Reza Pahlavi, the exiled son of the last Shah of Iran, believes that the majority of the Iranian people see the Islamic republic’s track record in the global theater as a failure, and would therefore be happy to strike peace with the Jewish state. “I would love to travel to Israel,” he says.
Israel and Iran are archenemies – that is a simple fact of the modern Middle East. So much so, that is it easy to forget that was not always the case. In fact, Iran was the second Muslim-majority country to recognize Israel as a sovereign state after Turkey.
Back in the 1950s, after the pro-Western Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi came to power, relations between Jerusalem and Teheran were close. improved. Israel had a permanent delegation in Tehran which served as a de facto embassy and ambassadors were officially exchanged in the late 1970s.
That all changed in 1979, when the Shah’s regime was toppled by Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Iran was declared an Islamic republic. The Shah had no choice but to flee Iran with his family. He died on July 27, 1980 while in exile in Egypt, where then-President Anwar Sadat had granted him asylum.