Reza Pahlavi learned an important lesson from Vaclav Havel: The Cold War opposition only thought they might be successful when Ronald Reagan called Russia an evil empire and triumphantly commanded Mr. Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. Pahlavi hopes Barack Obama speaks as definitively against to the Iranian regime — he eagerly waits for the president of the United States to say, “Mr. Khomeini, tear down this wall!”
Pahlavi first left his native country of Iran in 1978, when he came to the United States. So he was abroad when political activists took to the streets of Tehran, Isfahan, and every other major Iranian city to protest their “lack of political freedoms” under the Shah. Their grievances with the monarchy hit a fever pitch in the late fall and early winter of 1978, after the Shah imposed martial law and his security forces opened fire on the protesters.
But Pahlavi is not just an ordinary Iranian émigré, he was — or still is, depending on who you ask — the heir to the throne or Iran. And he has been living in exile for the last thirty years in Morocco, Egypt and, now, the United States.