Shah’s Former Foreign Minister Zahedi Cautions Against ‘Regime Change’

A former Iranian foreign minister and ambassador to the United States from the Shah-era shared his thoughts on the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution from his home in Montreux, Switzerland, on Friday.

Ardeshir Zahedi, now 90, commented on the state of Iran today, in particular increases in levels of education driving women’s empowerment. “I am proud to say that because that is my country and this is in last 40 years coming up.”

Zahedi said he respected the current government “because they work with a logic. And when I hear them, I praise them.”

Commenting on the United States’ policy vis-a-vis Tehran, Zahedi felt that Washington wants “regime change” in Iran.

He named Reza Pahlavi, the son of last Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, as a potential successor.

Iranian Ambassador Ardeshir Zahedi visits with President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn Carter

Commenting on the strength of opposition groups outside of Iran in favour of regime change, Zahedi had doubts. “where do they get their money? Who is going to support them? How much of the army do they have in their hand? It is not easy to just walk into Iran like this. Which said, the Iran of today has [an] army, has police, all of things you use to have it. How they are going to go? They will go by special jet?”

“I know many of them [opposition groups living outside of Iran] are kind of in a way corrupt, I can call them. They receive money from the foreigner, work against their own people, I would call them traitors,” the former ambassador concluded.

Zahedi served as Iran’s foreign minister from 1966 to 1971. He served two stints as ambassador to the US from 1960 to 1962 and from 1973 to 1979. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was overthrown by the Islamic Revolution on February 11, 1979.

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