By Amil Imani:
Reza Pahlavi has become an enigma. No one is quite sure in what capacity he intends to lead and how he plans to bring down the Islamic Republic. After 40-years of activism since the spark that began Iran’s last revolution, Mr. Pahlavi has become a seasoned politician, extremely articulate and very likeable by every opposition group.
The Prince, remains the symbol of unity for the three or four million strong Iranian expatriates. Since the selection of president Rouhani, he has stepped up calls for civil disobedience by Iranians, and for external support for that. His many conduits of information from Iran tell him the regime is fragmenting, and he eagerly awaits a tipping point. He is very popular in Iran and almost everyone there is patiently waiting for his return.
Mr. Pahlavi confidently believes that the theocracy in Iran has been shunned and says that “religion is no longer a taboo subject for debate. The very same people who thought 40 years ago their salvation was with Khomeini now say they were mistaken. Iran has come full circle.” He echoes Ronald Reagan’s advice to Mikhail Gorbachev more than 40 years ago: “Mr. Khamenei, tear down that wall.”
Iranian people are known to be very individualistic. Lack of team work. After 40 long and draining years since the arrival of the Ayatollah Khomeini, I am puzzled as to why our political activists or groups have never compromised or found common ground to work with one another for the sake of Iran in order to rescue her from a further drift into the abyss.
Prince Pahlavi is not risking anything. He has repeatedly, stated that he has no ambition to be a king or a President. He sees himself as something a referee, an umpire or a catalyst who desires to see his compatriots become united and active. He is in touch with people in Iran and is fully aware what is happening there. He has put all his eggs in one basket, the Iranian people. Like most of us, he is hopeful that the Iranian people themselves rise and change the regime.
In a notable statement, Pahlavi says, “I am the leader of this school of thought: change through nonviolent civil disobedience.” “The only system capable of guaranteeing people their rights is a democratic and secular system. In the framework of a secular and democratic regime, the rights of all people, including different ethnicities and minorities, will be respected,” he said. It is notwithstanding, to mention many Iranians expect more from the prince. They want him to be more active and be more visible.
In an interview with the Voice of America, Pahlavi said “My focus right now is on liberating Iran, and I will find any means that I can, without compromising national interests and independence, with anyone who is willing to give us a hand, whether it is the U.S., the Saudis the Israelis or whomever it is,” he said.
“Pahlavi said he had yet to meet with the Trump administration despite his letters. Another Iranian exile group, the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, previously paid a member of Trump’s Cabinet $50,000 for giving a speech. However, the MEK’s siding with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s and its killing of Americans before the revolution, which the group now denies, makes it an unsuitable partner,” Pahlavi said.
“It’s pretty much a cult-type structure,” he said.
Reza Pahlavi, lives in the United States today and is one of the leaders of the Iranian opposition. For many years, he has been calling for a referendum to determine the future government in Iran. He supports a secular and democratic government regardless of what form it takes, a republic or a parliamentary monarchy.
Mr. Pahlavi stays abreast of developments in Iran through a vast network of contacts, inside and outside of the government, he has maintained for decades. An equally important source: normal Iranians reaching out to him directly via social media.
It is time that United States stood fully behind Mr. Pahlavi and supply him with all the necessary tools needed to free Iran. After all, the Iranian people trust him and want him to return to Iran. The United States and Europe should also respect the Iranian people’s wishes.
© Copyright by Amil Imani, 2018. All rights reserved.
Email Amil: email@example.com