Jewish and Persian Connections Mission

In response to statements emanating from the Middle East regarding nuclear threat to both the Jewish and Persian peoples, we seek to project an alternative voice on Jewish- Persian relations that disseminates knowledge about the historical and cultural ties between these two peoples, fosters friendship and openings for creative exchange, and contributes to the identity of adults and children of mixed Jewish and Persian ancestry.

Seeking Your Personal Stories and Intellectual Contributions!

Please submit your personal writings on the following topics:
a) Relationships between Persians and Jews
b) Raising a Persian Jewish child
C) Historical and/or current affairs between Persians and Jews/ Iran and Israel
D) Current Debate: Is the current conflict between Iran and Israel inherently tied into the Israeli- Palestinian conflict?

All submissions welcome including poetry, links and other recommendations. Please email any submissions to Authors are responsible for providing respectful, factually accurate, and fully citated submissions as a pre-requisite for inclusion. Articles should be a minimum of 2 paragraphs in length up to a maximum of 10 pages. Please use proper citation when referencing another writer or speaker. Assume no specific religious knowledge and explain all references to any religions. Translate all non-English words used, including Farsi, Hebrew, Arabic, Ladino or Yiddish. Writers wishing to anonymously post may use their first name only. Please send all submissions to All information outside of your submission will remain strictly confidential including your email and contact information. Thank you for your contributions!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Shah's exiled son: Don't attack Iran

Lily Galili

PRAGUE - Reza Pahlavi, the exiled son of the last shah of Iran, suggests taking Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's threat to annihilate Israel very seriously. However, he suggests refraining from military action against his country.

That's not what scares the regime there," he explains. "What scares it are the opponents from within, who should be strengthened. An attack from outside could give this regime carte blanche to do anything, and even lead to a nationalist awakening that would bring into its camp people who do not belong to it now."

Pahlavi spoke with Haaretz at a gathering in Prague of dissidents from 17 countries that was sponsored by the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies at the Shalem Center. For the past 19 years he has lived in Washington, where he married a woman of Iranian descent and fathered three daughters. He operates from the exile he entered at age 19 like a bench player who practices determinedly for the moment when he is called to step back onto the court. Two years ago he even went on a hunger strike to demand the release of political prisoners, even though he cannot escape the fact that during his father's reign there were many political prisoners in Iran.


"I am not saying there were no mistakes made under the previous regime," he says. "But you have to remember the context of that time. Those were the days of the Cold War, and there was in Iran a sense that the Soviet Union wanted to turn us into its satellite. I can understand why the public went along with the revolution, but I also know that no one wished for the tragic result of today."

Iranian exiles, who come from polar opposite groups, have a complicated attitude toward the Shah's son, and their interests truly overlap only in the desire to overthrow the current regime.

Asked whether he supports a return of the monarchy, Pahlavi replies diplomatically. "The people will decide," he says. "One of the options is indeed a parliamentary monarchy. That suits the character of our people. In heterogeneous societies, the monarchy is a symbol of unity".

Pahlavi says he has been feeling encouraged lately, especially following the recent statements on Iran by France's new president.

"It is possible that the divide-and-conquer system that sabotages the efforts to eradicate such regimes is now being replaced by greater unity," he says hopefully. "We have in Iran now an inquisition like the one they had in Europe and that was followed by the Renaissance. We are not far from that. Iran needs a further push, additional pressure on the regime by means of sanctions that hurt the system without hurting its citizens.... The Iranians must become convinced that the world is serious enough not to abandon them along the way."

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the Shah's son is accorded a wary respect. He wasn't an original invitee to the conference, which was organized by Natan Sharansky, Vaclav Havel and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, and whose high point was an appearance by George Bush en route to the G-8 meeting. With so many conflicting interests among the regimes the human rights crusaders hailed from including Egypt, Sudan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and others it was hard to spot the unifying political interest, aside from the participants' subjective feeling that they represent absolute good opposing the absolute evil in the world. At times, the uniting factor was anger at Bush, like that which linked Garry Kasparov, a vehement Putin opponent, and Saad al-Din Ibrahim, a noted freedom fighter from Egypt and longtime opponent of Mubarak's. For years they have felt that Bush betrayed them along the way, based on erroneous considerations, and they got a chance to tell him so during a brief meeting with the U.S. president in Prague.

Bookmark to

Digg It! new

Slamming the court
Friedmann seeks to increase the politicization of choosing an attorney general.

He shoots, he scores
Gaydamak's latest financial moves are reminiscent of his soccer adventure.

Today Online

Gideon Levy: Israel is full of little blue-and-white Ahmadinejads
Responses: 215

Peres: Damascus not yet ready for fresh peace negotiations
Responses: 79

Yakobson: Don't worry Burg, we're National Socialists, not Nazis
Responses: 80

PM: IDF Gaza ops to last until Qassams, terror end
Responses: 80

Shah's exiled son: Israel should take Iran's threats seriously
Responses: 72

More Headlines
01:44 Lauder elected president of World Jewish Congress

02:08 Palestinian officials: Gunmen fire on Haniyeh's Gaza home

01:46 MK Yachimovitz shifts support to Barak in Labor primaries

23:26 Haredi court places curse on upcoming Jerusalem Gay Pride parade

22:10 Red Cross head: Captured IDF soldiers are at top of our agenda

22:42 British Minister: Academic boycott bid is 'fundamentally wrong'

23:46 Army repairs Muslim graves defaced by Jewish vandals

20:33 State Control Cmte. may subpoena PM to discuss criminal allegations

22:32 High Court: State has month to draw up outpost removal plan

21:23 Witness in Egyptian trial: Spy passed atomic programs to Mossad

Previous Editions

Select Day 10 jun 08 jun 07 jun 06 jun 05 jun 04 jun 03 jun 01 jun 31 may 30 may 29 may 28 may