Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Shah's Son: Iran 'Threat Is Real'

News Max:
Reza Pahlavi, the eldest son of the Shah of Iran, said he is "totally against" a U.S. military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities' and defended his nation's right to have nuclear technology.

Appearing with John McLaughlin on his show "One on One," the 45-year-old heir to the Peacock Throne was asked: "Under what circumstances would you permit direct military action against Iran's nuclear infrastructure?"

He told McLaughlin: "I'm totally against it for many reasons. As a nationalist, as a patriot, I could not even think of a scenario which would involve any kind of military strikes on my country. And if that's my sentiment, I guarantee that's the sentiment of many Iranians." READ MORE

Pahlavi also voiced opposition to a military strike at a National Press Club press conference earlier this month, saying an attack would generate nationalist fervor in the country and strengthen the clerical regime. Such a strike would be a "gift" to the Tehran regime, he said.

McLaughlin asked Pahlavi: "If you were monarch today, would you defend your country's right to procure the peaceful uses of nuclear power, for example, in electricity?

Pahlavi answered: "Absolutely ... It's not even a question of having the right. Iran had that right already before the revolution. Three countries - namely, the U.S. Britain and Germany - were competing with each other as to who would sell nuclear technology to Iran. And by now, had it not been for [the Islamic] revolution, Iran would have had over 30 nuclear power plants."

McLaughlin asked if Pahlavi thought Tehran might use a nuclear weapon if it acquired one. Pahlavi said: "I'm not going to speculate as to whether or not the Islamic regime is going to use it or not use it." But he added: "I think that the threat is real."

And when asked if Iran would attempt a nuclear strike against Israel if it had the weapon, he responded: "The potential for this regime to use anything in its power to guarantee its mission of exporting the revolution may not stop at that. It may even include that."

Pahlavi left Iran in 1978, the year before his father was deposed, and has lived in the U.S. continuously since 1984. The Shad died in 1980.