The Iranian


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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


March 6, 2001


Once again the voice of emotional and "god-he-is-such-a-nice-guy only-if-you-get-to-meet-him" oversimplicity has come thru in the form of an article by Mr. or Ms. Mihandoust ["My friend"].

While Mr. Pahlavi may not wear Rolex watches or prefer the smallest room in the condo, Mihandoust completely misses the point. This is not a personal "thing" with Mr. Pahlavi. His tastes, personal choices and humility, if truly so, while quite admirable, are not why people have an issue with him as a political figure.

Has Mr. Pahlavi ever had a real job? Where does he get money to eat? Who pays for his share of the condo where he wants the smallest room?

The Pahlavi establishment has always emphasized that Reza Shah came from a poor background -- so poor that he was about to die on his way from his village of Alasht to Tehran. How does that contrast with Mohammad Reza Pahlavi being one of the wealthiest men of his time in the mid- 1970's? Where did that huge disparity come from?

If they were truly working for the country and were not engaged in amassing wealth, how did they become so wealthy?

The Pahlavi Foundation virtually owned Iran and owned shares of many foreign corporations. Who authorized the Pahlavis to use millions of dollars to bail out Germany's Krupp Industries in the 1970's? Was that their personal money?

How did Ashraf Pahlavi get to own so many homes and palaces? As far as the public knows, she does not even have a university degree (neither does Bill Gates, but show me what she has produced) What was her job? How did she get to make all this money? Heck I have a pee-on engineering job and I don't have enough time to manage my retirement IRA.

Why doesn't Reza Pahlavi publish his and his family's U.S. tax returns? Like most of us here in the U.S., he leads a reasonably comfortable life, and unlike most of us, he does so without a real job. So he either inherited it or made it.

Running a "daftar" and "having a plan for democracy" does not generate money. He must have inherited it. Which is okay. He earned it the old fashion way. But wait, he has a plan and others -- shame on them -- do not. Well, here is the other proposed plan: Get a real job. Use the largest room in the condo if you earned the money with the sweat of your brow and enjoy it! Stop acting like the messianic representative of the founder of the Persian Empire.

Denounce what your family did in the past; the thefts, the killings, the tortures, the political repressions. Publicize your own and your family's prior and current financial history.

If all that matters is that Reza Pahlavi is your friend and an eloquent razor-sharp, humble, sweetheart with a plan, then the more appropriate name for Mihandoust would be Rezadoust.

Aref Erfani


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