Mystery of the mummified body found on Iranian building site that could be father of the last shah

Reza Shah Pahlavi was buried in a tomb near the Shia Shrine in 1944, but after the tomb was blown up his body was never found in the ruins.

But construction workers renovating the shrine stumbled across the body in a pile of rubble.

A bizarre photograph which has been widely shared on social media appears to show one of the workers taking a selfie with the body.

Hassan Khalilabadi, the head of Tehran's heritage committee, said the corpse could be the former Iranian ruler, and this possibility will be investigated.

Authorities are expected to be conducting DNA tests to confirm if the body is Pahlavi.

If the body is Pahlavi though, it is not yet clear what will happen next.

The ruler was divisive, introducing widespread reforms, but was forced into exile after abdicating in favour of his son.

He died in South Africa before his body was mummified, taken to Cairo and eventually returned home to Iran.

His grandson, Reza, said he is "closely following" reports that his grandfather's body had been found – and warned Iran's government to act transparently in its handling of the body.

But a spokesman for the shrine claimed the body was not Pahlavi's.

He said: "All the rumours on the social media that claim this mummified body belongs to Reza Shah are false and void of any truth."


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