Israel’s Kan channel yesterday revealed that the son of Iran’s former Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, will visit Israel to participate in the Holocaust memorial ceremonies and meet senior officials today.
The channel’s political correspondent revealed that there is to be a “historic visit to Israel by the son of a former senior official in the Iranian leadership, who will arrive for a secret visit” adding that the visit will be “under the radar” but that it will publish its details.
The correspondent reported that based on the information she obtained, the Shah’s son is expected to participate in the ceremonies on the Holocaust Remembrance Day, noting that “this is an interesting timing for the visit itself and his participation,” adding that “from what we have understood, he is supposed to participate in several public ceremonies related to the Holocaust.”
She pointed out that this visit was described as “secret”, with the Shah’s son expected to meet with a number of senior Israeli officials during his visit.
The Israeli correspondent confirmed that this will be the first time that Pahlavi’s son makes an official visit to Israel, stressing that the timing is interesting and that the former Iranian’s son’s agenda is interesting.
She noted that he is also scheduled to visit a desalination plant, see the Buraq Wall (referred to in Israel as the Western Wall) and meet representatives of the local Baha’i community and Israeli Jews of Iranian origin.
Israel’s Minister of Intelligence Gila Gamliel praised Pahlavi’s “brave decision” to make what she said would be his first visit to Israel.
She added: “The crown prince represents a different leadership from that of the ayatollahs’ regime, and espouses values of peace and tolerance, in contrast to the extremists who rule Iran.”
Reza Pahlavi left Iran at the age of 17 to attend military flight school in the US, before his cancer-stricken father, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, abdicated into exile.
His father’s rule was characterised by extravagance and repression, and he benefited from a CIA-backed coup in 1953. The late shah also had close diplomatic and military ties with Israel.