EXCLUSIVE: Son of Overthrown Shah Says Entire World Unsafe With Current Iranian Regime in Power
The Crown Prince of Iran said on Thursday that “no one in the world is safe as long as the current Iranian regime remains in power,” though Israel is not in imminent peril in the wake of the nuclear deal.
Speaking to The Algemeiner on the sidelines of the fourth annual Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala– where he was among the honorees — Reza Pahlavi said, “A theocracy that has the vision of exploiting an ideology will never, ever be concerned with world peace, prosperity or security.”
Pahlavi, the eldest son of the late Shah of Iran — the last Persian monarch who was ousted in 1979 as the Iranian Revolution ushered in the reign of what would become the mullah-led regime headed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini — said he believes the current Iranian regime has “indirectly contributed to the furthering of radicalism and extremism in the world, and the only guarantee for security and prosperity and peace is when you have a responsible, transparent government whose members are answerable to their people — and the only way to achieve that is under democratic order.”
Pahlavi, heir to the former Persian throne, explained that the key divide between the Iranian regime and the West lies in conflicting “value systems.”
“Those who value human rights, peace and democracy are like-minded. And what we have in front of us and against us is a single-minded, perverted ideology that doesn’t want anybody else to belong except those who live like them,” he said. “We can’t have it both ways. It’s one side that has to win against the other. Let’s hope it’s our side and not theirs.”
Pahlavi said he believes Iranians are “desperate for change,” because they know that the current regime “will never ever take them to where they need to be” in terms of growth and prosperity. He called on the international community to realize that the solution to Iran’s radicalization is to alter the status quo.
Where Iran’s ability to obtain nuclear weapons is concerned, Pahlavi said, “Whether or not it tries to pursue them down the line remains to be seen. For the time being, however, the agreement seems to have temporarily halted that process. But if you’re asking me whether this regime can be trusted down the line, I think the answer is clear.”
Pahlavi left Iran at the age of 17 for air force training two years before the outbreak of the Iranian Revolution that led to the establishment of the Islamic Republic. He was 19 and studying in the US when his father was overthrown and exiled. Since then, he has resided in the US, never to return.
The Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala was hosted by Dr. Miriam and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, philanthropists Judy and Michael Steinhardt, the Falic family, Mona and David Sterling and “America’s Rabbi,” Shmuley Boteach. It was held at the Marriott Marquis in New York and coincided with Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The honorees along with Pahlavi were: Songwriter, peace activist and the widow of John Lennon, Yoko Ono; TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz; Nobel Prize laureate Elie Wiesel; Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal; the Israeli Likud Party’s first openly gay member of Knesset, Amir Ohana; and daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., Rev. Bernice King.