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Historic Visit: Iranian Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi to Visit Israel This Week

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JERUSALEM, Israel Iran's Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi will make history on his visit to Israel this week. Pahlavi, the son of the Shah, the last non-Islamist ruler of Iran, will attend Israel's "Heroes and Martyrs Remembrance" ceremony Monday at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel (Likud) will host Pahlavi, who was described in Israel National News as being the "most senior Iranian personality ever to visit Israel."

The exiled crown prince is a vocal advocate for human rights reforms in Iran.

He tweeted Sunday:

"I am traveling to Israel to deliver a message of friendship from the Iranian people, engage Israeli water experts on ways to address the regime’s abuse of Iran’s natural resources and pay respects to the victims of the Holocaust on Yom HaShoah."

Pahlavi added, "I want the people of Israel to know that the Islamic Republic does not represent the Iranian people. The ancient bond between our people can be rekindled for the benefit of both nations. I’m going to Israel to play my role in building toward that brighter future."

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Pahlavi's statement also referred to the ancient historical ties between Israel and Iran, which is biblical Persia. "The Iranian and Jewish people have ancient bonds dating back to Cyrus the Great and Queen Esther. As the children of Cyrus, the Iranian people aspire to have a government that honors his legacy of upholding human rights and respecting religious and cultural diversity, including through the restoration of peaceful and friendly relations with Israel and Iran's other neighbors in the region."

The crown prince also plans to visit Jerusalem's Western Wall, meet with senior Israeli officials, tour the Bahai Gardens in Haifa, discuss advances in agricultural technology and water with Israeli experts, and meet with members of the Iranian diaspora.

Intelligence Minister Gamliel welcomed Pahlavi's "brave decision" to visit Israel, and she said, “The crown prince symbolizes a leadership different from that of the ayatollah regime, and leads values of peace and tolerance, in contrast to the extremists who rule Iran."

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About The Author


John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN New since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.