On Saturday, October 28, Prince Reza Pahlavi addressed the Meydan Roundtable at the Washington, DC Newseum. Prince Pahlavi is the former Crown Prince of Iran who is supported by the Iran Revival netwrok as the leader of Iranian dissidents. Iran Revival members seek a non-violent overthrow of the Islamic Regine. About one hundreds Iranians from North America attended the event.
Mr. Pahlavi discussed about some important Iran issues, including the danger of separatism, the fate of the military members after overthrow of the regime, the solution of Iran's major issues such as economic, environment, type of the government after Islamic Republic, and the transition process. I believe however that his answers to the questions asked had three strengths and weaknesses.
Strong Points in Prince Pahlavi's Answers:
- “I await the time whereby Iran will make history by establishing a government ‘by the people’, and not a hereditary government; or any other type of government for that matter.”
- “Help to the people unity is my role at this situation. I avoid taking political stand to support or against a person or a political group.”
- “At the end choosing type of the government is people job, not me. As an Iranian citizen, I have just one vote. Like others and I will use my vote at the right time.”
Critique of Prince Pahlavi's Answers:
- Prince Pahlavi's patriotism led him greatly emphasize the significance of Iran's domestic problems at the the expense of cultivating important international connections that are also of importance to Iran's future. It is in Iran's best interests that Prince Pahlavi dedicated more time enhancing his international connections and standing.
- Prince Pahlavi spoke about various proposals to Iran's major problems as he has done in the past. He however does not provide details or documentation to his audience that will better enable them to understand and evaluate his proposals.
- A political leader needs to show ambition which will serve as a source of motivation and bravery for his people. I do not sense that Prince Pahlavi has, at this time, this high level of ambition.
Prince Pahlavi stated the Iranian people's greatest problem is its lack of curiosity. Change never happens without the people accepting responsibility. The Iranian people, he said, need to show more care aboout Iran's future and take an active role in changing it. The Prince called on the Iranian people to be involved in the Turquoise movement.