Former Crown Prince of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, and Saeed Ghaseminejad, a spokesman for the Liberal Students and Graduates Organization of Iran, engaged in a spirited debate about Iran’s future Thursday on Voice of America’s lively Farsi language program, Horizon.
The debate, which was broadcast live by VOA’s Persian News Network into Iran by satellite and streamed on the Internet, marked the first time the former Crown Prince had agreed to publicly debate a member of the pro-democracy movement.
Reza Pahlavi, who has been accused by pro-democracy advocates of trying to re-establish a monarchy in Iran, told Horizon host Siamak Dehghanpour, “My goal as an Iranian is to save my country, meaning that I would make sure the Iranian people have a right that they don't have today, which is to elect freely." He said the current regime needed to be changed, but through non-violent means.
Saeed Ghaseminejad, a Paris-based spokesman for the Liberal Students and Graduates Organization of Iran, said by satellite that Mr. Pahlavi's emphasis on a ceremonial monarchy has put him at odds with the visible public role he is trying to play as a political leader and advocate. “That's why he can't be an effective force as a potential leader," Mr. Ghaseminejad said.
PNN’s Horizon (Ofogh in Farsi) is a half-hour program that airs Monday through Thursday. By bringing two guests with opposing views to the table, host Siamak Dehghanpour presents a dynamic look at important issues facing Iran. To find more from Horizon visit PNN’s website at www.voanews.com/persian/news.