Did you know that His Imperial Majesty Reza Shah II was an Eph? Now, you do. Reza Pahlavi ’83 is the son of the former Shah of Iran. Recent speech here.

Prior to concluding my remarks, let me say a few words about dialogue and engagement with the clerical regime. While such an approach is, as I just said, being advocated by a main current of opinion, there is another extreme who argue for the military option in the shape of military strikes, even all-out war. I have time and again expressed my firm opposition to any military solution. Moreover, the current talk of war could alienate public opinion inside my country and even unite it behind a much despised regime. Iranians in their great majority have friendly feelings towards the United States and the West. Therefore, it is important that they should not be let down.

There is no doubt that dialogue must be privileged in all circumstances. But those who confuse the process with purpose and view negotiations as a panacea are in for disappointment. Henry Kissinger once rightly pointed out that “diplomacy never operates in a vacuum;” it succeeds when the parties arrive at a frame of mind or at a realization that the risks involved in non-negotiation outweigh benefits of preserving one’s original position. The process of give-and-take that results from negotiation is incidental to that paramount realization.

Have the ruling mullahs reached that mental threshold? The answer in my judgment is negative, although a resolute global strategy – short of resort to military action – could transform the current mindset. A few years ago we saw such a transformation in the attitude of Colonel Muamar Qaddafi in Libya.

I suspect that Pahlavi is not the only Eph opposed to military action against Iran. But I don’t think that it was a only a “resolute global strategy” that caused Qaddafi to give up his nuclear ambitions . . .

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