This week, the exiled Iranian crown prince is due to pay a visit to Israel, reflecting both the animosity between Israel and the Islamic Republic now and the close relations that his father formerly had with the Jewish state.
Reza Pahlavi, the last shah to control Iran before the Islamic Revolution in 1979, announced on Sunday that he would be delivering “a message of friendship from the Iranian people.”
According to Israeli Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel, who will host him, he is scheduled to participate in Israel’s annual Holocaust memorial service on Monday night.
A desalination plant, the Western Wall, the local Baha’i community, and Israeli Jews of Iranian heritage are also on his itinerary, she added.
Gamliel applauded Pahlavi for making the “brave decision” to travel to Israel for the first time.
In contrast to the fundamentalists who control Iran, the crown prince “symbolizes a leadership different from that of the ayatollah regime, and leads values of peace and tolerance,” she said.
Just before his cancer-stricken father, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi abdicated the kingdom and fled to exile, Pahlavi left Iran at 17 for military aviation school in the United States.
The Islamic Republic was established after the revolution, and the United States was taken over. Embassy in Tehran and the elimination of the final traces of the monarchy supported by the United States.
Pahlavi, who still resides in the United States, has advocated for a peaceful uprising to usurp the clerical system with a democratic one.
It is unknown if he can mobilize support for a takeover of power. His father benefited from a 1953 coup aided by the CIA and reigned with opulence and repression. The late Shah maintained strong military and diplomatic ties with Israel.
That ended in 1979 when Ayatollah Khomeini, the leader of the Iranian revolution, declared Israel an “enemy of Islam” and severed all connections.
The nations have become bitter rivals. Iran is seen as the biggest threat by Israel due to its support for hostile militant groups on its borders, demands the destruction of Israel, and its nuclear program. Iran disputes claims it is pursuing a nuclear weapon made by Israel and its friends in the West.
“I want the Israeli people to understand that the Islamic Republic does not speak for the Iranian people.”