Since 1975
  • facebook
  • twitter

Son of Shah of Iran says West must change approach to his country

Reza Pahlavi (AFP/file)
Reza Pahlavi (AFP/file)
Short Url:
16 Mar 2024 10:03:14 GMT9
16 Mar 2024 10:03:14 GMT9

Arab News Japan

TOKYO: The son of the last Shah of Iran has told Japan’s Kyodo News that he believes the West still misunderstands his country and should adopt a different approach to dealing with its Islamic rulers.

Reza Pahlavi, the exiled son of the last Shah, believes that a secular democracy in his home country is the path toward stability in Iran and the Middle East.

“The world has to come to the conclusion that so long as the Islamic regime exists in Iran, multiple problems for the world will not disappear,” said Pahlavi, 63, who was Crown Prince of Iran until the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

“So as far as the West is concerned, the only option is to ultimately understand that the solution is a change of regime, not behavior change from the regime. That has been the most basic flaw in Western analysis and expectations of the Iranian regime.”

“The only objective I have is to see a smooth transition from the current regime to an ultimate secular democratic system in the future. I’m not doing it for any position for myself.”

Having said that, he recognizes that he has symbolic value to those struggling against the Iranian regime. “I understand that people have a lot of faith and trust in me, and, as such, I’m using this political capital to manage this transition for them, to lead this process and make sure that we have the most transparent and possible democratic process to determine the future of the nation,” Pahlavi said in the interview that was conducted with Kyodo in Washington.

During his efforts to unite the opposition both within and beyond Iran, his personal security “has always been an issue,” he said, adding that he is on the regime’s “hit list.”

Pahlavi, who lives near the US capital Washington, said the people in Iran are “fed up with the system” and desperate for change: “They cannot sit back and wait another few years.”

He sees the internet and supporting resistance within the country as ways of fighting back but draws the line at direct interference from outside the country. “I’ve always said that my red line is any kind of foreign intervention, but we need foreign support,” he said.

“More than 45 years ago, Iran was a regional leader in terms of economic prosperity and modernity,” he said, describing it as a country once slated to become the “Japan of the Middle East” but that instead turned into “the North Korea” of the region.

Pahlavi believes in a dual-track approach to put “maximum pressure” on Iran’s leaders while providing “maximum support” for the country’s citizens to give them a chance to transform the current situation.

Most Popular

return to top