Date: Jun 4, 1999 [ 0: 0: 1]
Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 2 Jun 1999 to 3 Jun 1999
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Subject: DNI-NEWS Digest - 2 Jun 1999 to 3 Jun 1999
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There are 2 messages totalling 246 lines in this issue.
Topics of the day:
1. IFIR REFUGEE ACTIVISTS RELEASED
2. London's Telegraph 6/3/99: After 20 years in exile, Reza Shah II no long
expects to rule Iran. His dream is to serve the people
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 1999 13:18:59 EDT
Subject: IFIR REFUGEE ACTIVISTS RELEASED
For Release 9 a.m. EDT, June 3, 1999
REFUGEE ACTIVISTS RELEASED
New York, June 3, 1998: The International Federation of Iranian
Refugees (IFIR) is pleased to announce the release of Habibollah
Abdullahi, the IFIR Erbil branch representative, and Abdullah
Veissi, a member of that branchís Executive Committee.
Abdullahi and Veissi had been arrested by the Kurdish
Democratic Party (KDP) of Iraq on May 30, 1999. The pretext
given for the arrests was IFIRís "illegal activities." In reality,
however, it was IFIRís successful efforts in organizing the
protests of Iranian refugees that prompted the KDP of Iraq
to detain IFIRís activists and deem its activities illegal.
International support was instrumental in gaining their freedom.
The two were released to a mission comprising of
representatives of the IFIR Secretariat (Yedi Mahmoudi), the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The international solidarity was so extensive that surprised
officials asked who the two were to receive such an outpouring
of support. IFIR congratulates all individuals, groups and bodies
who responded to its campaign and obtained the immediate
and unconditional release of its refugee rights activists.
For more information, contact IFIR, GPO, P. O. Box 7051,
New York, NY 10116, USA. Tel: 212-747-1046.
Fax: 212-425-7260. Email: email@example.com.
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 1999 19:30:08 -0500
From: aryopirouznia <aryopirouznia@EMAIL.MSN.COM>
Subject: London's Telegraph 6/3/99: After 20 years in exile,
Reza Shah II no long expects to rule Iran. His dream is to serve the
ISSUE 1469 Thursday 3 June 1999
After 20 years in exile, Reza Shah II no long expects to rule Iran. His
dream is to serve the people, he tells Elizabeth Grice
HIS Imperial Majesty Reza Shah II is eating small Iranian cucumbers from a
fruit bowl to ease his prickly throat. He snaps them in half and crunches
them noisily, ignoring the huge plate of patisserie laid before him by his
London hostess. Neither the cucumbers nor the bad throat are capable of
interrupting the urgent flow of his thoughts.
It is amazing that a man who has spent the first half of his life expecting
to succeed to the Peacock Throne and the second half predicting the imminent
downfall of the ayatollahs who made it impossible, can still command a sense
of urgency. He should long since have joined the ranks of exiled monarchs
who are sailing their yachts or doing nicely in business. Instead, he is
travelling the world with new messages of hope for the Iranian diaspora.
The collapse of Islamic republicanism may seem as distant now as it did when
his late father was dramatically overthrown 20 years ago; as distant as when
Ayatollah Khomeini died a decade later. But Reza Pahlavi, a professional
optimist, finds the "forces of change" gathering momentum and is prepared to
act as a catalyst for them, should he be needed.
Once, he would have said that constitutional monarchy offered the best hope
for Iran, but today he is much more circumspect. Only five years ago, he was
talking of armed struggle as a final option. Today, it is all patience,
evolution. The words "king" and "ruler" never pass his lips. He refers to
his father's reign as "the previous order" and talks in deliberately modest
terms about his role in helping to restore democracy.
"If I tried to lift this table all by myself," he says, "I would have a very
difficult time. But if 20 people all gave their little finger to help, it
would probably come off the ground. That's the spirit I'm trying to
introduce. It is not a job for one individual."
Pahlavi is a smooth, hawkish-looking man with heavy eyebrows and a
genetically flat nose; much taller than his father - who was styled
"Superior Presence, Shadow of God on Earth, Light of the Aryans" - and
considerably more aware of the way the wind blows. He will soon be 40, and
realism is beginning to set in as he contemplates yet more years in exile.
"I am not crazy enough to insist on something that cannot be done," he says.
"It is all very well dedicating your life to a cause that is noble and fine,
but it also has to be practical. If I cannot be successful - or at least
useful - then I must move on. I owe that to my wife and children."
His wife, Yasmine, a former political student, is the beautiful daughter of
Iranian exiles. They live, far from grandly, with their two young daughters
in a suburb of Washington DC. Whatever Pahlavi's precise fortune when he
went into exile, £16 million of it was apparently squandered by the boyhood
mentor he appointed as his financial adviser - something that he admits he
was not "street-smart" enough to anticipate.
"I was not raised in the middle of bar fights where people stab you in the
back," he explains. "It was a loving, protective environment. I was suddenly
placed on a platform at the age of 20 and had to start performing. Because I
had other obligations, I had to delegate the management of my finances. The
last thing I imagined was that someone I grew up with would take advantage
He says his mother, former Empress Farah Dibah, the late Shah's widow, helps
him financially and so do his siblings - Farahnaz, Ali Reza and Leila.
Perhaps it was Ahmed Ali Massoud Ansari's heist that has made Pahlavi aware
of where he might be now if he had not tried to hound the Islamic regime and
gone into business instead. He certainly thinks he owes it to his family to
be pragmatic. "When I married, my wife knew exactly what she was getting
into. She knows where we are going. She also knows that I am capable of
saying when it is time to walk away. I am practically half way through my
life and I would like to have something to show for it."
His new initiative, though not ostensibly political, may provide him at last
with a tangible memorial. The Mihan Foundation ("mihan" means homeland),
which he plans to launch this summer, is intended to act as a huge
information and education network between isolated Iran and what he calls
the "outside world". With its wide use of the Internet, and focus on linking
Iranians inside and outside the country, he sees it as a mechanism for
modernising Iran without getting into a political debate.
His grand plan is to restore Iran's image in the world "not as a nation
identified with terrorism and radicalism, but as a nation that has been the
cradle of civilisation and is still capable of being a sophisticated
society". Whether as the head of a foundation, or as a focus for opposition
groups, he is certain he has a part to play.
But how will he know whether he's being effective? "That is the $64,000
question. I don't know if there is a clear answer."
One problem, as he sees it, is that "people don't have the normal
expectations of me that they would have of any other Iranian. It is not
fair, but I was born with it. Call it a curse, call it a privilege, I am by
definition held to a much higher standard. For that reason alone, I have to
give it a harder try."
Four million people, some of the brightest and best-educated, have left Iran
since the revolution and Pahlavi hopes to harness their patriotism through
his foundation. Many probably now have no wish to return, but his own
longing to do so is transparent.
"The toughest pill for me to swallow," he says, "is the thought that I might
never see my country again. I think I will see it. I know that I will die
somewhere in my country. But the pain of wanting to be there, yet not able
to be, is the worst thing in the world, worse than withdrawal symptoms for
someone who is on some kind of drug."
He found the hardest question he has had to face about exile was from his
elder daughter, Noor, now seven. "If Iran matters so much," she said, "how
come we're not there?"
"I did not want to make it sound like a fairy tale with bad guys and good
guys," he says. "I was afraid of painting a picture that would make my
children feel bad about the country. I am sure many Iranian families who
were uprooted or forced to leave the country as a result of the persecution
or intolerance of the current regime have found themselves in the same
Reza Pahlavi became heir to the Peacock Throne on 31 October, 1960. His
mother was driven to the hospital in Teheran down carpeted streets; his
birth was announced by 121 gunshots and celebrated with an amnesty for 98
political prisoners and a 20 per cent reduction in Iranian income tax.
"The news travelled to the four corners of the earth," said his mother
later. "There was an explosion of joy in Iran. I felt the transcendence of
the role I was to play as mother of that child who, with the help of God,
was to wear the imperial crown . . ."
He talks about being brought up in a warm family circle but has also made
the grim calculation that he spent a total of only about two months of his
life with his father. "There wasn't much quality time when we could sit
together as a regular family round the dinner table, in privacy."
The crown prince, aged 19, was in Texas, training to be a pilot, when his
father was declared "the blood-sucker of the century" and forced to flee
Iran while portraits of him were burnt in the streets. His parents were
pushed from pillar to post in a search for somewhere to settle. Many
countries refused to take them in.
"By the time I saw my father again, he was in very poor spirits and bad
health. We didn't really have a chance to speak. That made me realise how
important it is to spend more time with my family."
Nevertheless, when he embarks on yet another trip, his eldest daughter
starts to grumble. "I have to try to make some sense of it for her." Both
Noor and her five-year-old sister, Iman, are proficient in three languages:
French, English and Farsi. "We speak Farsi to them at home because we want
to make sure they know their mother tongue."
It troubles him that his new "visibility factor" increases the danger from
"those elements who are out there to take you off the face of the planet".
He has been a marked man since 1979 when he was condemned by an Islamic
court, along with his parents, for "waging war against Allah". Wherever he
goes - even the anonymous London house of the friend where we meet - there
is a bodyguard.
It is clear that, if ever given a chance, Pahlavi would avoid the mould of
his father, whose combination of blinkered autocracy and personal weakness
assured his downfall. Mistakes were made, he concedes, but not as gross as
the ones under a theocracy. "Our country may not have had complete political
freedom," he says, "but we did have social freedoms. We don't have that now.
Our country has gone backwards. Economically, it is down the tubes."
As for a constitutional monarchy, he distances himself as delicately as
possible while maintaining it is one of the options. "I introduce myself as
someone representing that institution, if the people so choose. And if they
don't, that's fine by me. The day there is the basis for a national
referendum in Iran, the day people can vote freely at the polls, my mission
Does he hope for a son to continue the line? "Enough with the male-dominated
society," he says. "I have my heir already. I hope my daughter wll be Queen
of Iran one day - before America gets a woman president."
For further information, contact the Mihan Foundation Inc, PO Box 1740, West
Bethesda, MD 20827-1740, USA
HRM Reza Shah II; Speeches, Meetings, Interviews; Audio - Iran.org
Reza Shah II Of Iran - The Constitutionalists Movement of Iran
Iran Lovers Network
The Pahlavi Era
Exile [Historical background] - Farah Pahlavi Empress of Iran
End of DNI-NEWS Digest - 2 Jun 1999 to 3 Jun 1999