Reza Pahlavi, the exiled Crown Prince of Iran and advocate for secular democracy in his homeland, has announced his upcoming visit to Israel to deliver a message of peace and friendship from the Iranian people.
Pahlavi’s visit aims to explore mutually beneficial economic, cultural, and environmental opportunities, starting with the possibility of utilizing Israel’s water technology expertise to address Iran’s water crisis caused by decades of corruption and mismanagement by the Islamic Republic.
During his visit, Pahlavi will pay his respects to the victims of the Holocaust at the official Yom HaShoah ceremony at Yad Vashem, meet with senior government officials, water and agricultural experts, and members of the Iranian diaspora. Israel’s Minister Gila Gamliel will represent the government in hosting Pahlavi, who will also visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem and the Baha’i holy places and gardens in Haifa in solidarity with the Baha’i community.
In his remarks, Pahlavi will outline his vision for an Iranian democracy that celebrates freedom of speech and religion, safeguards human rights, protects natural resources, and invests in the Iranian people rather than foreign terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
“The Iranian and Jewish people have an ancient bond dating back to Cyrus the Great and Queen Esther. As the children of Cyrus, the Iranian people aspire to have a government that honors his legacy of upholding human rights and respecting religious and cultural diversity, including through the restoration of peaceful and friendly relations with Israel and Iran’s other neighbors in the region,” said Reza Pahlavi.
The announcement comes just days after a group of progressive Democratic legislators, led by Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D), signed a letter urging President Joe Biden to reevaluate U.S. policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Critics argue that the letter attempts to undermine the traditionally strong U.S.-Israel relationship and may harbor an antisemitic bias against the world’s only Jewish nation.
Pahlavi’s visit comes at a critical time as the Iranian regime continues to pursue a nuclear arsenal, threaten Israel with genocide, provide Russia with killer drones, kidnap and assassinate dissidents, and brutally suppress nationwide protests following the murder of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the regime’s “morality police.” As the leading voice of the increasingly unified Iranian opposition, Pahlavi supports the people’s aspirations and offers a vision of a democratic Iran at peace with its neighbors, in stark contrast to the controversial stance taken by some progressive U.S. legislators.