Reza Pahlavi, former Crown Prince of Iran, delivered a speech to the Iranian people from Washington DC on June 3.
The biggest alternative to the Islamic Republic is the Iranian people who continue their protests despite the Iranian regime’s oppressive measures and internet shutdown, Pahlavi said at the press conference attended by journalists and political activists.
Asking the military and armed forces to stand with the Iranian people, he stressed that Iranians abroad should be a voice for the Iranian people.
They should caption videos from Iran in the language of the countries they reside in and ask politicians in their countries to support the Iranian people’s protests, Pahlavi added.
Pahlavi’s message was broadcast live from social media as well as Persian-language media based abroad. He also answered questions from reporters.
Camelia Entekhabifard, editor-in-chief of Independent Persian, was among the attendees and asked, “As you know, in rallies and demonstrations, many groups talk about you and the Pahlavi dynasty. Given the popularity and influence you have among the people, why haven’t you been able to form a cohesive organization of anti-regime political opponents? You talked about effective strategies within the country. Please tell us what effective international strategies do you suggest for other countries and the world to recognize the Iranian people’s protest movement for the overthrow of the regime? Finally, what is your forecast of Iranian conditions for the coming year? »
“I believe that the most useful thing I can do with my credibility and with the trust my fellow Iranians have in me is to support their demands, give them a voice and build their strength,” Pahlavi replied.
“I don’t pretend to be a political leader and give them a plan. I tried for years to bring more coordination to the opposition. However, the opposition was different in the past than it is today. My definition of the opposition then is also different from my definition today. As I said before, today the real opposition is the people inside Iran.
“The previous factionalization of the opposition is not the main concern of the Iranian people,” Pahlavi noted.
“Thus, more important than the opposition is the unity of national and popular forces. The opposition that has failed to unite so far is of no use to the Iranian people. An opposition is useful when it knows that, for future political competition, it must first create common ground for a political system and popular sovereignty; a rule of law under which they could compete politically.
“If everyone does what they want and follows their own demands in a totalitarian way, it will never go anywhere. It will not be constructive or helpful, but will lead to sabotage.
Speaking of today’s altered conditions, Pahlavi said, “Most of the people who will help run the country politically and administratively are currently in Iran. Many of them are even inside the system. Their heart is not with the system and they don’t believe in it ideologically. But they have come to the conclusion that diet is not the answer. Yesterday’s reformers no longer seek to reform the system; they must be able to join the secular democratic forces.
Continuing his response to Independent Persian, Pahlavi spoke of the need for “national solidarity and national reconciliation”.
“Those who seek a better future should not be separated from each other. We shouldn’t let people be left behind,” he urged.
“But those who have been complicit with this regime and have participated in the crimes of the regime, whether politically or militarily, must be held accountable before the Iranian people,” demanded the former heir to the Iranian throne.
To achieve a better future, past events must not be a “base of enmity and opposition”, Pahlavi said.
“The concern of young people who lose their lives on the streets does not focus on the decades-old differences of this or that political current. It’s not their bread and butter. It will not be an answer for them or a solution for their future.
“I won’t waste a second of my time with people who are still part of the problem,” Pahlavi said. “I will devote all my time to those who want to be part of the solution. Even those who were revolutionaries yesterday. Everyone has the right to change their mind. This is part of the fundamental principles of freedom and human rights.
Pahlavi continued, “The freedom we seek today will be achieved if we seek the full potential of the Iranian people. There can be no other basis for this than unity and collaboration.
“A win-win scenario would be to align the majority of society with this vision. A society will never be one hundred percent united. It didn’t happen anywhere. But I believe that what is happening in Iran today and the demands of the Iranian people are the voice of a majority; So I don’t see why this solution wouldn’t work.
According to Pahlavi, the only people who oppose the majority Iranian people’s demands for change are those “who seek to keep power to themselves the bitter end” and “their numbers are dwindling more and more”.
He said that society itself has recognized “that the regime is afraid” and that is why despite the oppression and killings, people today are less afraid compared to the movements of 2017 and 2019. He said said that this was due to “the struggle carried out every day by the Iranian people; a fight in which we all have a role.
Pahlavi said he had tried to play his own role in all previous years: “I have always been a voice for my fellow Iranians. Giving advice and suggestions for joint work; By having relations with all the political and civic currents of the country.
“Most importantly, I tried to do more listening to people than talking to them. Everything I said was based on my understanding of the demands of my fellow Iranians, especially the younger generation. The future generation will inherit the country.
“I tried to keep that torch burning for 40 years. We should pass it on to the next generation so that they are not homeless, aimless and without a future. Iran will one day be ruled by this youth. They must know that they are not alone and hope that the future is theirs; the cost they bear will not be in vain.