Iranians need help, not war or sanctions, to oust their regime: Reza Pahlavi
Friday, May 18th, 2012 by (Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)
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The last crown prince of Iran and the late Shah’s older son Reza Pahlavi called upon Israel to help the Iranian people in toppling the current regime instead of launching military attacks against the country to stop its nuclear program.
He told Al Arabiya’s weekly show Point of Order, aired on Friday that if Israel wages war against Iran now, this will cause a kind of tension with the Jewish people that had not existed since the time of Cyrus the Great.
Pahlavi added that a war against Iran will not achieve the end Israel wants, because the nuclear program will not really stop.
It will only be delayed for a while then resumed, he said, but at the end of the day the priority should be, and the whole world will agree, that the entire Iranian regime has to go.
Pahlavi explained that he is against the reenactment of the Iraqi scenario in Iran since, he argued, the U.S. invasion was a grave mistake. However, he stated that international support is important.
We rarely see resistance movements that do not enjoy a degree of international support like what happened in East Europe when the Soviet Union collapsed, he said.
This support, he noted, is not possible through international economic sanctions, but through standing by the Iranian people.
Pahlavi added that Iranians have made it very clear that they do not want the current regime, but they are unarmed and will not use violence, so civil disobedience becomes the best means of confrontation. When diplomacy fails and war becomes an unfavorable option, people need to put pressure on the regime from inside, he said.
In addition to brining justice to the Iranian people, Pahlavi pointed out, toppling the current regime will also be a relief for the entire world, especially the Gulf nations.
He noted that the current regime has proven its hostility and its ability to spread terrorism and extremism.
Pahlavi also called for taking Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity.
This, according to Pahlavi, cannot be done directly through the ICC since Iran was not signatory to the Rome Statute so the case needs to go first to the Security Council which will in turn refer it to the ICC. This is how the former president of the Ivory Coast faced trial.
The indictment of the supreme leader, added Pahlavi does not mean absolving his aides.
Pahlavi admitted that the Shah’s regime had several drawbacks, yet stressed that it is not to be compared with the current one.
Regarding the issue of the islands disputed with the UAE, Pahlavi said that at the time of the Shah, Iran and the UAE signed a memorandum of understanding that regulates each party’s spheres of control over the islands.
The current Iranian regime is violating the articles in the memo while a democratic regime would have dealt with the issue differently, he said.
A democratic regime, he added, would also establish friendly ties with neighboring countries instead of escalating tension.
Pahlavi noted that this tension serves only the current regime’s interests and all regional powers are aware of that.
Pahlavi found it unlikely that the issue of the islands will be solved through international arbitration since, according to him, the memo has all the necessary terms.
Pahlavi slammed the Iranian regime for discriminating against minorities and wished that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights be the foundation upon which Iran’s new constitution is based.
For Pahlavi, curbing the influence of the central government through granting each province a semi-autonomous status is the best way to grant minorities their rights and guarantee equality among all citizens.
While each country has its official language, according to Pahlavi, ethnic groups should have the right to keep their culture and language. This can be not through federalism, but rather non-centralism.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)