Reza Pahlavi Invites the West to Boycott the Islamic Republic of Iran
February 11, 2004
The Associated Press
PARIS -- As the Iranian political crisis persists ten days away from its legislative elections, Reza Pahlavi, son of the late Shah of Iran, invited the West on Tuesday not to expand its relations with the theocratic rulers in Iran, in order to accelerate "the popular movement" in favor of a true democracy, 25 years after the introduction of the Islamic Republic.
"We are today at a juncture wherein we want to cripple the regime", he declared at a press conference held in Paris on Tuesday. "The Iranians will do what they have to do." "All that they hope for, is that the world today takes into account what they want - to invest in the people of Iran and cease bargaining with the mullahs", he continued. "And you will see that meaningful change would come about much faster than anyone expects."
The 43 year old Mr. Pahlavi, in exile for 25 years, made these remarks as Prince Charles of England had an hour meeting on Monday with the Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, during a visit to Iran intended to meet the survivors of the earthquake in Bam. In mid-January, the French president for his part, officially received Hassan Rohani, secretary of the Iranian Supreme Council for the national security. A visit during which Jacques Chirac wished for a "new future for the Franco-Iranian relations".
On Tuesday, the son of the late Shah of Iran asked the Western countries to clarify their position with respect to the clerical regime in Iran, which has "become a convention center for the terrorist industry". "Here's the bottom line: are you with us or against us? Whose side are you on, the people or the oppressive regime?", he asked.
The theologians in the Guardian Council, whose members are designated by Ayatollah Khamenei, disqualified more than 2400 reformist candidates, including 80 incumbent deputies, causing a political crisis since January which resulted particularly in the resignation of many reformist members of the Parliament and the critics of the Supreme Leader.
Referring to this poll, Reza Pahlavi minimized this electoral process pointing out the inherent inability of the Parliament (Majlis). "These elections are futile, because even as a member of the Parliament, one lacks the power to legislate", he stated. "Even if everyone were to participate, still the elections are meaningless."
For the elder son of the Shah, it is thus necessary to seize this moment of crisis in order to unite the Iranian expatriates "beyond the ideological and political divergences" and empower the Iranian people. Questioned on the means and methods of resistance, Mr. Pahlavi recommended "nonviolence" and "civil disobedience", while admitting that "for the demonstrations or strikes to function, it is not enough to merely have an intellectual movement". "What could amplify this movement also depends on certain external factors", he underlined before concluding: "the world could play an extremely constructive or destructive role." http://www.rezapahlavi.org/articles/ap21104-eng.html