Shahbanou Farah interview by Point De Vue


“Choked with emotion and In Tears”

As Tragic events unfold in Iran, Shahbanou Farah in exile for 30 years shares her Fears and hopes for her country.

Interview by Philippe Delorme for Point De Vue N° 3180 Week Edition 1st to 7th of July (translation by Darius KADIVAR )

Point De Vue (PDV): Iran is at a precipice. Your Majesty what are your feelings in regard to these events?

Farah Pahlavi (FP): I will never forget the tragic scene of the death of the young Neda Agha Soltan. I was truly choked with emotion and In Tears. She has become a universal symbol. Her assassination by the death squads of a government that claims to speak in God’s name is truly intolerable, horrible and revolting. Neda is a symbol today but I cannot forget all the others who have been killed during these demonstrations. I sincerely send my condolences to all those Iranian families who lost one of their members in these tragic events. I pray for all my compatriots back home, for their freedom and for their voices to be heard …

PDV: Are you in contact with your compatriots back home?

FP: Through the Internet yes. It is much more difficult to do so with the Telephone nowadays. I just spoke to a compatriot who told me “ We managed to survive all these years despite all the tragedies that befell upon us. But Now we really can’t anymore … Please Help Us …”. She was telling me that ambulances sometimes take the victims outside the city and simply dump them on the road. Security Agents (the Bassijis) mingle with people under civilian clothes and stab them with knives. The media is shut down so Iranians are simply asking all their compatriots abroad to spread their calls for Freedom.

PDV: Do you fear a radicalization of the regime?

FP: With this regime, one can expect anything. My husband the Shah left the country because he did not want to keep the throne by spilling the blood of his compatriots but as far as this regime is concerned, they couldn’t care less … But it is interesting to notice that differences have appeared within the ruling establishment. Clerics are now expressing their disapproval, but I am still waiting to see if one of the grand Ayatollah’s will launch a Fatwa condemning the violence. I think however that this is just the beginning of a much broader movement that goes beyond the election results. It is the regime itself which is questioned at its roots. We have heard slogans such as “Down with the IRI” or “Death to Khamenei”. Today what Iranians truly want is Freedom and Respect for Human Rights.

PDV: Madam what would you do if tomorrow you were to return to Tehran?

FP: First Thing I would do is kiss the soil of my country. What then? … If I can serve my country, if my age and strength will still allow me to serve my countrymen and women in the fields I am familiar with such as Women Rights, Cultural activities or education, it will be a great honor and joy for me.

PDV: You mean Under a Restored Pahlavi Dynasty?

FP: What truly matters is a democratic system of government and a secular one. For the past 30 years my son has been struggling along with many other compatriots belonging to a wide spectrum of ideologies and political sensitivities and preferences. It will only depend on the choice of all Iranians as to what our role should be. If the people at large choose to restore the Monarchy, it can only be a Constitutional Monarchy very much like in Spain where the government will have all powers and the King or Queen will Only be a Symbol but cannot rule.

PDV: Is it true that your granddaughter Princess Noor, who is 17 years old, was chosen by her father as royal successor? What do you think about Iranian women today?

FP: Iranian women are for me an extraordinary example. They are certainly the ones who suffered most from the regime. Despite the insults, the arrests, the torture, beatings and stoning they have boldly struggled all these years. In our Ancient history we have also had women who have become Queen of Iran. I am certain that in tomorrows Iran, women will have exactly the same rights as men. As for my granddaughter Noor, she has been following the events in Iran with great emotion. She has participated in the demonstrations in the US in support for her fellow compatriots back home along with her Mother and sister Iman. She is very proud of her fathers efforts to free Iran.

PDV: In conclusion what would you like to say to the French people?

FP: As you know I had a French education and studied in a French university in Paris. I want to thank all the French who have been so supportive during all these years in exile. I ask them from the bottom of my heart that they listen to the Iranian people and that they support them in this struggle for Freedom and Democracy. That is the Only thing that counts today.

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