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Son of Iran’s Shah Calls for ‘Concrete Action’ by Trump Administration

Son of Iran’s Shah Calls for ‘Concrete Action’ by Trump Administration

Thursday, 4 January, 2018 - 08:45
Asharq Al-Awsat file photo of Reza Pahlavi

The Trump administration should encourage US technology companies to provide communication services to Iranians as they protest their country's rulers, said Reza Pahlavi, the last heir to the Iranian monarchy.

In an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, Pahlavi said he wants to see Iranians "determine their own fate out of their own free will," and praised US President Donald Trump and members of his cabinet for speaking in support of Iranian protesters.

But he said they also should take steps to ensure that Iranians have access to communication and social media tools, which they have used to share videos and messages documenting protests and clashes with security forces.

"We need more than lip service. We need to see concrete actions," Pahlavi said. "This has to be immediate ... As we speak, the regime is attempting yet again to try to shut down whatever it is, whether it's Instagram or Telegram."

Iran, which bars the use of major social media platforms, also has restricted access to the Telegram messaging app, and Iranian users in recent days have reported major hurdles in accessing the internet.

Anti-government protests have gripped Iran for nearly a week in the most sustained challenge to the regime in almost a decade.

Pahlavi has lived in exile for nearly four decades, since his father, the US-backed shah, was overthrown in 1979.

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