The Iranian


email us

US Transcom
US Transcom

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

    News & views

Iranian shah's widow marks his 19th death anniversary in Egypt


CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Accompanied by a royal entourage, the former queen of Iran on Tuesday marked the anniversary of the death of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi amid Egyptian efforts to reconcile with the Islamic regime which toppled the monarchy. (Related photo)

Before Farah Pahlavi began her annual pilgrimage to her husband's tomb, she paid homage to Egypt's late president Anwar Sadat, who gave refuge to the exiled monarch after he was overthrown in 1979.

At the 18th-century Rifai mosque, Farah, her head covered with a black scarf, knelt and kissed the shah's white marble tomb as the one-hour ceremony began.

About fifty exiled royalists, some from as far away as Los Angeles and San Diego in the United States, traveled to Egypt to share the occasion with Farah, who lives in Paris and New York.

After laying wreaths on the candle-lit and lily-decorated tomb, the mourners sang the national anthem from the shah's era, which glorifies his rule as the golden age of Iran .

Farah has been making the annual journey to her husband's tomb since the pro-U.S. shah died of cancer July 24, 1980, in Egypt.

"My only wish and hope is that one day we can take him to be buried in Iran ," Farah told The Associated Press.

Iran 's Islamic government has rejected all attempts to move his grave to Iran .

Relations between Egypt and Iran deteriorated after Sadat, a staunch U.S. ally, gave refuge to the shah after he was deposed in the 1979 Islamic Revolution that installed clerical rule.

Recent media reports have suggested that the two countries are considering normalization of relations, but efforts to reconcile the two key Muslim nations seem to be stalling over the name of a street in Tehran, the Iranian capital.

The Iranian government named the street after Khaled al-Islambouli, the Islamic militant who assassinated Sadat in 1981. Egypt wants the name of street changed.

In June, Iranian President Mohammed Khatami's chief of staff, Mohammed Abtahi, indicated that Iran may counter Egypt's demand with the issue of the late shah's tomb, possibly asking for it to be removed from Cairo.

"If they are real Muslims, which unfortunately over all these years they showed that they are not ... they cannot ask for that," Farah said.

In a Persian-carpeted domed annex of the mosque, Farah and her entourage listened to verses from Koran read by Egyptian clergy.

In a chamber next to the shah's tomb is the grave of King Farouk of Egypt, whose sister Fawziya was the shah's first wife. The shah had one daughter with Fawziya, whom he divorced in 1948.

Farah and the shah had two sons and two daughters.

Pahlavi became king in 1941 after his father, Shah Reza Pahlavi, abdicated under British pressure.

In October 1979, then-President Jimmy Carter reluctantly admitted Pahlavi to the United States by for cancer treatment.

Carter's decision triggered the occupation of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and the taking of American hostages by militant students - an event that led to the severing of diplomatic ties between Tehran and


Copyright ©Abadan Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved. May not be duplicated or distributed in any form

 MIS Internet Services

Web Site Design by
Multimedia Internet Services, Inc

 GPG Internet server

Internet server by
Global Publishing Group.