An open letter to Mr. Reza Pahlavi

By: Amil Imani
January 18, 2005

Dear Mr. Reza Pahlavi,

"What it lies in our power to do, it lies in our power not to do." Aristotle
384-322, BC, Greek Philosopher.

I am not a very important man. I have had a simple life. I have not
accumulated a great deal of wealth. I was not born with a silver spoon in my
mouth. I have never held or occupied a position of grand authority. Yet, I
have always hoped to be as effective as my pen allows me to be.

As has been said, a hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank
account was, the kind of place I lived in, or what kind of vehicle I drove.
But the world will be different, because of my unceasing passion for doing
the right thing and making the right choice.

May Sarton wrote, "I would like to believe when I die I have given myself
away like a tree that sows seed every spring and never counts the loss,
because it is not loss, it is adding to future life. It is the tree's way of
being. Strongly rooted perhaps, but spilling out its treasure on the wind."

A simple man like myself would be happy to know that his efforts have
brought forth blooms of freedom for his noble country. I would like to think
that I am one of the makers of history, the builders of tomorrow. If I can
make my dream a reality, I will feel like one of the most important men who
ever lived.

Mr. Pahlavi, America was built on a dream. That dream is found in the
Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that
all men are created equal, that they are endowed by God, Creator, with
certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the
pursuit of Happiness." This was a great dream. It is now a reality.

One of the founding fathers of this great nation, George Washington,
demonstrated that in order to make America secure and eternally prosperous,
he must do what was right, regardless of what others asked of him or the
temptations of wealth and royalty. George Washington was a strong believer
in the office of the presidency. After the revolutionary war, George
Washington was approached by many of his friends and officers who suggested
that he should be crowned king. Needless to say, many men would have jumped
at the idea of becoming the first American king, but not George Washington.

George Washington had spent decades ridding America of a monarchy and he was
not about to replace the system he fought against for a long time with
another monarchy. George Washington easily could have become a king.
However, he chose to remain a man.

A president is elected to the office every 4 to 8 years. Another president
will replace him. A president who derails from the mainstream can simply be
thrown out of the office by the popular vote. A king remains in his position
for life and reports to no one.

For more than 200 years, America has been building and growing because of
that choice. I would like to recommend to you the same choice by refusing to
become the future monarch in Iran. Even if the people in a free referendum
vote to reinstate the monarchy, the ultimate choice is yours to make. I
would like to recommend that you join forces with our republicans for a once
in a lifetime chance to redeem Pahlavi's name and bring joy to the heart of
Cyrus the Great, the founding father of Persia.

Mr. Pahlavi, I want to ask you to look around you. What do you see? Who do
you think those phony people are who have allied themselves with you? I want
to ask you to ally yourself in one of the great ongoing struggles of the
Iranian experience - the struggle for the soul of democracy, for government
"of, by, and for the people."

Do not let this opportunity pass you by. This is a battle we can win only if
we work together. This alliance will bring shivers to the fabrics of the
Islamic regime. This bombshell will be catastrophic and will, overnight,
bring you allies from every corner of the world. You have a lifetime
opportunity to become the second Cyrus by simply doing the right thing. You
can become another George Washington, a man who refused to be a king.

Imagine if George Washington had declared himself a king. America might have
fallen into an anarchy or been taken over by foreign powers. You would be
living in a different America, but instead, she became the center of
civilization and home to millions of freedom loving souls from all aspects
of life, including yourself. George Washington had a strong vision. He
could simply see beyond his time, something I am asking you to do.

Mr. Pahlavi, "History is the science of what never happens twice." Said,
Paul Valery. The time and place is now. Lead the way as a true democrat and
abandon any thought of reviving the old system of monarchy in Iran. "The
Winds of Change," should be about changing Iran to an everlasting democracy,
not reviving the system of monarchy.

Mr. Pahlavi, do the right thing and establish yourself forever as a man who
refused to be a king.