Among the many Iranians watching the country’s political turmoil from exile is the former empress of Iran. Farah Pahlavi, now 71, left Iran in 1979 with her husband, the late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and their four children, as millions took to the streets to protest the monarchy. The shah’s government —considered a U.S. puppet by its critics and blamed for extravagance, brutality and economic programs that sparked shortages and inflation — was ultimately replaced by an Islamic state ruled by fundamentalist cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The shah died of cancer in Cairo in 1980. Farah Pahlavi, who splits her time between the United States and France, spoke to msnbc.com’s Kari Huus from Paris.