Is Reza Pahlavi the Only Hope to Overthrow the Mullahs?
Over the past 39 years, I have witnessed various Iranian opposition groups and Iranian TV channels in Los Angeles keep popping up, one after another, but none united. Each group had its own agenda, yet the common denominator among all of them was “regime change.” Knowing the Iranian mentality and a decided lack of team work therein, I knew they could not possibly stand a chance against the powerful Islamic regime that possesses the capability of monitoring the Iranian population locally and globally in order to ensure compliance with regime mandates.
Currently, the balance of power in Iran favors the regime, mainly because the powerful Iranian mullahs have coup-proofed themselves from the military and created an equivalent paramilitary organization, referred to as the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Basij and Al-Quds forces, and other such intelligence and security organizations. Out of paranoia, the regime has stationed revolutionary and militia troops to actively and deliberately prevent anyone from any demonstrations or objections against the totalitarian regime. They silence anyone by any means available to them.
The multifaceted and often interrelating decision-making bodies in the military, paramilitary, and intelligence community provide the regime with a mechanism of coup-proofing. These establishments counter-balance each other, compete for influence with the Supreme Leader, and at the same time monitor, infiltrate, and violently suppress opposition groups. As a result, even the most savvy and well-organized opposition, the Green Movement inside Iran, remains somewhat weak against the regime.
Meanwhile, the regime uses the nuclear pass to expand its support amongst the population by molding the quest of uranium enrichment as proof of Iran’s great power status in the region and around the globe.
United States’s Dilemma
For decades, the United States wanted to support the Iranian opposition, but faced the question: which ones? It sought to have further clarity while understanding the opposition’s ability to induce reform and, at times, outright regime change. But the US has been unable to pinpoint an organized Iranian opposition. So, it never materialized. One of the defining Iranian opposition characteristics is: too many chiefs and not enough Indians. That has been a flaw in our culture.
Regrettably and out of desperation, a few Senators and some former US elected officials resorted to the People's Mujahidin Organization of Iran (PMOI) or MEK: radical Marxist-Islamists. The atrocities the MEK has done to its members are beyond the pale.
Prince Reza Pahlavi
Another trailblazer of our time is Prince Reza Pahlavi who said: “Civil Disobedience is the key to Free Iran.”
Reza Pahlavi is the son of the late shah of Iran. I have never had the honor of meeting or speaking with him, although I judge any man based on what he says and what he does.
As I watched this man grow and become a seasoned politician, my admiration for him grew stronger. In my opinion, Mr. Pahlavi has become the very asset that the opposition has needed for many years.
He appears to have no ulterior motive other than doing what he can to help his countrymen in Iran and his willingness to become the necessary catalyst to dislodge the current brutal regime. Reza Pahlavi wants the Iranian people to rise up against the regime and establish a parliamentary democracy based on democratic values, freedom, and human rights.
The Islamic Republic's response to the legitimate, peaceful demands of the people has been to strike back with an iron fist: beating demonstrators (both men and women), arrests, torture and rape in secret compounds, and even shooting in the streets -- the standard stock of dictatorships, but also the surest way of swelling and solidifying the dissenters' ranks. All signs point to conditions being ripe for the early demise of the Islamic Republic -- and the establishment of a secular Iranian democracy.
National Council of Iran
After a long and arduous 39 years of division among the opposition groups, on April 2013, with the leadership of Reza Pahlavi, the National Council of Iran declared its existence. I don’t know the exact number of opposition groups currently working with NCI, but as I was told, the number is growing.
“We realize that the current regime is not going to voluntarily leave the scene, which is why we have put together a campaign of resistance and civil disobedience,” Pahlavi told Breitbart News.
In a nutshell, if world leaders wish to have a free Iran, they must return to a pre-Revolutionary era, based on freedom and democracy and must stand behind Reza Pahlavi because he represents the will of majority of the Iranian people.
U.S. and Iran
Iranian Americans are among the highest educated people in the United States and have excelled almost in every area of endeavor, including business, mathematics, theology, medicine, sciences, arts, and entertainment – but many have traditionally stayed away from participating in American politics.
Iranians believe there is no question that the United States will never have a better friend in the region than a peaceful Iran. In my opinion, we need to improve on our past mistakes, including condemnation of former President Jimmy Carter who assisted, supported and installed the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran leading to the near continuous political, economic, and military violence spanning and molding Arab, Israeli, and Persian states for the past forty years. The general feeling for President Carter among Iranians is pure contempt.
Realistically speaking, there is perhaps 10-15 percent of the Iranian population that still supports the clerical regime in varying degrees. Many in this group are government employees, lesser mullahs, and hired thugs such as the Basiji. Yet, the alienation from the regime spans the entire spectrum of Iranian society with the intelligentsia and university students leading the determined opposition to end Islamic rule. Rouhani and Ali Khamenei are greatly despised (despite numerous misrepresentation of the Western media) by the overwhelming majority of Iranians. These two and their functionaries are in deep trouble with the masses that are going to take them to account before very long.
Let’s be reminded that the United States has invaluable allies on the ground in Iran. There are some fifty million Iranians who are the best hope we have to fight the mullahs in that part of the world. These enlightened citizens despise the mullahs and have no animosity towards Israel or the United States.
Millions of Iranians consider the mullahs, their lackeys and lobbyists as Iran’s enemies. Iranians have never asked for charity from anyone, but they are asking the people and countries that are also at clear risk from the mullahs to step up to the plate and help them in numerous effective ways to rid themselves of these usurpers, these religious fanatics who are hell-bent on promoting their deadly agenda.
In my opinion, the situation is going in a positive direction for the Iranian people. The current regime has their collective back against the wall and the magnificent young people of Iran are pushing hard and with great wisdom. They are making life miserable for the regime, just as the regime has made life a true misery for the Iranian people for the past 39 years. The end is definitely in sight.
But, they need moral and logistic support to destroy the common world enemy before it solidifies gains in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and then moves to disrupt the entire Middle East and beyond. This domino effect will eventually engulf the entire world.
Support Reza Pahlavi
Time is of the essence; the clock is ticking and the window is closing on the Iranian people. Diplomacy cannot be open-ended.
We can avoid this unnecessary looming civil war if we only stand and support our opposition leader, Reza Pahlavi, the most rational and politically savvy to lead us. History has many faces; this time hopefully we can and will invest in the people of Iran under Prince Reza Pahlavi’s leadership.
The best strategy, the one that stands the greatest chance of success and entails the least risk of stopping a cataclysmic chain reaction, is for a "coalition of the willing," to borrow a phrase, to rally behind the leadership of Reza Pahlavi.
It is the democracy-seeking secular Iranians who are thoroughly capable of dislodging the tyrannical mullahs. The call of the opposition should be resoundingly answered by President Trump and all other nations and leaders -- not only for humanitarian reasons, but in furtherance of their own national security interests.