In 1979, the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, left his country as an Islamic Republic was established under the leadership of Rohollah Khomeini. Since then, the Islamic regime in Iran has reportedly expended hundreds of millions of dollars in efforts to tarnish the image of the Shah and the monarchy he represented. Today, 38 years after the Islamic takeover of Iran and 37 years since the Shah’s death in Cairo, it’s evident that the Islamic Republic’s endeavors have been unsuccessful.
In fact, support for the Shah is growing daily, as the people of Iran increasingly come to understand that many of the allegations leveled against the Shah and his reign were primarily based on falsehoods and fabrications. The backing for the late Shah and the monarchy is so considerable that the Islamic regime has publicly stated that the monarchists pose the greatest threat to their regime. Abbas Salimi Namin, a high-ranking member of the Islamic regime with close ties to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who previously also served as the editor-in-chief of the influential newspaper “Kayhan” and later became the director of the “Office of Iranian History”, stated in an interview with the “Student News Agency” that the monarchists are the greatest threat to the security of the Islamic republic.
Ali Chenar noted in a 2012 article for the Tehran Bureau that the Shah’s popularity is experiencing a resurgence among Iran’s younger generations. His observations suggest:
More than three decades after Mohammad Reza Shah Phalavi’s death and despite relentless official demonization of the former monarch, the younger generations of Iranians have a soft spot for the man whom their parents brought down.
For only two years ago, in 2015, The Guardian reported that
Iranians are lapping up Shah memorabilia
Radio Farda, a component of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, often faces criticism from Iranians for allegedly supporting the current Islamic regime. However, they published a fascinating article on July 28th, 2017, to commemorate the anniversary of the Shah’s death. The piece declared:
Today, many Iranians refer to him as the “blessed” king and believe that everything — from economy and politics to culture and society — was better in his time.
And now, in August 2017, we have it on film, thanks to the Iranian internet TV, Zero Network.
The Zero Network, renowned for its ground-level interviews in Iran on a variety of contentious topics, recently released a nearly five-minute clip featuring young Iranians’ perspectives on the Shah. Each person interviewed either refrained from responding (likely due to fears of potential reprisals from the regime) or spoke positively of the Shah. The most intriguing response came from a woman who, judging by her attire, appeared to be very religious. She asserted:
In Iran we have four different times: The present, the past, the future and the time during the Shah.
Everything was better then.
The clip is in Farsi and is embedded here. For the direct link please go here.
Witnessing all this only strengthens my conviction that history is indeed the best judge of a leader.