An increasingly belligerent Iran has now seized a British tanker, and the UK and its Royal Navy seems, to all appearances, to be almost helpless to respond, or at least to respond promptly, sufficiently, and effectively.
“Another factor looming large over all response options must be the reality that the Royal Navy no longer has sufficient warships to dedicate to escorting maritime traffic through the Gulf and at the same time maintain its other commitments around the world.
“I know such an operation would be done as part of an alliance but it is troubling that a maritime nation like the UK, which is also a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, is no longer able to offer even the semblance of a sovereign capability to protect its interests at sea.”
Remarkable developments in Iran! The greatly under-reported protests against government corruption and other social and economic ills have turned sharply political, as Iranians have become increasingly fed-up with life under the mullahs.
In particular, many of the protesters are calling for the return of Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi, son of the deposed Shah, and a presumed Restoration of the Monarchy. Things may be reaching a critical point!
An Iranian friend and contact, well-placed to know what’s going on there and its implications, posted the above video on Facebook and commented,
“Who would have thought – I kept insisting that the most favorable conditions for restoration in any country today is Iran. Here is only one of the many protests calling for the return of Monarchy. This is yesterday – Dec 29, 2017. Chanting “King of Iran – return to Iran”. “Iran without a King = Iran in a mess”. “Reza Shah (Pahlavi) – Bless your soul.”
He further commented,
“The chants and slogans are being increasingly creative by the hour in support of the Monarchy. Empress Farah Pahlavi just issued a statement an hour ago in response to the calls of the people. People are now calling on Prince Reza Pahlavi, the Heir to the Persian throne to return asap.”
Here is the Empress Farah Pahlavi’s statement (in Persian):
Personally, I would love to see a Restoration. Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi seems to be a good man, dedicated to the well-being of his people, from what I have been able to determine. He also seems to be cautious and circumspect, which may help him to avoid some of the pitfalls of his father, who tried to bring Iran too far forward too fast, and thus incited backlash from Islamic extremists.
Still, Iran under the late Shah was progressive, forward-looking, protected the rights of women and religious minorities, and was friendly toward the West. And its people certainly deserve better than the rule of the mullahs.
Some call him an Emperor, some a Crown Prince and by his Iranian followers, he is referred to as His Imperial Majesty Reza Shah II. Still, the Crown Prince of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, has now called for a monarchist revolution in his birth country of Iran and calls for Trump and American help to transform the dictatorship to a parliamentarian monarchy.
It should be said that the Crown Prince wants to have a peaceful revolution that will be carried out by the Iranian people, and he does not envision an armed revolution with foreign military troops on the ground. Asked how his envisioned peaceful revolution could play out in Iran, Pahlavi said it would need to begin with the labour unions starting a nationwide strike.
Pahlavi’s father, Mohammad Reza Shah, took power following a coup in 1953 engineered by Britain and the United States. Under the Crown Prince’s father’s secular and pro-Western rule, Iran experienced a rapid modernization programme financed by oil revenues. The Crown Prince is clear in his statements; he does not want the same thing [a coup backed by Western powers] to happen again. “Western governments need to keep their distance and not threaten military action,” said His Imperial Highness.
I believe this would be of great benefit to the Iranian (Persian) people, many of whom are not happy with the rule of the Ayatollahs, and to the rest of the world, as well, for whom the Islamic Republic of Iran is well-known as a state sponsor of terrorism and a persistent threat to regional security. Respectful salute to His Imperial Majesty Reza Shah II, and prayers for the achievement of this goal!