Son of Shah in historic visit to Jerusalem: ‘Iran, Israel, will build peace’

“Millions of my countrymen reject the murderous anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic policies of the regime and call for cultural, scientific and economic exchanges with Israel.”

By World Israel News Staff

Reza Pahlavi, the exiled son of the deposed Iranian Shah, said during a historic visit to Israel on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day that the Jewish state and Iran will build peace and friendship.

“We are very happy to be here and are dedicated to working toward the peaceful [and] prosperous future that the people of our region deserve,” he tweeted on landing with his wife Yakima in Ben-Gurion Airport.

“From the children of Cyrus, to the children of Israel, we will build this future together, in friendship,” the former Crown Prince said.

The Islamic Republic, Pahlavi said, “did not reflect the will of the Iranian people.”

“The Iranian people aspire to a government that will respect its heritage, preserve human rights and respect religious and cultural diversity, among other things through the restoration of peace and friendship with Israel and Iran’s other neighbors,” he said.

“Millions of my countrymen still remember living alongside their Jewish-Iranian friends and neighbors before the Islamic Revolution tore the fabric of our society apart. They reject the murderous anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic policies of the regime and call for cultural, scientific and economic exchanges with Israel. A democratic Iran will seek to renew its ties with Israel and our Arab neighbors. In my opinion, this day is closer than ever.”

Pahlavi arrived in Israel at the behest of Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel to create a bridge between Israel and the Iranian people and expressing joint opposition to the regime in Tehran. The heir to the throne promotes discourse on the human rights situation in Iran and supports a democratic Iranian leadership.

Iran and Israel had historic ties until the 1979 overthrow of Pahlavi’s father, the former Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

Pahlavi went directly from Ben-Gurion Airport to the national Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave an address comparing the Nazis to the Ayatollah regime in Iran.

“It is especially meaningful for me to be here on #YomHaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day. Today, I join Holocaust survivors and their families at @yadvashem to help keep the memory of Holocaust victims alive. As author Elie Wiesel said, without memory there is no hope.”

After the ceremony, Pahlavi stood for Israel’s national anthem before meeting Netanyahu and his wife Sarah.

Gamliel noted that Pahlavi was “the most senior Iranian personality to ever come to a public visit to Israel. We appreciate the Crown Prince’s expression of solidarity with the citizens of Israel in the face of the severe terrorist attacks perpetrated by Iran.”

Read  WATCH: Iran beefs up air force with new fleet of Russian fighter jets

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani brushed off questions about Pahlavi’s visit.

“Neither the person you’ve mentioned (Reza Pahlavi), the purpose of this trip, nor the place he wants to travel to are worthy of discussion,” he said.