Friday, January 06, 2006

Iran under the Shah

Iran's former Queen Farah Pahlavi repsonds to Thomas Friedman's "A Shah with a turban":

International Herald Tribune - Thomas Friedman's article, "A shah with a turban" (Views, Dec. 24), poignantly illustrated the rift between Iran's clerical dictatorship and the country's population, especially the youth. However, an inappropriate headline and cartoon by Kal undermined what was informative and valuable in his article.

The implication that the shah's reign bears any resemblance to the present regime is inaccurate. Under the late Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Iranians enjoyed incomparably better lives than what they have to endure today; moreover, the prospect for a stable Middle East appeared promising.

Jews and other religious minorities thrived and prospered under the shah, who promoted religious freedom and tolerance. During World War II, Iran assisted many Jews fleeing the Nazis by issuing them Iranian travel documents, a policy that was continued for Middle Eastern Jews expelled from their respective countries.

Farah Pahlavi, New York