The Iranian


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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


January 30, 2001

Citizen Pahlavi has my vote

Reza Pahlavi has stirred up a debate among Iranians about the future of our country ["Citizen Pahlavi"]. He gets my vote for the following reasons:

He is a modern man. When I listen to Reza Pahlavi, I feel this is a man who belongs to my generation. I can relate to him. Let's face it, more than twenty years of exile in the United States, has taught him as we as all of us many lessons about tolerance, freedom and secularism.

Unlike other opposition groups that have already come up with recipes for the future form of our government; Mr. Pahlavi believes that the future form of government in Iran should be decided in a national referendum, where everyone will have a chance to voice his or her opinion.

Mr. Pahlavi's ideas are very simple, yet powerful. Unlike Mr. Khatami or Dr. Soroush who profess abstract notions and models such as Islamic democracy and are determined to use us as Ginny pigs to test these ideas; Mr. Pahlavi's model of the future Iran is based on a society that is secular and democratic. A form of society and government that has already been tested and it WORKS.

Reza Pahlavi is also a proponent of a free market economic system, not some Marxist/Socialist model that has failed time after time in many other nations.

Some of the readers may find this hard to believe but, during my travels to many parts of Iran in recent years, I have noticed that the Pahlavis command a lot of respect. Just take a taxi in Tehran or any other major city for that matter and you will know what I mean. This fact should not be over looked.

Let's face it. There is no one else.

I believe we Iranians are ultimately responsible for what has happened in the past. It is not one person's fault. We have throughout the years brewed dictators. That is a fact. Ayatollah Khomeini was not a dictator. We made him one. Ayatollah Khamnei was made one as well. We allowed it.

We must be sure that the underlying form of our future government is democracy. Whether it is a monarchy or a republic is secondary.

When the founding fathers of the United States had just finished drafting the Constitution in Philadelphia, a woman asked George Washington, "Well General what do we have, a republic or a monarchy?" Washington replied, "A republic, if we can keep it."

Once we have a democratic Iran, it will be up to us to keep it that way, not Reza Pahlavi. He has shown that he is someone we can rally behind to recapture our freedom. Unity is what we desperately need right now.

Ali Sarshar


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