PARIS — Reza Pahlavi, whose father, the shah of Iran, was toppled from power 31 years ago, said Thursday the international community must step up its support for Iran’s opposition movement and stop focusing on the country’s nuclear program.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Pahlavi said nations such as the United States should not “even bother” with a new round of sanctions regarding Iran’s nuclear program, if punitive measures merely maintain the status quo.
Instead, he suggested the kind of encouragement that helped end South Africa’s apartheid system and influenced the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Pahlavi, 50, said that should include dialogue with Iran’s opposition, which has kept up periodic street protests in the country since the disputed June presidential elections despite a fierce crackdown.
He also said the opposition needs outside technological support to beat government eavesdropping and Internet crackdowns in Iran, and to “stay connected” with the outside world.