The “beginning of the end” of the Iranian regime has started, former Crown Prince of Iran Reza Pahlavi said Wednesday in a conversation at the Hudson Institute in Washington with senior fellow Mike Doran.
Pahlavi stated that the recent protests in Iran are different than previous demonstrations.
“People smell the opportunity for the first time in 40 years,” he added. “This time is very different from 2009, even very different from 1997. The people have had it. Today’s generation of young Iranians cannot take it anymore. They want to have an opportunity for a better future. They want to be on the path of modernity and freedom. The only thing that stands between them and the free world is this regime.”
Pahlavi said that it’s time for Ayatollah Khamenei to step down and to allow a peaceful transition with a minimal number of casualties.
“To the forces that are employing repression as a tool, all I can say is that there are not enough people they can kill to maintain this regime in power. They better stand down and join with their brethren,” he highlighted.
“This regime cannot be reformed and must be removed,” he continued.
“It is long past time for you to hear their voices,” he told the audience at the Hudson Institute and emphasized that there is no point to try and negotiate with the Islamic Republic.
“In offering the regime negotiations without preconditions, you neglect the people’s demand for unconditional support. In fact, you betray them by accommodating their oppressors. International attention and solidarity are vital to any movement seeking to overthrow a totalitarian regime,” said Pahlavi.
He called on Western nations not to take an approach of appeasement with Iran.
“Just as the regime has shown an undeniable pattern of consistency in its behavior, so have Western democracies in their behavior towards the regime,” he pointed out.
“For much of these 40 years, the leaders of the free world have sought to engage this regime both in trade and in diplomacy. Along the way, there have been limited episodes of political pressure, almost always led by the United States, but there have also been episodes of outright appeasement also led by the United States. All such efforts have focused on changing the regime’s behavior,” he noted. “All have failed. It has now been time to recognize that this is not a normal regime and that it will not change its behavior.”
“For 40 years, the regime has shown that its agenda is not Iran and the Iranian people, it’s survival at the expense of oppressing people and repressing them to the point of killing,” he added.
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