Tehran, from 1968 to 1971. He was also a Member of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

An admirer of Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, Dr. Yazdi was the physician who diagnosed Mossadegh’s cancer of Maxillary Sinus in 1966.

Dr. Ismail Yazdi, born April 25, 1931 When Dr. Yazdi first went to Ahmadabad to examine him, he told Dr. Mossadegh that he once had the honor of meeting him as a student representative during his premiership. According to Yazdi, Mossadegh paused for a moment and asked, “Doctor, when you saw me before, were you satisfied with your visit?”. When Dr. Yazdi replied in the affirmative, Mossadegh responded wryly, “Now I can safely open my mouth for examination”.1

Dr. Yazdi took along his young daughter to meet Mossadegh during his second trip to Ahmadabad. Mossadegh took a liking to the young girl, and prior to their leaving, Mossadegh gave her a present and a short message with a custom “cartoon signature” as a memento.1

In the 1980’s, during the bloody Iran-Iraq war, Dr. Yazdi volunteered to operate on hundreds of wounded veterans for free.

Dr. Yazdi was still active and seeing patients when he acquired coronavirus, the global pandemic that has severely ravaged Iran.

Ranking third worldwide in cases after China and Italy, the reported death toll has currently reached 1,135, with a total of 17,361 confirmed infections, though the World Health Organization estimates the actual number is likely many times higher.

“Visiting Prof. Gordan Agnew (from USA). From left: Dr. Mirlouhi, Dr. Noparast, Prof. Agnew, and Prof. Yazdi.” (1966-67).

“Prof. Armin receiving appreciation award from oral pathology department, 1993. From left: Dr. Pardis, Prof. Shams Shariat Torbaghan, Prof. Yazdi, Dr. M. Eslami, Dr. N. Eshghyar, and Prof. Kamaleddin Armin (1914–1995).”

Ismail Yazdi on treating Mossadegh in the 2015 documentary Mossadegh, A​nother ​​Viewpoint.


1 Interview with Dr. Ismail Yazdi (2015): [link] (Translated by Ebrahim Norouzi)

2 First and bottom two photos from the Archives of Iranian Medicine, Nov. 2018: A Brief History of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology in Iran by Moslem Bahadori, MD, Mohammad Eslami, DMD and Mohammad Hossein Azizi, MD [link]

Dr. Ismail Yazdi was also the brother of Dr. Ebrahim Yazdi (1931-2017), a pharmacist and diplomat who was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in the interim government of Mehdi Bazargan following the 1979 revolution.

The Agonizing Death of Dr. Mossadegh | by Ebrahim Norouzi, MD
The Agonizing Death of Dr. Mossadegh | by Ebrahim Norouzi, MD

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Related links:

Remembering Dr. Saeid Fatemi (1927-2017)

Mossadegh — A Medical Biography | by Ebrahim Norouzi, MD

Filmmaker Ebrahim Golestan Recalls 1953 Coup In Iran (AUDIO)

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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