South Asia and Beyond

Iran Ex-Crown Prince Moots Elected Monarchy

Reza Pahlavi, son of Iran’s last monarch, has called upon Iranians to create the position of an elected monarch as part of a system that can replace the Islamic republic. “I have a serious issue with a hereditary monarchy,” he told VOA Persian in an interview in the United States, where he lives in exile.

Pahlavi’s father Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who ruled the country for nearly four decades, was overthrown by Shia clerics in the Iranian revolution of 1979.

Asked if the elected monarch should be in power for life, Pahlavi said no. “Committing to something for life might be an extreme expectation,” he said. Does he see himself as a potential candidate? No explicit affirmation but no definitive refusal either. “The leadership [of the nation] will emerge from within the people in Iran.”

Various Opposition groups that operate in exile have welcomed Pahlavi’s suggestion though there’s no clarity on how they intend to go about it. And there’s little hope that the current regime will allow any such thing to happen. At least 300 Iranians were killed on the streets in 2019 during anti-government protests.