Iran’s Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi: Civil Disobedience for a Free Iran

BEVERLY HILLS — In an interview with Breitbart News on Monday, Iran’s exiled Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi called for greater American and international support for Iran’s freedom-craving people.

The crown prince is the son of Iran’s last king, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. He is the president of the National Council for Free Elections in Iran.

“We realize that the current regime is not going to voluntarily leave the scene, which is why we have put together a campaign of resistance and civil disobedience,” Pahlavi told Breitbart News. “And that’s why we’ve been in contact with a variety of secularists within Iran representing all sorts of views from workers to teachers to labor unions” to other organizations.


Adelle Nazarian of Breitbart News interviews Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi. (Photo: Adelle Nazarian for Breitbart News)

Over half of Iran’s population is under the age of 40. The crown prince noted that the advent of social media and technology is a priceless tool in the quest for freedom. “And fortunately in this world of social media and Internet communication most of the give and take happens by means that were not available 20 years ago,” he said.

Pahlavi recently penned a letter to President Donald Trump congratulating him on his victory. Asked how he views Trump and his administration with regard to U.S.-Iran relations, he said, “I think the current president has indicated that he wants to be much more in support of strengthening the people’s hand and, at the same time, weakening the regime. And I think that’s exactly what we were hoping to hear.”

He said this rhetoric and support “should not be limited to the U.S,” adding that he’s “always advocated that the empowerment of any people is always the best solution at the end, especially when they have to fight very oppressive regimes. So, engaging with the people, helping civil society in these countries, is the quickest path to maximizing the success of such nations to overcome whatever struggle they are facing.”

Iran’s former  recently died. The businessman had a checkered political past and was considered the father of Iran’s nuclear program. While some within the regime described his as a “man of peace,” he was better remembered by many of the Iranian people as an oppressor and for having orchestrated several international terrorist atrocities.

The crown prince also commented on the recent death of Iran’s former president, Hashami Rafsanjani, who was described in the media as a “man of peace” but who was the father of Iran’s nuclear program, as well as an oppressive ruler. Pahlavi compared Rafsanjani’s death to the passing of Cuba’s late dictator Fidel Castro: “It’s not the same anymore, no matter how many more junior cadres remain. And in that sense, more of a void will be created.” He noted the importance of making sure that “the void is filled with the proper alternative. That’s something everyone should be concerned with.”

Earlier Monday evening, Pahlavi addressed a private audience and urged “civil disobedience by means of non-violence.”

Reza Pahlavi (middle) receiving key to the city from current Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch (right) and former mayor Lili Bosse (left). (Photo: Adelle Nazarian for Breitbart News)

Although he did not mention President Barack Obama by name, the crown prince said, “When you fight extremely brutal regimes, such movements cannot succeed without having tacit support from other freedom-loving countries and governments.” His words evoked memories of the failure of the Obama administration to provide much-needed support to the ailing Iranian people during the 2009 Green Revolution and the stolen election that fueled it.

With Rafsanjani’s death, however, the crown prince noted that “the regime is pretty much beginning to show indications of fragmentation, going eventually towards their collapse.” He noted “the importance of making sure that the path to the alternative is as smooth as possible and that complete measures are taken to make sure that a dictatorship will not be replaced by another one. And that, indeed, it is the people who will triumph and nobody else.”

Asked if the crown prince would consider taking on an elected or lineal leadership role in his country of birth, and the land where his father reigned as its last king, Pahlavi said:

I’ve always said this is not about me. It’s about the Iranian people and their opportunity to finally get self-determination and freedom. That’s my only objective at this point. And the day that we have free elections will be the day I will consider my political mission in life accomplished. From that day on, I cannot tell you now what the circumstances will be. I’ve always said that I’m ready to serve my country, in whatever capacity that my constituents choose.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter and Periscope @AdelleNaz

(This article was originally written published on Breitbart News)


9/11: I Was Sitting in History Class the Day the World Stood Still

14316998_943458459719_7529318405299079198_nI was in history class the day the world stood still. I witnessed, on television, the destructive moments that would mark the start of an incessant war against Western civilization, an attack on the freedoms we had all come to know.

My teacher had postponed the day’s lesson in favor of this crisis of international proportions. As I witnessed the emblazoned images on the TV screen, which was hanging in the upper-left corner of our classroom, I recalled thinking to myself “this must be a dream.”

It was not.

At least seven people from my hometown of Livingston, New Jersey, perished in that terrorist attack. It was the first time in my life that I had felt sorrow, anger and determination simultaneously.

Fear was not an option.

I knew I was living through history. I also realized that I had received a brazen introduction to an enemy that would become more familiar than I’d ever hoped for.

Something awakened in me that day. While I was born in America and identify as an American of Persian ethnicity, I felt a renewed sense of pride and obligation to this nation and our allies throughout the world who uphold the values that make this country so great.

Over the coming years, I would equally yearn to find a way to help those living under the oppressive nature of hatred and fear to rise up and embrace the concept that they, too, could experience the same liberties and freedoms that every human being should be granted.

The Manhattan skyline I had grown up with would never be the same. Those two great pillars were physically gone. But the force that had been created in their absence continues to remind me of why we fight for our freedoms. It is often said that in someone’s absence, we learn to appreciate them.

September 11 is a constant reminder for us to appreciate and hold on to those 12 great pillars granted to us by our founding fathers in the U.S. Constitution: National sovereignty, natural law, self-evident truth, equality, inalienable rights, the inalienable right to life, the inalienable right to liberty, the inalienable right to private property, the primary purpose of government being subscribed as the protection of these inalienable rights, popular sovereignty, federalism and states’ rights and Divine Providence.

Never forget: No nation on earth was born great. It was made great. America is no exception. And it is precisely that humble thinking that makes us exceptional.

-Adelle M. Nazarian

(This post was originally published in Breitbart News:…/2…/09/11/breitbart-remembers-911/)

Princess Ashraf Pahlavi, Twin Sister of Iran’s Last Shah, Dies

Princess Ashraf PahlaviPrincess Ashraf Pahlavi, the twin sister of Iran’s late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, passed away peacefully in her sleep at her home in Europe on Thursday. She was 96.

The announcement of her passing was posted to the Facebook page of the Shah’s son Reza Pahlavi. In his post, Reza described his aunt as having a heart full of love for Iran and being devoted to improving the social life of its citizens and specifically the advancement of women’s rights and the fight against illiteracy.

هفدهم دی ماه ۱۳۹۴از درگذشت عمه عزیزم، شاهدخت اشرف پهلوی، بسیار متاثر و متالم شدم. خاطرات بسیاری از دوران کودکی تا به ا…

Posted by The Official Site of Reza Pahlavi on Thursday, 7 January 2016

Ashraf’s book Faces in a Mirror was her personal account of how the 1979 revolution destroyed the lives of her fellow countrymen and women following its takeover by the radical theocratic regime of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. She wrote the book in exile.

In addition to being a champion for women’s rights, Ashraf was credited with establishing Iran’s relationship with China and for serving as the head of the Iranian delegation to the United Nations for more than a decade.

Robert F. Armao, who has served as a senior advisor to the princess for almost 40 years, described her to the New York Times as “a very strong personality and a very strong feminist.” Armao is in the process of writing a book about the royal Pahlavi family.

To her supporters, the princess will be celebrated as a champion of women’s rights and an accomplished diplomat. However, her critics will continue to, by some accounts falsely, press her image as a power monger who played a pivotal role in the 1953 “military coup” that overthrew Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh over fears he was veering in favor of the Soviet Union and for nationalizing the nation’s oil.

The historical accuracy of the 1953 ousting of Mosaddegh having been a coup is questionable considering the Persian constitution stated that the Shah had the power to appoint and dismiss ministers. Oxford defines “coup” as “a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government.”

“Ashraf became the focal point, especially by many people on the left, of everything that was wrong and was made out to be some sort of maniacal witch,” Dr. Behzad Tabatabaei told Breitbart News. Dr. Tabatabaei, who is an Iran expert and an international business and political economist, explained that this was a far cry from the truth. “I’m not saying she was a saint by any measure. But she certainly was not the monster that people on the left or the religious zealotry have tried to portray her as. She was the sister of the Shah and had a lot of influence as a consequence of being part of the royal family.”

Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University Hamid Dabashi published a piece in Al Jazeera upon hearing of Ashraf’s passing in which he provides his personal perspective on where the ultimate fate of Ashraf’s image will rest.

As a princess, that is where Ashraf Pahlavi is headed: towards the pantheon of a nation’s collective memory, right next to Rudabeh, Farangis, Tahmineh, Gordafarid, or perhaps most appropriately Sudabeh. None of those characters are flat or banal – all are bold and multidimensional.

In Princess Ashraf’s death there is also a moral lesson for the ruling clergy in Iran or for the ruling dynasties anywhere else in the world.

No royal or presidential historian, no official obituary or hostile detractor will ever match the gentle creativity of a nation’s soul that plays with the soft clay of their rulers’ memory to fit them right where they belong – where they can humbly give back to their nation the best they had in them and then take back to their maker the worst of which they were capable.

Ashraf was born on October 26, 1919 to the late monarch Reza Shah. She is survived by her son, Prince Chahram Pahlavi, five grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren. Her daughter Azadeh Shafiq Pahlavi passed away in 2011. Ashraf’s other son, Shahriar Shafiq Pahlavi, was assassinated on a Paris street in 1979 by agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Shahriar’s death haunted her until the final days of her life.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz and on Facebook.

[NOTE: This post was originally written for Breitbart News and has been reposted on Adelle’s personal blog.]

The Sweet Art of Fish: Trust Me, You’re Going to Want to Read This

Extraordinary sushi…every day. That’s their motto. Don’t be jarred when you peel back the heavy, wooden and glass double-doors to reveal a modestly sized dining area whose walls are laced with wooden blocks in a geometric pattern that mimics the likeness of an ocean’s wave.

It’s a departure from your typical A-List sushi house or your favorite hole-in-the-wall late-night spot to help satisfy that salty, savory sushi craving. In fact, the sushi in America – for the most part – isn’t authentic Japanese Nigirizushi. Until now.

Sugarfish by celebrated Japanese Chef Kazunori Nozawa, uses a technique that it describes as “old school values” with a “new school vision.” A rare gem in the heart of Brentwood, Los Angeles, Sugarfish is one of (if not THE) best sushi venues you can find precisely 5471.32 miles from Tokyo.

Forget about your “Crazy Dynamite,” “Green Dragon,” or “Spice Girl” rolls. You won’t find those here. And you definitely won’t be seeing the name “California” anywhere on the menu. Simplicity at it’s best is the only way to describe the magic that happens at SugarFish. Delectable and delish, even their soy sauce is home made. And any issues you may have with trust, leave them at the door.

Known as the “Sushi Nazi,” Chef Nozawa follows a centuries-old Japanese tradition called omakase, where the master chef determines the menu. You can choose from the “Trust Me,” “Trust Me/Lite” and “The Nozawa,” depending on how hungry you are. With additional locations in downtown Los Angeles, Marina del Rey and Santa Monica, almost anyone can experience the sweet art of fish.

Sushi in America has wandered far from it’s origins in Japanese culture. SugarFish has, if even for a brief moment, returned it to it’s rightful home. You’re going to have to TRUST ME on this one.

Young Iranians Express Hope, Fear in Aftermath of Elections

Young Iranians Express Hope, Fear in Aftermath of Elections

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

By Adelle Nazarian

June 16: Iranian supporters of presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi stage a protest against presidential election results in Iran. (Photo by AP)

As Iran has been gripped by protest, violence and allegations of vote fraud in the wake of a contentious national election, people around the world are watching — but perhaps none more closely than the young Iranians who helped push voter turnout to record levels.

Some of those young Iranians, in interviews with, spoke openly about their hopes and fears in the wake of the President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s contested victory over reformist challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi.

“My fellow (Iranian) classmates in Turkey were crying when they found out the news,” said Amir Arman, who is a 33-year-old doctoral candidate studying social psychology in Turkey.

He said he wanted Mousavi to win badly.

“Mousavi is not necessarily the best candidate. But he is the least-worst of all four candidates,” Arman said, adding that one of his reasons for backing Mousavi was his fear that the world’s oil reserves are running out. “If Mousavi comes to the stage, he will bring nuclear power to the scene.”

Arman also is concerned about the lack of civil freedoms in Iran and poor management of the government.

Other Iranians gave different reasons for voting for Mousavi.

“If there was a 1 percent, just a 1 percent chance that I could keep Ahmadinejad’s vote from coming up, that’s the chance I took,” said a 27-year-old woman who asked to be indentified only by her first name, Samereh, for fear of retribution.

Samereh, who moved to Shomal from Tehran for work a few months ago, compared the Iranian government to the Taliban. She said people are fed up and willing to die for their country.

Mid-conversation, the Yahoo chat function on her computer started faltering. Minutes later, her connection was lost.

“The government is taking satellites down from peoples’ homes,” she said. “They’re everywhere.”

Masoud, a 27-year-old computer engineer who is fluent in both English and Farsi, also spoke on condition that his last name not be revealed.

He currently is unemployed, which is common among today’s young people in Iran, a sign of less-than-hopeful economic times. Masoud blames Ahmadinejad for this and said that while Ahmadinejad is in office Iran’s “freedom, economic situation and our relation with other countries are getting worse.”

Samereh and Masoud both expressed frustration with Ahmadinejad’s “superstitious” mentality and how he used warnings of foreign threats as a tool to boost himself to the presidency.

“A lot of people voted for him because … they were afraid of Ahmadinejad’s curse,” Samereh said. “They play with peoples’ senses.”

All three Iranians said they are tired of the Islamic republic’s current regime, in particular its mismanagement of the government and the economy.

But in an unprecedented move, Iran’s 12-member Guardian Council announced it will review ballots in a partial recount after what is believed to be the largest voter turnout in Iranian history.

Not all Iranians are optimistic that the outcome will be fair.

“In these times, you can’t trust anyone,” Samereh said.

For a Heart-Lung Transplant Patient, a New Life Beyond Her Wildest Dreams

For a Heart-Lung Transplant Patient, a New Life Beyond Her Wildest Dreams

Friday, April 11, 2008

By Adelle Nazarian


Claire Sylvia and Jane Seymour (photo courtesy of

She’d never liked beer, Snickers, green peppers or chicken nuggets before. It was only after she received her new heart and lungs that Claire Sylvia took on a slew of characteristics that soon would be her own.

Sylvia, 47, was dying from pulmonary hypertension — a disease that increases the body’s blood pressure in the lung vasculature and most often leads to death — in 1988 when she became the first person in New England to have a heart-lung transplant.

It was while recovering in the intensive care unit that she started feeling the presence of another body. When a writer reporting on her surgery asked her, “Now that you’ve had this miracle, what do you want more than anything else?” she was startled by her own answer:

“Actually,” she said, “I’m dying for a beer right now.”

There is no explanation for how Sylvia took on the characteristics and discovered the identity of Timothy Lamirande, the 18-year-old victim of a motorcycle accident whose heart has been beating in her chest for 20 years.

In her book, “A Change of Heart,” she describes how she discovered her unknown donor’s identity through her dreams and sensations.

In the months following her surgery, Sylvia says, she discovered a newfound confidence she’d never experienced. She found herself in better health, she was in better shape and while she “still felt attracted to men, I didn’t feel that same need to have a boyfriend.”

Her teenage daughter described her gait as being very manly. Sylvia also experienced a dramatic change in her level of energy and health. “I used to get sick a lot, and since I’ve gotten Tim’s heart, I rarely get sick,” she said Thursday in a phone interview from her home in Florida, where she moved six years ago from Maine.

But how is it possible for someone to take on the traits of an organ donor? And how is it possible to learn the unknown donor’s name through a dream?

Sylvia says the defining moment came to her a few months after the transplant surgery, when she had a dream about a tall young man with sandy hair whom she associated with the name “Tim L.”

“I woke up knowing that Tim L. was my donor and that some parts of his spirit and personality were now within me.”

Transplant patients are never told the names of their donors, for reasons of privacy. But Sylvia somehow had gotten through to the other side.

After a second dream nine months later, and the question still burning inside her, Sylvia decided she needed to meet her donor’s family.

She contacted the hospital’s transplant coordinator, Gail Eddy, in hopes of getting in touch with them, but to no avail. The transplant program observes a strict code of confidentiality. Even after mentioning Tim L.’s name, Eddy refused to provide the information. “Let it go. You’re opening a can of worms,” she told Sylvia.

But a few months later, and with the help of friend who’d said he’d dreamt of Tim L.’s obituary the night they’d met at a local theater, Sylvia got up the nerve to track her donor’s family down. She and her friend found Tim Lamirande’s obituary, including his name and address, in a Boston newspaper.

She wrote the Lamirandes, and they agreed to meet with her. All her questions were confirmed as the young man’s parents and siblings attested to Tim’s food tastes and personality traits.

Would Sylvia be different today had her donor not been Tim, but a woman?

She thinks so.

“Because every person has their own set of memories imbued in the heart and when they’re transferred, their memories become part of the recipient’s persona,” she told “I definitely would have been different.”

Sylvia says she conducted research for 10 years after the heart and lung transplant and found other organ recipients who experienced the same, if not similar, changes in their personalities.

How did she know Tim L. was her donor?

“Sometimes you just know,” she says. “It’s just what you believe. Especially if you’re a spiritual person. You can’t see love, you can’t touch it, you can’t smell it. But you know there is love there. It just depends on what you believe.”

Sylvia, who is Jewish, describes Tim’s family as being very spiritual. “They are a very practicing, very devout family,” she says. “So I have a Catholic heart inside this Jewish girl. … I always was spiritual and have always believed in things of the spirit. This just reinforced it.”

But her story doesn’t end there.

Ten years later, in 1998, Sylvia received a kidney transplant from her ballroom dancing partner and ex-boyfriend. She says she experienced a post-surgery phenomenon similar to the first. This time, she gained a fondness for cooking.

“I started baking and making things for him that I hadn’t done before,” Sylvia revealed in a phone interview. “He said, ‘You cook just like my mother used to.’ ” His mother would cook for him often.

Now 68, she accepts that her story is baffling. “Doctors run when they see me. They don’t know how to take it. I’m like a pink elephant and they don’t know what to do with me.”

She lives with Parkinson’s disease, has survived breast cancer, has only half a thyroid and a very bad case of shingles for which she recently had surgery. “I’ve survived a lot of different, different things,” she says.

She remains in touch with Tim L.’s family. She is close to his mother and they exchange Christmas gifts when she goes to Boston, where his family resides. She plans on flying there on May 23, just six days before the 20th anniversary of Tim’s gift of life to her.

As for those characteristics she adopted from Tim? For the first few years, Sylvia felt as though she was going through life with two sets of eyes. Since then, that has tapered off and “they are all a part of me. I inherited them and that happened a long time ago. They are my new being.”

“A Change of Heart” has been published in 12 different languages. In 2002, the film “Heart of a Stranger,” starring Jane Seymour, was released based on the book.

Ahmadinejad Says Comments About Gays Were Misunderstood.

Ahmadinejad Says Comments About Gays Were Misunderstood

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

By Adelle Nazarian

Are there gays in Iran?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, asked about the issue of homosexuality in his country during his controversial appearance at Columbia University two weeks ago, said there aren’t any.

Or maybe he said there are. It’s hard to tell.

The Iranian leader, through a spokesman, sought Wednesday to clarify his remarks, which generated both anger and laughter during his visit to New York.

Two weeks ago, when asked if there were gay people in his country, Ahmadinejad said, through an interpreter:

“In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. We don’t have that in our country. In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon. I don’t know who’s told you that we have it.”

On Wednesday, Ahmadinejad’s media adviser, Mohammad Kalhor, told Reuters what the president really meant to say was that the United States had a larger gay population than Iran does. He said Ahmadinejad was simply misunderstood by Western media.

“What Ahmadinejad said was not a political answer,” Kalhor told Reuters. “He said that, compared to American society, we don’t have many homosexuals.”

So, as they say in New York … Let’s go to the videotape. has reviewed a video copy of his speech through a Farsi interpreter.

When asked about gays in the Islamic Republic, Ahmadinejad replied:

“In Iran, firstly, we do not have homosexuals like you have here [in this country]. In our country, such a thing does not exist.”

Kalhor told Reuters that Ahmadinejad did not intend to imply that there are no homosexuals in Iran. Rather, he said, the president wanted to say that homosexuality is not as common as it is in the West because of cultural and religious differences.

Homosexuality is punishable by death in the Islamic Republic.

Human rights groups have posted pictures of homosexuals purportedly being hanged in Iran.