Relaxed and smartly-dressed, and in excellent French except for his accent, the Shah’s son delivered one of his most candid interviews to date on the current situation in Iran.
Asked if the repressive tactics used by the Iranian government had worked, he replied “The repression led to the movement being a uniting factor for everyone, united for freedom and against the kind of violence that was committed.”
He estimates that the protest movement has now entered a second phase, that of civil disobedience and resistance, defiance and strikes in order that the regime cannot continue to survive.
In a historical approach to the situation, he claimed that since the 1979 revolution that overthrew his father, and was instigated by religious leader Ruhollah Khomeini, the country has been “A totalitarian state based on extremist ideology.”
After characterising the general situation by saying “This is the beginning of the end. The masks have dropped” he insisted that recent events signify “The last nail in the coffin.”
He was also questioned on the “outstretched hand” offer by Obama to Iran, and if that offer was still viable, answering that that policy now appeared to be difficult to sustain.
He also thanked Western countries for “not having interfered in Iranian affairs.”
Concerning the possibility of his being the “providential man” now needed in Iran by the protest movement, he replied “You can’t say that there is anyone who incarnates everything right now. The movement is everyone’s. This is a premature debate. I want this movement to succeed, and my countrymen shall decide afterwards if they want me to play a role in the future or not.”