Updated April 20th, 2024 at 22:04 IST

Nation Wants To Know/ Crown Prince of Iran Reza Pahlavi With Arnab Goswami on the Biggest World Exclusive Interview

The exiled Crown Prince of Iran Reza Pahlavi speaks to Republic Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on Israel in an Exclusive interview.

Reported by: Shweta Parande
Crown Prince of Iran Reza Pahlavi With Arnab on the Biggest World Exclusive | LIVE | Image:Republic
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New Delhi: Amidst the ongoing tussle between Iran and Israel, the exiled Crown Prince of Iran Reza Pahlavi will be in an exclusive conversation with Republic Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on Nation Wants to Know. Reza Pahlavi will be speaking on the current conflict between Iran and Israel and its implications on the Middle East and West Asia region. This is the Biggest World Exclusive Interview on the Iran-Israel war.

Iran attacked Israel on April 13 with multiple drones and missiles, over 350, an attack which was foiled by the alert Israeli defence forces. Iran said the drones were sent in retaliation to Israel's attack on Damascus. In retaliation, Israel launched an airstrike on Iran on April 19.

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How does the Crown Prince of Iran view the ongoing crisis in Israel and Iran? He will be speaking on the issue in the BIG INTERVIEW on Republic.

Catch the LIVE Updates of the interview here, as it happens:

Arnab: Why would you want the world to push the envelope?

Pahlavi: There is a basic flaw of regime policy…. The very premise of expecting behavioural change…is to export the religious ideology… My argument is about why a change of regime would be good in Iran would be…this regime would continue to create problems through its proxies like Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthies, etc. There is only one solution left. A change from the Iranian people themselves. The regime may have some allies but it has far more adversaries. Once Iran is free, it will be a completely different picture and demeanour.

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Arnab: What do you mean by regime change in Iran?

Pahlavi: Domestic liberation movement by the Iranian people…. Our citizens are completely voiceless. That is the situation currently. Eighty-five million people in Iran need a voice…Iranian women need to have an identity, to have a connect with the world.

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Arnab: Less conflict is required in the world right now with COVID, Ukraine and the situation in the Gaza strip. We need to keep the peace in Iran.

Pahlavi: Freedom is tantamount…. The Iranian people are not going to tolerate this anymore.

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Arnab: Is Biden a weak leader? Is the US appeasing Ali Khamenei (the Supreme Leader of Iran)?

Pahlavi: Yes, I believe so. The Trump administration was strong. Between the Obama administration and Biden administration, the number of executions were half in the region… Iran's neighbourhood is frustrated with Russia and China. You have to go for the eye of the octopus, and that is Tehran. I am not calling for any foreign or military intervention…. The current regime is that of dictatorship. The current interest of the Iranian people is to get rid of the regime that follows the strategy of blackmail. They are blackmailing by taking random money from hostage. The strategy of the regime is to only blackmail and cause harm by using nuclear arms...

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Arnab: Iran would know whether the West wants to escalate it right now. Should an Iranian negotiation happen through any channel, will it lead to reopening of the nuclear deal and lifting of sanctions?

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Pahlavi: My job is to not to defend the regime, but to defend the Iranian people's interests, and not the regime that has denied us our freedom and our liberties. A regime that is strong does not repress its citizens and after 45 years, still continue to be aggressive…Do you have a plan for an alternative if this regime were to collapse? The (current) regime is provoking the region. The regime in Iran is adversely confrontational with Arab nations.

Pahlavi: The Iranian people currently are not enjoying sovereignty. Iranians are not looking to Russia or China. The Iranians are looking to the West for the principle of freedom and democracy. Freedom being a universal language, Iranians are not exposed to it….I cannot compare India to China. It is India's moral duty to support a democracy in Iran… People who are free should help others be free…. Freedom is non-negotiable. Other countries that do not have the same principles are interfering with Iran…. Freedom is paramount and tantamount, regardless of the challenges we face.

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Arnab: Why do we need sanctions from the West?

Pahlavi: The regime is not spending money on the Iranian people…not on hospitals or schools…How many Iranians are objecting to the regime? The regime has to receive that pressure from the outside world…but the Iranian people need that support from outside.

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Arnab: You have been living in the US. Some people see you as a Western prop. Please respond to the charge.

Pahlavi: These are not necessarily created by sympathisers. I am away from the country doesn't mean I am not aware of what's happening in my country every single day. My message is to understand why Iranians need to have the opportunity of liberation. That's what I stand for. This is my agenda.

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Arnab: What are your plans? What is the endgame?

Pahlavi: The plan is to make sure to bring this regime to a collapse, and to be prepared to manage the transition phase, as a new government will be formed. We cannot have a situation like in Iraq after Saddam (Hussein). There should be a referendum. The plan is to prepare grounds for a Constitutional assembly to plan for an election. There has to be an exit strategy offered to the people of the regime who are not corrupt or a part of the ruling mafia. The endgame is that Iranians go to the polls. I would have considered that a lifetime of mission to be accomplished.

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Published April 20th, 2024 at 19:22 IST