Son of former Iranian leader touts democracy
Hatchet Reporter / Erica Obersi

Audience members greeted Reza Pahlavi, the son of the late Shah of Iran, with a standing ovation when he spoke of the relentless pursuit for democracy and human rights in Iran at an event Tuesday night at the Elliott School of International Affairs.

Pahlavi - who has lived in exile in the U.S. since the ousting of his father at the time of the 1979 Islamic Revolution - expressed his support for the protests following the disputed 2009 elections and said that it was up to the Iranian people to move toward democracy.

"For those of us who have devoted our entire lives to the cause of democracy and human rights in Iran, we had hoped to avoid this day and these tragic consequences," Pahlavi said at the event, hosted by the International Affairs Society, which drew more than 300 students. "As it turned out, the events surrounding the fraudulent election in June 2009 caused the people of Iran to reach their point of no return, and the regime to abandon all pretenses of faith, national pride and humanity."

The former crown prince of Iran showed his admiration for the unprecedented mass-scale demonstrations against the totalitarian regime that happened for the first time in the 31-year-old Islamic Republic's history. He praised the nameless heroes who permeated the news with video clips, Twitter updates and blog posts that made the international community aware of the events unfolding within.

recommended by Darius Kadivar