The interview with Prince Reza Pahlavi, published in issue 22 of the German weekly Der Spiegel, entitled “Yes, I want a revolution”, which was conducted in London by the experienced journalist and veteran of this media, “Susanne Koelbl”, more than anything new about the current situation in Iran or the Prince’s views at the current stage, it expresses the approach of – if not the “German leftists” – at least a significant part of the left, mostly of Ms. Koelbl’s generation: an extremely conservative approach, pragmatic and bitingly “reactionary”. That is, an approach that fundamentally contradicts the “political identity of the left”.

    In a part of this interview, from which the article’s title is chosen, Koelbl says: “The last uprising cost the lives of more than 500 Iranian men and women from 2022 until now. Tens of thousands of protesters were arrested, tortured and sometimes even executed.” She does not mention these in order to enumerate the crimes of the regime. Koelbl presents these numbers to the Prince as a “receipt” like a salesman and asks: “Do you want a new Iranian revolution?”

    And when the prince replies, “Yes, I want a revolution…”, Koelbl immediately signs the “receipt”: “It’s easy to announce [a revolution] from the lounge of a 5-star hotel in London.”

    A similar “receipt” was presented by Khamenei in the famous Friday prayer of “June 2009” to the people and his opponents. “Now, these few people who were killed in these protests; from the ordinary people, from Basij, who will answer for these deaths? […] I want everyone to end this […] If they don’t, then the responsibility of its consequences, its chaos, is on them.”

    The purpose of enumerating the consequences of the national revolution is to assign the responsibility of repression and killing to the Prince. Responsibility for the crimes committed and continue to be committed by the regime.

    Koelbl continues to try to present a powerful and stable image of the regime; a regime that should be “feared”, a regime that she says still has many supporters: “There are many rich Iranians who benefit from this regime.” On X (formerly known as Twitter), she reposts a video of a Lamborghini in the streets of Tabriz and writes: “Not everyone is suffering in Iran…”

    We know similar to the image that this tweet evokes, from the regime lobby in the US: Tweets by Farnaz Fasihi from the mixed park and happy people, Negar Mortazavi from the Christmas market on Mirza Shirazi Street in Tehran and…

    This misleading image is as true as the “allegation of the Prince’s collaboration with Masih Alinejad”. In the introduction to the interview, Koelbl writes: “He [Prince] works with well-known figures of the opposition, such as the well-known activist Masih Alinejad.”

    Does the Prince cooperate with Ms. Alinejad?

    • No.

    This example shows that Koelbl does not have a correct understanding of the reality of Iranian society and its political landscape.

    The image of “a powerful regime” that is “not possible to topple” was injected by Koelbl in different parts of the interview. For example, when the Prince says, “A regime with only 10 percent support cannot last,” she interjects with: “However, the rulers there have lasted relatively long.”

    8 years ago, after traveling to Iran, interviewing Velayati and other members of the regime, Koelbl went with Pegah Ahangarani (pro-regime celebrity) to her cafe, and from there, a few years after the 2009 protests, announced that the people had “reconciled” with the IRGC and the regime. Why? Koelbl: “Because they have understood that the regime is stronger than them!”

    We see the same image of the regime “strength and stability” and the Iranians’ “surrender” when facing the regime, after many years, in the journalist’s view. Not only in the interview with the Prince.

    In a meeting with “Rouzbeh Parsi” from Sweden, the brother of “Trita Parsi”, one of the most famous lobbyists of the Islamic Republic, 4 months ago, on Februrary 1, 2024, Suzanne Koelbl from Germany, declared the Islamic Republic “firmly sitting on the saddle of power”. She said: “Simply put, they [the regime] are stronger [than the people].”

    In this video, the interviewer asks Koelbl: “What should be the Europe’s and Germany’s foreign policy in the face of Tehran regime? And what should this policy heed?”

    – Koelbl: “In Germany’s foreign policy towards the Iranian regime, we are really witnessing a clear change. Germans used to be a kind of “soft power”, a kind of “intermediary nation”. While the Americans always appeared rigid, the Germans had an attitude that was… how shall I say… ‘cultural’, ‘personal’ and there was also a ‘kind of affection towards each other’. But all of this changed at once with the arrival of the new foreign minister, Annalena Baerbock , who very bluntly said: We do not support this brutal regime. We support women, the movement. This caused all talk channels to freeze. And the possibility of achieving anything decreased significantly. That’s why I ask myself: sympathy is good, but effective foreign policy means that one can accomplish something, can save people from the gallows, can reach political agreements, can mediate in situations that political bottlenecks have been created in talks and negotiations. Germany blew these possibilities. Was it smart? In my opinion, no!”

    When the interviewer asks her what role the Iranian diaspora play in Germany’s foreign policy, Koelbl clearly answers: “They cannot determine Germany’s foreign policy.”

    – Why?

    Koelbl argues: “It is natural that the demands of Iranian diaspora do not automatically match the demands and interests of Germany. Germany has political, economic and social interests, strategic relations and alliances in the region, which are not always compatible with the interests of those who fled from a country. The pragmatism that a foreign policy should have is certainly sometimes painful for those who come from a country where they have been oppressed. On the contrary, those who have found refuge in Germany have to endure that not everything is as they want it to be. They are safe here. But they definitely cannot determine Germany’s foreign policy.”

    If one did not know that these statements came from a well-known journalist of a left-wing media such as Spiegel, one would surely think that one of the radical activists of “AfD” has spoken something from the dark corners of his fascist mind about concepts like “cultural integration” and “the right to vote” of German citizens of non-German descent. This level of reactionism in guise of pragmatism can rarely be found, even in the thoughts of extreme right, with this degree of purity.

    A Critical Review of Prince Reza Pahlavi’s Interview with Spiegel


    • Spiegel tries to blame Prince Reza Pahlavi for regime crimes.
    • Koelbl suggests regime is stronger than people, why aren't you afraid?
    • The interview evokes "stability and power" of the regime
    • Susanne Koelbl wants to appease the regime. She wants diplomatic relations.
    • She clearly states Iranian diaspora has no right in determining Europe's and Germany's foreign policy!