It has become more evident the recent days that the protesters in Iran are looking at their exiled Crown Prince as the true leader of the nation. Several protesters have pointed to the Crown Prince as the nation’s next leader after the technocratic dictatorship in the future is overthrown.
At the end of December, there were reports that a large crowd outside the mosques of Qom and Mashad demonstrated in favour of the Pahlavi dynasty. The demonstrators were reported to have shouted, “Shah of Iran, return to Iran!” Calling upon Reza Pahlavi, the son of the late Shah, to return.
The day after these protests, the Crown Prince of Iran released a short statement on Twitter, describing Iran as a failed technocratic dictatorship. The Crown Prince wrote: “The failure of theocratic tyranny in Iran: The second highest rate of executions in the world. Millions spent meddling in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen. The disappearance of our beloved Lake Urmia & the desertification of many provinces. Record high unemployment”.
“Since mid-2000’s Prince Crown Reza Pahlavi II had requested regime to hold a referendum to see whether people want Islamic rule or not. This is why people want Reza Pahlavi to be their leader and probably their first president,” says Iran-expert and historian Babak Taghvaee to Royal Central.
Taghvaee claims that the dictatorship describes the protesters as terrorists. To Royal Central, Taghvaee said: “Some of the regime medias claim they are ISIL, some claim these people are NCRI/MEK terrorists… But as whom have been in touch with these people and have watched more than 5,000 of their clips, they are secular nationalists.”
Journalist Maziar Bahari who was in Iran wrote on Twitter: “I just had a chat with a retired worker in Iran who spent a few years in prison in the Shah’s time and was very active in the revolution against the Shah in 1979. His son is now a monarchist hoping the Shah’s son can rule Iran and the son protests every day.”
This just shows how the young generation looks at the monarchy and welcomes it. Most of those who demonstrate in favour of the monarchy belong to Iran’s young population.
Pahlavi’s father, Mohammad Reza Shah, took power following a coup in 1953. Under the Crown Prince’s father’s secular and pro-Western rule, Iran experienced a rapid modernisation programme. The current government of Iran came to power following the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the Pahlavi dynasty overthrown in favour of a theocratic Islamic state.
Monarchist parties and organisations are strictly prohibited by the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and monarchists and their sympathisers are subject to imprisonment if discovered.