Friday, January 8, 2016

Death of a Princess

Princess Ashraf Pahlavi, one of the most important female figures in modern history of Iran, passed away.

Princess Ashraf Pahlavi was the twin sister of late Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi of Iran. She had a very sharp and smart vision in political matters and her smart contributions in the affairs of Monarchy during the first 10 years after resignation of late Reza Shah the Great, helped in stabilizing the nation's affairs for a period of time, until US government decided to meddle in Iranian affairs for a variety of reasons. Her absence from the politics due to her brother's request created opportunity for suspicious and shady characters to get closer to late Shah who later helped in bringing down the system. Late Princess Ashraf had many enemies among Iranians in political circles and also among many foreigner elements which, in one way or another, were mostly linked with western intelligence agencies.

During occupation of Azarbaijan by Soviet troops after second World War, Princess Ashraf was sent to Moscow by her brother to visit Stalin and ask him to fulfill the promise of taking Soviet troops out of Iranian territory after the war, based on his words that was given to Iranian government at the time of invasion. Ashraf was very young and ambitious at that time and Stalin was very impressed by her show of patriotism so much so that he mentioned her passionate lecture about her country to those surrounding him as a symbol of patriotism. It is true that such events could not be the only reason that Soviet forces left Azarbaijan but Princess Ashraf's visit and her appeal on behalf of her nation and the Monarch of Iran, could not go unnoticed.

During turbulent era of after WWII when Reza Shah was in exile, the activities of political groups had been intensified in a chaotic environment which was direct result of occupation. Different groups which mostly affiliated themselves with this or that foreign occupying power often engaged in fighting one another both in the media and on the streets. Any group which managed to gather more people around itself had more power to influence the political affairs and among them were Tudeh party, Hezb Iran and Hezb Zahmatkeshan, to name a few.

During those days (maybe even today), one of the greatest tools to fight an enemy was to start a rumor to discredit him/her. With means of propaganda at reach and absence of any kind of powerful authority to stop it, baseless rumors and propaganda would spread like wild fire. And Princess Ashraf Pahlavi was one of best and easiest targets of such propaganda for the groups who wanted to show how brave they were against authorities in order to attract ignorant and ill informed populace.

Late Princess Ashraf Pahlavi, not only was target of unjust criticism and propaganda from inside, she was also a target for covert propaganda activities of foreign intelligence agencies, mostly to neutralize her political influence and discredit her in the eyes of Iranian people. These propaganda was mostly through spread of rumors in some western news papers both in Europe and America, which also transmitted in more exaggerated ways inside the country, to fuel animosity towards the Royal Family of Iranian Monarchy among internal enemies and ordinary people.

Princess Ashraf had fiercely fought such rumors through official channels especially with Americans who always denied any connection with such rumors which were spread on their behalf. In one case it was rumored that She had been forbidden from entering the United States which office of secretary of state, in a letter to Iranian Embassy in London, denied such allegations and declined to investigate the source of rumor that was published in a European paper.

One of the horrible claims that had been brought up against her especially through the propaganda by Tudeh Party was her involvement in killing of a journalist named Mohammad Masoud. Dr. Fereydoon Keshavarz, one of the important members of Tudeh Party's central committee, in his memoir has given detailed information on how Mohammad Masoud was killed by Tudeh Party's assassins to implicate Royal Family. Tudeh party had a "terror committee" which was responsible for of assassination certain people in direction of Tudeh party's agenda. Khosro Roozbsh and Noroldin Kianoori were two members of this "terror committee" and they carried out most of the assassinations of political figures in those days. It is all there in black and white and the book was published while Dr. Keshavarz was alive.

There are many things that could be added here but in simple words, Princess Ashraf Pahlavi was target of worst negative propaganda, both from inside and outside the country, in modern history of Iran, which she did not deserve. Rest in Peace daughter of Reza Shah The Great, Princess Ashraf Pahlavi. Rest in Peace.