Reza Pahlavi, the son of the late Shah of Iran, arrived in Israel with his wife for an unprecedented visit on Monday, April 17th.
The day before the visit, Pahlavi announced that he would travel to Israel to "deliver a message of friendship from the Iranian people" and participate in “Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day,” as he called it.
In a message to the Israelis, he also claimed that the Islamic Republic of Iran does not represent the Iranian people and that he came to play a positive role in reviving relations and ties between the two nations.
On the Israeli side, Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel, responsible for hosting Pahlavi, described his visit as historic, calling him the Iranian Crown Prince.
Gamliel presented Pahlavi as a friendly Iranian figure towards Israel, distinct from what she called the “Ayatollah regime,” Israel's biggest enemy. “We are taking the first step toward rebuilding the ties between the nations,” she added.
Moreover, Pahlavi published a picture of him while praying at the "Western Wall," citing a saying of Cyrus, King of Persia, in the Hebrew Bible. The caption read, "All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of the heavens delivered to me, and He commanded me to build Him a House in Jerusalem. "
He also explained that 2,500 years ago, Cyrus the Great released the Jewish people from captivity and assisted them in rebuilding their "Temple" in Jerusalem. Therefore, he returned to the temple to restore the ancient bond between Iranians and Israelis.
According to Al Jazeera, The Western Wall, also known as the "Wailing Wall," is where Israeli Jews have come to worship after the issuance of the British Balfour Declaration in 1917.
In the Islamic and Palestinian view, it is called the "Al-Buraq Wall" and represents the southern part of the western wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Muslims consider the Al-Buraq Wall to be an Islamic endowment that is solely the property of Muslims, and there is no stone in it that dates back to the time of King Solomon, as the Jews claim.
However, the Jews have adopted it as a place of worship, even though it is not part of the alleged "Jewish Temple." They call it the "Wailing Wall" because their prayers there take the form of weeping and lamentation. Over time, they have claimed that the Western Wall is a remnant of this "Temple."
While in Israel, Pahlavi met with several Israeli officials and conducted several interviews in which he attacked the “regime” of the Islamic Republic of Iran and assured Israelis that many Iranians want good relations with them.
“What you see in me is not just me; it's millions of voiceless Iranians who feel the same emotions being in captivity, in repression,” Pahlavi said to i24NEWS English as he seemed emotional due to the warm reception in Israeli.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara received Reza Pahlavi and his wife, Yasmine. Pahlavi expressed to Netanyahu his appreciation for Israel's efforts to provide support “for the Iranian people’s democratic aspirations.”
Also, he claimed that the “Iranian nation, as the children of Cyrus the Great,” are looking forward to establishing normal relations with Israel and creating a mutually beneficial and enriching cultural, scientific, and economic exchange.
In addition, the "Israel in Farsi" Twitter account published a video clip of Pahlavi and his wife standing next to a mural of Netanya "in support of brave Iranian women" alongside the Israeli Minister of Information and the mayor of Netanya.
They all repeated the phrase "Women, Freedom, Life" in English and Persian, a slogan used by protesters against the Islamic Republic in Iran during demonstrations that erupted in several cities following the death of Mahsa Amini, who died while in the custody of the morality police.
In the same context of attacking the Islamic Republic, Pahlavi visited the Sorek Desalination Plant and met experts in water and agriculture "to see Israel’s impressive water technology firsthand," while the Islamic Republic "is turning lakes, rivers, and wetlands into deserts," he declared.
He continued, stating, “I am certain that a free and democratic Iran can engage in partnership with Israel to reverse the environmental damage caused by the Islamic Republic and rejuvenate and rebuild Iran’s water ecosystem.”
During a weekly press conference in Tehran, the Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani commented on the visit and said, “Neither the person you’ve mentioned [Pahlavi] nor the purpose of this trip or the place he wants to travel to are worthy of discussion.”
Furthermore, the Iranian news agency Mehr published an article about Pahlavi's visit to Israel, explaining that the relationship between Israel and Iran does not date back to ancient times as claimed by Pahlavi, but “dates back to the dark days of the SAVAK atrocities of the 1960s-70s, when SAVAK henchmen, trained by Israel for the newest ways of torture, committed grisly crimes against dissidents and anyone who dared utter the slightest political criticism.”
The article also noted that both Pahlavi and Israel feel isolated after a series of regional changes that have favored Iran, especially the announcement of the resumption of diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia and the resolution of disputes with neighboring Arab countries.
Therefore, after losing the bet on the protests that followed the death of Mahsa Amini, who later called for the overthrow of the entire "Iranian regime," Pahlavi visited Israel to find a new scenario to rely on against the Islamic Republic of Iran, at a time when Israel has lost its ambition to build an Israeli-Arab front against Tehran as well, the article argued.
Edited By: Ashelyn Wagner
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