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Ataollah Nooraei

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Ataollah Nooraei
Ataollah Nooraei attending the World Military Championships.jpg Ataollah Nooraei attending the World Military Championships.jpg
Ataollah Nooraei attending the World Military Championships, Lebanon
Born(1932-08-28)August 28, 1932
Ashtian, Iran.
(1973-12-30)December 30, 1973(1973-12-30)December 30, 1973
💼 Occupation
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Ataollah Nooraei (Persian: عطاالله نورائی, born 28 August 1932 - 30 December 1973) was born in Ashtian, Iran. Nooraei was a member of the Imperial Iranian Army and a champion in the Military World Games. He was also a coach and senior master of swimming, skiing, parachuting and mountaineering.

Early life[edit]

Ataollah was the youngest of Fazlullah Nooraei born in August 1932 in Ashtian. His father graduated from Dar ul-Funun University and established the first modern school in Ashtian[1]. However, due to Ataollah’s father passing away during his youth, he lived with his older brother who alongside being a school principal, was also a teacher of mathematical sciences. During his teen years, he found great interest in Persian literature and learning foreign languages, hence acquiring languages such as English, French, German and Arabic. However, in order to care for his mother and have an income, he left school and soon with the suggestion of his uncle Timsar Hassan Nooraei, he began attending Military School.


Newspaper article depicting Nooraei as a representative of the soldiers of the Persian Immortals

Due to his tall and athletic stature alongside a strong character, he was recruited to the army and attended the World Military Championships as a participant, coach and translator. Within these competitions, Ataollah Nooraei gained championships for Iran in the fields of swimming, skiing and water polo. He was also a senior master of parachuting and mountaineering in training the imperial army rangers. Furthermore, Nooraei was chosen as a representative of the soldiers of the Persian Immortals during the military parade in the Celebration of the 2,500th Anniversary of the Founding of the Persian Empire (Persian: جشن‌های دو هزار و پانصد ساله شاهنشاهی ایران) in 1971, an internationally televised event in celebration of Cyrus the Great and the Persian Empire.[2]

Zard-Kuh Operation and Soldier's Medal[edit]

Nooraei awarded with Soldier's Medal by US army officials, 1963

In early February 1962, Nooraei achieved the Soldier's Medal for the act of heroism in risking his life to evacuate two survivors of a United States Army aircraft which had crashed onto the Zard-Kuh mountain peak covered in snow ranging from six to forty feet deep in West Central Iran. The temperatures were characterized as freezing with consistent violent storms and the danger of avalanches. Yet with knowledge of such conditions alongside the lack of sufficient oxygen due to the high altitude of the landing site, he volunteered to participate in the operation to save the victims.[3] This led to him being hospitalized for almost a day due to frostbites on his hands and feet.[4] Therefore, Ataollah was awarded the Soldier's Medal as gratitude for his courage and the credit he brought to the Imperial Iranian Army.[5]


In late December 1973, during the Dhofar War, Iranian commandos and quick reaction forces (QRF) were recruited in support of the Sultanate Muscat and Oman.[6] Ataollah was shot three times and passed away shortly due to heavy blood loss.


  1. Nooraei-Ashtiani, Mohammad-Ali; Abdolli-Ashtiani, Asadollah (2008). آشتيان به روايت تصوير و سند. Zakhair. p. 157. ISBN 9789649880600. Search this book on
  2. "دیروز در تخت جمشید تاریخ ایران رژه رفت" (PDF). Ettelaat (13623). 1971-10-16. Retrieved 2022-08-20.
  3. Briscoe, Charles H. (2017). "10TH SFG MOUNTAIN RECOVERY OPERATION". Office of the Command Historian (Vol. 13). Retrieved 2022-08-01.
  4. "ما سرنشینان هواپیما را از چنگال مرگ نجات دادیم". Ettelaat (1072). 1962-02-06. Retrieved 2022-08-01.
  5. "Atoah Noorii". The Hall of Valor Projects. Retrieved 2022-07-25.
  6. Hughes, Geraint (2017-11-01). "'Amateurs Who Play in League Division One'? AngloIranian Military Relations During the Dhofar War in Oman". British Journal for Military History. 4 (1). Retrieved 2023-01-17.

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