Washington: Exiled Iranian Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi yesterday said that he “wants to see Iranians determine their own fate out of their own free will.”
He praised US President Donald Trump and members of his cabinet “for speaking in support of Iranian protesters,” according to Reuters.
“They also should take steps to ensure that Iranians have access to communication and social media tools, which they have used to share videos and messages documenting protests and clashes with security forces.
“We need more than lip service. We need to see concrete actions,” he said.
Reza Pahlavi said that the Tehran regime was bent on fuelling conflicts in the region to maintain its existence and cover up its disastrous internal failure.
“The theocratic regime hijacks power, holds people hostage and plunders national resources to fund its agenda and support its allies in Lebanon, Syrian and other countries,” he said.
He rejected the Iranian regional hegemony which, he said, takes its toll on people inside the country.
The former crown prince criticised the nuclear deal between Western powers and Iran which played in the hands of Tehran and filled its coffers with $1.7 billion.
The West squandered opportunities to help the Iranian people and instead sealed the flawed deal which delayed the nuclear issue without solving it.
Iranian Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi separately urged the US and international community to support nationwide protests in Iran with political sanctions and not economic measures that could hit the general population.
In an interview, Ebadi said she supported the protests “one hundred per cent” and urged the people of Iran to stay in the streets in peaceful protests and engage in civil disobedience.
“People should stop paying electricity, water and power bills. They should not pay their tax. They should withdraw their money from banks,” said Ebadi.
Their comments came as major protests – that have claimed 21 lives so far – continued across Iran and the US voiced new support for the protesters.
The US last night sought emergency UN Security Council talks today on the unrest and slapped sanctions on five Iranian companies over the country’s illegal ballistic missile programme.
However, Iran’s army chief declared his troops were ready to intervene if needed. The Islamic republic has filtered and shut down all Internet access throughout Iran.
In Tehran, the families of the protest detainees launched a rally in front of Evin Prison. People also demonstrated in Ferdowsi Square. In the Qarchak area of Tehran, a clash between security forces and protesters began in Muhammad Abad Street.
Protests were also reported in Isfahan, Tabriz, Ardabil, Assaluyeh, South Pars, Golsar, Rasht, Qazvin, Arak, Gonbad, and in Gohardasht, Karaj.