Reza Pahlavi

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Not to be confused with his younger brother, Prince Ali-Reza Pahlavi (1966–2011), or his father, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1919–1980).
Reza Pahlavi
Crown Prince of Iran
Rezapahlavi.jpg
Head of the House of Pahlavi
Tenure 27 July 1980 – present
Predecessor Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Heir presumptive Patrick Ali Pahlavi
Spouse Yasmine Pahlavi
Issue Princess Noor
Princess Iman
Princess Farah
Full name
English: Reza Pahlavi
Persian: رضا پهلوی
House House of Pahlavi
Father Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Mother Farah Pahlavi
Born (1960-10-31) 31 October 1960 (age 53)
Tehran, Iran
Religion Shia Islam[1]

Reza Pahlavi (Persian: رضا پهلوی‎, born 31 October 1960) is the last crown prince of the former Imperial State of Iran and current head of the House of Pahlavi. He is the older son of the late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Shahbanu Farah Pahlavi. He is the pretender to the former Persian throne.

As Crown Prince of Iran, Reza Pahlavi left Iran at the age of 17 for air force training,[2] two years before the Iranian Revolution.

Biography[edit]

Reza Pahlavi in 1973 as Crown Prince of Iran

Reza Pahlavi was born in Tehran, Iran, the eldest son of the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and Empress Farah Pahlavi. Reza Pahlavi's siblings include his sister Princess Farahnaz Pahlavi (born 12 March 1963), brother Prince Ali-Reza Pahlavi (28 April 1966 – 4 January 2011), and sister Princess Leila Pahlavi (27 March 1970 – 10 June 2001), as well as a half-sister, Princess Shahnaz Pahlavi (born 27 October 1941).

Accepted into the Imperial Iranian Air Force as a junior officer following secondary schooling, he left Iran in 1977 at the age of 17 for air force flight training in the United States. He spent a year at Williams College in the United States, but was forced to leave because of the turmoil in Iran. With the monarchy overthrown and an Islamic Republic established, Reza Pahlavi did not return to Iran.

He obtained a BSc degree in political science by correspondence from the University of Southern California, because Williams did not offer that option.

A jet fighter pilot, Reza Pahlavi completed the United States Air Force's Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) Program at the former Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, Texas. In 1980, at the start of the Iran–Iraq War, Reza Pahlavi, a highly trained fighter pilot, wrote to General Valiollah Fallahi, Chief Commander of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic, offering to fight in the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force. His offer was rebuffed.[3]

Upon the death of his father on 27 July 1980, Reza Pahlavi became the Head of the House of Pahlavi.

Reza Pahlavi has written three books on the state of Iran.

According to Iranian writer Reza Bayegan, Prince Reza Pahlavi is deeply attached to his Shi'ite Muslim faith. He has performed the Hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca.[4] However, in one of the Q&A's on Reza Pahlavi's personal website a question was asked to him whether he sees himself as a Muslim or not, to which Reza Pahlavi replied: "Religion is a private and personal matter and its privacy should be respected."[5]

Iranian Imperial Family
Imperial Coat of Arms of Iran.svg

HIM Empress Farah


HIH Prince Gholam Reza
HIH Princess Manizheh

  • HIH Prince Bahman
    HIH Princess Shohreh
    • HIH Princess Nazbanoo
  • HIH Prince Bahram
    HIH Princess Iman
    • HIH Prince Romil Gogër
  • HIH Princess Maryam
    HE Mr. Iradj Baghai
  • HIH Princess Azardokht
    HE Mr. Darab Ganji

  • HIH Princess Shahnaz
    • HH Princess Zahra Mahnaz Zahedi
    • HH Prince Keykhosrow Jahanbani
    • HH Princess Fawzia Jahanbani

  • HIH Prince Patrick Ali
    HIH Princess Sounia Maryam
    • HIH Prince Davoud
      • HIH Princess Solvène
    • HIH Prince Houd
    • HIH Prince Muhammad Yunes

HIH Princess Pari Sima

  • HIH Prince Kamyar
  • HIH Princess Sarvnaz
    • HE Miss Tiffany Lonsdale-Hands

HIH Princess Roza

  • HIH Prince Shahrukh
  • HIH Princess Shahlah
  • HIH Prince Shahin
    • HIH Prince Iskander
    • HIH Prince Zachary
    • HIH Prince Gregory
    • HIH Princess Zara
  • HIH Princess Shahrnaz
    HE Mr. Medvestsky
    • HE Miss Natasha Pahlavi-Medvestsky
    • HE Miss Sara Pahlavi-Medvestsky
  • HIH Princess Parinaz

HIH Princess Doris

  • HIH Princess Niloufar
  • HIH Princess Simin
    • HIH Prince Pahlavi
  • HE Mr. Marcus Vinicius Briso Mainardi
  • HIH Prince Ja'afar
  • HIH Prince Pahlavi

  • HH Prince Amir Reza Atabay
    HH Princess Batul
    • HH Prince Reza Atabay
    • HH Princess Aria Atabay
    • HH Princess Donia Atabay
      HE Mr. Enu
      • HE Mr. Amir Ali Enu
    • HH Princess Massumeh Atabay
      HE Mr. Muhammad Mottahedan
      • HE Mr. Sam Mottahedan
      • HE Miss Lily Mottahedan
  • H.H. Princess Simine Atabay
    • HE Mr. John Manouchehr Manley
    • HE Miss Minou Hägström

HE Mr. Mehrdad Pahlbod

  • HH Princess Jam
  • HH Prince Shahboz Pahlbod
    HH Princess Boutoudine Pahlbod
    • HE Miss Anahita Pahlbod
    • HE Miss Mandana Pahlbod
    • HE Miss Mitra Pahlbod
  • HH Prince Shahyar Pahlbod
    HH Princess Ladan Pahlbod
    • HE Mr. Shahin Pahlbod
    • HE Miss Adelia Pahlbod
  • HH Princess Shahrazad Pahlbod

HIH Princess Ashraf

  • HH Prince Shahram Pahlavi Ghavam
    HH Princess Naz Pahlavi
    • HH Prince Cyrus Pahlavi
    • HH Prince Amir Pahlavi
  • HH Princess Maryam Françoise Chafik
    • HH Prince Nader Chafik
      HH Princess Catherine Chafik
      • HH Princess Chafik
    • HH Prince Dara Chafik
      HH Princess Chafik
      • HH Prince Chafik
      • HH Prince Chafik
  • HE Mr. Pahlavi-Chafik
    • HE Miss Cameron Pahlavi

  • HE Mr. Kayvon Pahlavi Hillyer
    HE Mrs. Heideh Pahlavi Hillyer
    • HE Dr. Shahab Pahlavi Hillyer
    • HE Mr. Shahyar Pahlavi Hillyer
    • HE Mr. Kaveh Pahlavi Hillyer
  • HE Mr. Darius Pahlavi Hillyer
    • HE Mr. Douglas Pahlavi Hillyer
    • HE Mr. Jacob Pahlavi Hillyer
  • HH Prince Kambiz Khatami
    HH Princess Nazak Khatami
    • HE Mr. Piruz Khatami
  • HH Prince Ramin Khatami
  • HH Princess Pari Khatami

Family[edit]

Reza married Yasmine Etemad-Amini on 12 June 1986. Yasmine, a graduate of the George Washington University School of Law, worked for ten years as a lawyer for the Children’s Law Center as a legal advocate for at-risk youth. Yasmine also founded the Foundation for the Children of Iran in 1991, a non-profit foundation that provides health care services to Iranian children or children of Iranian origin.

In 2004, Reza Pahlavi was named as the "unofficial godfather"[6] of Princess Louise of Belgium, the eighth granddaughter of King Albert II of Belgium. The decision to choose him was criticized by the Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Politics[edit]

Reza Pahlavi sworn in as Head of the House of Pahlavi in 1980 at Koubbeh Palace, Cairo.

Reza Pahlavi II has used his high profile as an Iranian abroad to campaign for human rights, democracy and unity among Iranians in and outside Iran.[7] On his website he calls for a separation of religion and state in Iran and for free and fair elections "for all freedom-loving individuals and political ideologies". He exhorts all groups dedicated to a democratic agenda to work together for a democratic and secular Iranian government.[8]

According to Reza Bayegan, Reza Pahlavi believes in the separation of religion from politics. However, he avoids the "Islam bashing" that Bayegan writes occurs in some circles of the Iranian opposition. Rather, he believes that religion has a humanizing and ethical role in shaping individual character and infusing society with greater purpose.[4]

Reza Pahlavi wrote in his book, Winds of Change:[9]

Since the advent of Islam, our clergymen have served as a moral compass. Spirituality has been an inseparable part of our culture...Today, moral guidance has been replaced by clerical censorship and dictatorial fiat.

He has used media appearances to urge Iran's theocratic government to accept a referendum that uses independently verifiable international standards and observation mechanisms.[10][11][12] He has also urged Iranians to engage in a campaign of non-violent civil disobedience, starting with non-participation in elections of the Islamic republic (elections he views as undemocratic), followed by peaceful demonstrations and strikes. He is, however, an outspoken opponent of any foreign military intervention for regime change in Iran,[13] believing that the people of Iran alone have the power to bring about change in their governmental system and society.

Human rights[edit]

On 27 March 2010, Reza Pahlavi was invited by the International Society of Human Rights in Bonn, Germany, to speak on the challenge of implementing democracy and human rights in Iran; a sample excerpt from this speech follows:[14]

...democracy and human rights for Iran is not just a slogan; it is our unique hope for salvation and the fundamental element which will bring long term political stability as well as put our nation back on the track of modernity, progress and prosperity. Iranians have come a long way, particularly in this last century. We have paid a heavy price while learning valuable lessons. As such, we are stronger as a society and perhaps clearer in our collective vision of a better future.

Other samples of his speeches are in the external links below.

2011 comments[edit]

In February 2011, after violence erupted in Tehran, Reza Pahlavi II said that Iran’s youth were determined to get rid of an authoritarian government tainted by corruption and misrule in the hope of installing a democracy. "Fundamental and necessary change is long overdue for our region and we have a whole generation of young Egyptians and Iranians not willing to take no for an answer," he told the Daily Telegraph. "Democratisation is now an imperative that cannot be denied. It is only a matter of time before the whole region can transform itself."[15]

Monarchy[edit]

Pahlavi with Persian Community in the Netherlands, May 2012

Following in a line of Persian dynasties stretching back 3,000 years, the Pahlavi dynasty was founded early in the twentieth century. The 1979 revolution replaced the monarchy with an Islamic republic. Although he lives in exile, Reza Pahlavi II is regarded by some Iranians as the current Shahanshah of Iran.[citation needed] After the death of his father, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, he symbolically declared himself Shāhanshāh (literally King of Kings in Persian) at the age of 21.[16] He remains crown prince according to the former Constitution of 1906, as he is required to take the oath in the Iranian Parliament first.[17] His press releases refer to him as either "Reza Pahlavi" or "the former Crown Prince of Iran".[citation needed]

On his website, Reza Pahlavi has said that the state of Iran should become democratic and secular, and human rights should be respected. Whether the form of government would be that of a constitutional monarchy or a republic is something that he would like to leave up to the people of Iran.[18][19]

Succession[edit]

Reza Pahlavi II is first in the line of succession to his late father, while his younger brother Ali-Reza Pahlavi II was second in line until his death in January 2011. His cousin Ali Patrick Pahlavi is now second in line.[citation needed]

Titles, styles and honours[edit]

Styles of
Reza Pahlavi
Imperial Coat of Arms of Iran.svg
Reference style His Imperial Highness
Spoken style Your Imperial Highness
Alternative style Sir
Standard of the Crown Prince

Titles and styles[edit]

  • His Imperial Highness The Crown Prince of Iran (1960–1979)
  • His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Reza of Iran (pretender, 1979–present)
  • Reza Pahlavi, Head of the Imperial House of Pahlavi (commoner name, 1979–present)

Honours[edit]

National honours[edit]

  • Order of Pahlavi (Iran).gif Grand Collar of the Order of Pahlavi (26 September 1967, Iran)
  • Shah Reza Pahlavi Investiture Medal 1967.gif Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi Coronation Medal (26 October 1967, Iran)
  • 25th Anniversary Medal 1971.gif 25th Centennial Anniversary Medal (14 October 1971, Iran)
  • 2500th Anniversary of the Persian Empire Medal 1971.gif Persepolis Medal (15 October 1971, Iran)

Foreign honours[edit]

Publications[edit]

Business and Legal Issues[edit]

Reza Pahlavi is the owner of Medina Development Company. He and his company were engaged in a civil lawsuit against a family member in the 90s culminating in a favorable judgment in May 1997.[25]

Ancestry[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ http://payvand.com/news/08/may/1063.html
  2. ^ [1]. Rezapahlavi.org. Retrieved on 2 January 2013.
  3. ^ An Interview with Reza Pahlavi. Mideastnews.com. February 2002. Retrieved on 9 June 2012.
  4. ^ a b Reza Bayegan. "Reza Pahlavi and the Question of Religion". Payvand. 
  5. ^ May 2011 Q&A, question 8. Rezapahlavi.org
  6. ^ The Roman Catholic Church, the Church of the child being baptized, does not accept non-Catholics as godparents, given the religious nature of the role, so Pahlavi's role was downgraded to unofficial, not formal.
  7. ^ Prinz Reza Pahlavi über den Iran: "Dieses Regime ist äußerst anti-religiös". (interview with Reza Pahlavi, in Geman) Zenit.org (31 March 2010). Retrieved on 9 June 2012.
  8. ^ Reza Pahlavi. The Challenge Of Implementing Democracy And Human Rights In Iran. The International Society Of Human Rights – Bonn, Germany, 27 March 2010. Rezapahlavi.com
  9. ^ Pahlavi, Winds of Change, pp. 26–28
  10. ^ BBC Radio[dead link]
  11. ^ Reza Pahlavi interview[dead link]
  12. ^ Reza Pahlavi interview[dead link]
  13. ^ Reza Pahlavi interview[dead link]
  14. ^ The Challenge Of Implementing Democracy And Human Rights In Iran. Rezapahlavi.com (27 March 2010). Retrieved on 9 June 2012.
  15. ^ Iran's Crown Prince calls on West to support anti-government protests. Telegraph. 16 February 2011. Retrieved on 9 June 2012.
  16. ^ 'It is my duty' Rezapahlavi.org. 24 September 2010
  17. ^ Iran's 1906 Constitution and Its Supplement, Rights of Members of the Assembly fis-iran.org
  18. ^ April 2011 Q&A, Question 4 rezapahlavi.org
  19. ^ December Q&A, Question 7 rezapahlavi.org
  20. ^ "PALHAVI S.A.I. Abdolreza, Cavaliere di Gran Croce Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana" (in Italian). Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  21. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado
  22. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question" (pdf) (in German). p. 458. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  23. ^ IRAN l'heure du choix. Amazon.fr. ISBN 2207261034. Retrieved on 9 June 2012.
  24. ^ Reza Pahlavi´s Web site. Rezapahlavi.org. Retrieved on 9 June 2012.
  25. ^ Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, at Alexandria. Claude M. Hilton, District Judge. (CA-95-1423-A, BK-93-11245). uscourts.gov (1997)

External links[edit]

Reza Pahlavi
Born: 31 October 1960
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
— TITULAR —
Shahanshah of Iran
Light of the Aryans

27 July 1980 – present
Reason for succession failure:
Monarchy abolished in 1979
Incumbent
Heir:
Noor Pahlavi