Appearing as the “news maker” guest of the National Press Club, Reza Pahlavi of Iran challenged the ongoing debate between proponents of military action versus diplomacy, instead appealing to the “free world to support the thousand circles of localized dissent and opposition that readily exists in Iran, but which desperately need to link with one another and the outside world.” Explaining how this vast network of homegrown dissent was being kept isolated from each other by the regime, he said that it would readily flourish only if it could “find solidarity with each other and an unwavering free world.”
In his remarks to representatives of the international news media, the 45-year-old opposition leader to the Islamic regime warned that just as the “Euro-three diplomatic efforts bought Iran’s theocrats three extra years, another series of cat-and-mouse games with the Russians may buy the clerical regime the time it needs to make the bomb.”
Rejecting any talk of military strikes against his homeland, the former jet fighter pilot said that “it would ultimately rally nationalistic sentiments which would work to the regime’s advantage; consequently, giving the theocrats a much longer lease on life.” Calling the situation in his homeland “a race against time,” he said that “it was a matter of what comes first in Iran: Democracy or nuclear weapons?”
Offering his geo-strategic view of the region, the former Crown Prince pointed to the regional ambitions of an increasingly adventurous clerical regime in Tehran. Referring to a “Bermuda Triangle from Iraq to Lebanon to Palestine,” which was being taken over by Iran’s allies, “through the ballot box,” he said, “as long as the Islamic Republic was in power, the project for democracy in the greater Middle East may actually pave the way for Iran’s own very calculated expansionism.”
Citing results of recent Palestinian and Iraqi elections as proof, Reza Pahlavi explained that, “when Iran’s protégés are offered the necessary money, information, and support, along with tools of intimidation and violence, they will always find the upper-hand against their rivals in any such nascent democracies.” As with Lebanon, he added, “if, Iranian generosity, allows Hezbollah to spend more money than the government on schools, mosques, hospitals and even social services, no one should be surprised if they win or dominate elections.”
“So, clearly the answer is democracy in Iran, which will be hindered by military strikes or giving the regime more time through endless negotiations,” said Reza Pahlavi.