Reza Pahlavi, Iran’s exiled crown prince, is scheduled to visit Israel this week, reflecting the warm ties his father once had with Israel and the current state of hostility between Israel and the Islamic Republic. In a recent announcement, Pahlavi said he will be delivering “a message of friendship from the Iranian people.”
A Message of Friendship from the Iranian People
During his visit, Pahlavi is set to participate in Israel’s annual Holocaust memorial ceremony on Monday night, according to Israeli Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel, who will host him. Additionally, he will visit a desalination plant, see the Western Wall, and meet representatives of the local Bahai community and Israeli Jews of Iranian descent.
Holocaust Memorial Ceremony Participation
Gamliel praised Pahlavi’s “brave decision” to make what she said would be his first visit to Israel. She explained, “The crown prince symbolizes a leadership different from that of the ayatollah regime, and leads values of peace and tolerance, in contrast to the extremists who rule Iran.”
Pahlavi’s Vision for Iran’s Future
Pahlavi, who resides in the US, has called for a peaceful revolution that would replace clerical rule with a parliamentary monarchy, enshrine human rights, and modernize Iran’s state-run economy. However, his ability to galvanize support for a return to power is uncertain, as his father ruled lavishly and repressively, benefitting from a CIA-supported coup in 1953. The late Shah also had close diplomatic and military ties with Israel.
Rekindling Ancient Bonds
Pahlavi seeks to remind the people of Israel that the Islamic Republic does not represent the Iranian people and that the ancient bond between the two nations can be rekindled for their mutual benefit. In a 2021 interview with Israel Hayom, he expressed his belief that the majority of Iranians view the Islamic Republic’s global track record as a failure and would be open to making peace with Israel.