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Not without my mom
Reza Pahlavi is in Iran on the most important mission of his life

April 1, 2001
The Iranian

The article below was published as an April Fools joke. See responses from readers. Also see previous April Fools features: "Albright in Tehran", "Iran is a great country", "Googooshgate", and "Clinton: 'Let's put the past behind us'"

Reza Pahlavi, heir to the peacock throne, has secretly traveled to Iran to finally carry out the most important mission of his life. The following is an interview with the prince which was broadcast live throughout Iran via satellite last night. The interview was conducted from his hideout behind the village mosque in Alasht, the birthplace of his grandfather and founder of the Pahlavi Dynasty.

Shaban Bamokh: Greetings, Your Majesty, could you please tell us when and how you entered Iran?

Reza Pahlavi: Greetings to you and the brave people of Iran. I arrived in Iran around Noruz. For security reasons I cannot talk about the exact day or how I got into the country. This was obviously a very sensitive operation and it required the help of many courageous compatriots.

SB: Your Majesty, why ave you decided to make this dangerous journey into Iran?

RP: First of all, I would prefer not to be addressed as "Your Majesty" or anything like that. I appreciate your kindness and respect for my family. But I do not claim to be any kind of special person. If the people of Iran choose me as their king, that's a different matter. But until then I would prefer to be addressed simply by my family name...

SB: Yes, sir, as you wish.

RP: Thank you. As for your question about why I have come to Iran, well, I must say that this has been on my mind for the longest time. I have always felt that I must go back to my homeland. We can always stay abroad in relative safety and comfort. But nothing can be done unless we are in Iran itself.

SB: Sir, what is your assessment of the situation in Iran?

RP: Well, the situation here is exactly what I and many others had talked about for years. Even worse. The people are living in a virtual police state. The revolutionary guards monitor every aspect of people's lives. The economic conditions are horrendous. And of course the power struggle between the various factions within the regime is as intense as ever.

SB: So it seems the time is right for you to lead the people against the mollas.

RP: I believe all the political forces should unite and take an active part in the struggle against this ruthless regime. If we want freedom and democracy, we must work together. This is not my personal battle. This is a national battle and we must all play a part.

SB: Have you created a coalition of opposition forces?

RP: Yes. In fact I am happy to announce that I and a number of prominent political figures and organizations have formed an umbrella group to coordinate mass actions against the regime. This group, which is unprecedented in its wide range of opposition forces, is called the National Unity Coalition for the Liberation of Iran.

SB: This is very exciting news. Will the coalition call on the people to rise up before the regime's so-called presidential elections?

RP: No, I don't think so.

SB: So when, sir, do you think would be the appropriate time?

RP: I'm not sure yet. I have to take care of a couple of personal matters first.

SB: Personal matters?

RP: Yes. That is why I have come to Alasht, where, as you know, my grandfather Reza Shah was born.

SB: Yes, of course. I'm sure you are going through many emotions being in your ancestral home. Are you searching for your roots?

RP: Yes, you could say that. I am in fact searching for my mother.

SB: Her Royal Highness Farah Pahlavi? Our beloved Shahbanou? Is she in Iran as well?

RP: No, she is not.

SB: But you said...

RP: Yes, I said I am searching for my mother. My real mother.

SB: I don't understand sir...

RP: Well, this is very difficult for me to talk about but it's one of those things that I have to face some day. And I have decided now is the time to do it. Do you want the full story or...

SB: Actually we are running out of time. Can you get on with it?

RP: Well, Shahbanou Farah, just like my father's previous wife Princess Soraya, could not bear children. And my father desperately needed a son. So his advisers suggested one of Alasht's finest girls as a surrogate mother. Before he passed away, my father told me all of this stuff and gave me a picture of my mother -- my REAL mother. Here it is... (holds a picture).

SB: Jesus Christ... Holy Mother... the monarchist movement is SO screwed...

RP: What did you say?

SB: I said the monarchist movement will be so thrilled by this news...

RP: Yeah... isn't she the most beautiful creature you've ever seen? (starts to cry)

SB: Oh, sir... Your Majesty please don't cry... please... Baabaa! Khers-e gondeh! Pull yourself together man!

RP: (Wipes his eyes) I'm sorry. I can't help it... I just want to hold her and tell her how much I love her and miss her.

SB: Have you been able to find out anything about her?

RP: Well, so far I've traced her up to 1979, when that thing happened.

SB: What thing?

RP: Ehhh! That THING digeh...

SB: Oh oh yeah... you mean when the revolution happened.

RP: Nah khengool! When the British and the Americans conspired to force my father into early retirement just as our country was about to produce Paykans with Rolls Royce engines. My father was becoming a serious threat to the industrialized world.

SB: Yeah, I bet... So what have you been able to find out about your mother?

RP: Apparently she was the director of the Royal Zoorkhooneh. She also helped develop the No-Wonderbra and modeled for Victoria's Nightmare. Somebody also told me that she starred in the classic film "The Secret Life of Tarzan", but I haven't been able to confirm that.

SB: Fascinating. What's her name by the way?

RP: Parviz Khoshgeleh.

SB: What?

RP: (Laughs) Just kidding. Her name is Pari Khoshgeleh.

SB: Right... Well, thank you sir. Good luck to you, and don't eat too much torshi.

RP: (Laughs) That would be really hard, but I'll try!

Farah Pahlavi: Reza?

RP: Yes mother!

FP: You've been in there for more than an hour. What are you doing?

RP: Nothing mother!

FP: Are you interviewing yourself again? Get out of the bathroom! NOW!

RP: Yes mother!

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