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Naser al-Din was in Tabriz when he heard of his father's death in 1848, and he ascended to the Sun Throne with the help of Amir Kabir. Azeri Turkish remained his first language even though he came to command Farsi perfectly and even some Arabic and French.
Diplomacy and Government
Naser al-Din had early reformist tendencies, but was dictatorial in his style of government. With his sanction, some Babis were killed after an attempt on his life. This treatment continued under his prime minister Amir Kabir, who even ordered the execution of the Báb – regarded as a manifestation of God to Bábí's and Bahá'ís, and to historians as the founder of the Bábí religion. He later regretted this decision and ordered the assimilation of Bâbis to be stopped immediately in 1862.
Unable to regain the territory in the Caucasus irrevocably lost to Russia in the early 19th century, Naser al-Din sought compensation by seizing Herāt, Afghanistan, in 1856. Great Britain regarded the move as a threat to British India and declared war on Persia, forcing the return of Herāt as well as Persia recognition of the kingdom of Afghanistan.
Naser al-Din was effective in introducing several different western influences to Persia. He curbed the secular power of the clergy, introduced telegraphy and postal services, built roads, opened the first school offering education along Western lines, and launched Persia's first newspaper. He is the first Persian to be photographed and was a patron of photography who had himself photographed hundreds of times.
Artistic and Literary Interests
Naser al-Din Shah is very interested in painting and photography. He is a talented painter, and even though he had not been trained, is an expert in pen and ink drawing. Naser al-Din is also a poet. 200 couplets of his are recorded in the preface of Majma'ul Fusahā, a work by Reza-Qoli Khan Hedayat about poets of the Qajar period. He is interested in history and geography and has many books on these topics in his library. He also knows French and English, but not fluent in either tongue.
Underlined sons were crown princes before they died.
- Soltan Mahmoud Mirza (1847-1849)
- Soltan Moin ed-Din Mirza (1849-1856)
- Mohammad-Qassem Mirza (1850-1858)
- Soltan Massoud Mirza Zell os-Soltan (1850-) (Crown Prince)
- Soltan Hossein Mirza Jalal od-Dowleh (1852-)
- Mozaffar ed-Din Mirza (1853-)
- Kamran Mirza Nayeb os-Saltaneh (1856-)
- Fakhr ol-Moluk (1847-)
- Esmat od-Dowleh (1855-)
- Zi'a os-Saltaneh (1856-)
- Fakhr od-Dowleh (1859-)
- Forugh od-Dowleh (1862-)