Farah Pahlavi, wife of the late Shah of Iran waves on arrival at Barajas airport in Madrid Thursday May 20, 2004, ahead of the royal wedding between Spain's Crown Prince Felipe and Letizia Ortiz which takes place on May 22. (AP Photo/Paul White)
Iran Chides Spain for Hosting Iranian Royals
May 23, 2004
Islamic Republic News Agency
Tehran -- Iran sternly admonished Spain Sunday for inviting the son and widow of the defunct shah to the wedding of Crown Prince Felipe.
"Inviting such individuals, who have been banished by the Iranian people, was not a suitable move," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters here in a weekly news briefing.
Iran`s embassy in Madrid, he said, had formally protested to the Spanish government for inviting Reza Pahlavi and Farah Diba to the wedding.
"These individuals have no place not only among our people, but among other people around the world and the Spaniards will realize later that the individuals invited are not used as delegates in any such ceremonies," Asefi added.
Crown Prince Felipe married former television presenter Letizia Ortiz Saturday amid tight security in the wake of the March 11 train bombings, which killed 191 people.
The 36-year-old heir to the crown exchanged vows with Letizia, a 31-year-old divorcee, before 1,400 guests at the Roman Catholic Almudena Cathedral.
There were reports of protests held before wedding, including by several hundred republicans who staged a parody of a wedding and chanted sloagans "Tomorrow Spain will be a republic!".
According to AFP, the protest passed off without incident under the watchful eye of a large police presence.
Another grouping, the news agency said, denounced this `waste of money`.
Iran`s `Peacock Throne` was overthrown following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which was led by late Imam Khomeini and forced Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to flee.
He died one and a half years later after being denied asylum by one after another government, including by his own closest ally -- the United States.