Prince Reza Pahlavi: What I Think of His Role?
I believe Prince Reza Pahlavi should publicly announce the demise of monarchy, as this is the only way he can have any significance in the pro-Democracy movement of Iran which *is* a secular *republican* movement. The monarchists would call him a sellout but if he cares for Iran, he should take this step. In fact, he should have renounced monarchy by now, to have cured this big fracture of the pro-Democracy movement. Of course this announcement will not mean that monarchists will stop to exist. Even in future Iran, some may dream of the old monarchy, and the old Iranian empire, and may form a party of good-old-days and they may pick a Qajar or a Pahlavi or a Zand or Masoud Rajavi as candidates for their dream monarchy. But that is different from the *real* pro-Democracy movement for replacing IRI, with a secular republic which we are dealing with now, and for Prince Reza Pahlavi as an individual who is very actively talking to the press and international organizations for secularism and democracy in Iran. The 1906 Constitution is not secular and considers Shi'a as the official religion of Iran and even does not allow Sunnis to be government employees and requires 5 mojteheds approval for any law to become the law of the land. And we all know it cannot support democracy in Iran. I have previously written extensively on this:
I think the only way Prince Reza Pahlavi can help the pro-Democracy movement is to abdicate the throne and announce the end of Pahlavi dynasty and work for a secular democratic republic in Iran. As far as rallying the movement around a leadership, I would not consider him in that position at this time. In fact, I do not know what person or persons will take on that role. There are people like Tabarzadi, Simin Behbahani and many others who have a lot more significance in the pro-Democracy movement than Prince Reza Pahlavi and I think if Prince Reza Pahlavi drops the monarchy from his agenda, he can also find more significance in the Iranian pro-Democracy movement and run for presidency of the republic. And more important than that, this will help to cure one of the biggest fractures that Iranian opposition currently has, which is that between monarchy and republic and all can unite behind a secular republic because monarchy is a dead program for Iran. I have noted in my above article why Iran is *not* an Afghanestan and pushing monarchy on Iran can backfire and create a civil war.
I also have written on this topic before:
As I have noted before I think Prince Reza Pahlavi is doing a great work to promote democracy and human rights in Iran, by talking to the press and various international organizations abroad, and let's hope all his efforts and all the sacrifices of pro-democracy activists inside and outside Iran, for over a century, to culminate in a real secular republic, which is the only way for Iran to stay truthful to the ideals of democracy and human rights.
Sam Ghandchi, Publisher
April 25, 2002