As gasoline price-increase protests spread to a dozen cities in Iran, exiled prince Reza Pahlavi tweeted Friday that the Islamic Republic has brought only poverty and suffering to the Iranian people.
The prince’s reference was to promises made during the 1979 Iranian revolution when its founder Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini promised free electricity, water and public transportation to the people, claiming that the monarchy was corrupt, denying the people the benefits from Iran's vast oil wealth.
Reza Pahlavi said that the only thing offered for free by the Islamic Republic is oil to its allies in the region, a reference to Syria’s strongman Bashar Assad.
The prince has also called for of the overthrow of the ruling establishment, calling on the people to rely on their own power. He is considered a leading Iranian opposition figure.
Iran’s exiled queen, Reza Pahlavi's mother Farah Pahlavi has also tweeted, thanking the protesters for their chants honoring the memory of Iran’s last two kings, Reza Shah Pahlavi, the modernizing monarch who founded the Pahlavi dynasty and his son, the last king, Mohammad Reza Shah.
Iran’s government early November 15 announced gasoline will be rationed and prices raised. The government faces zero oil export revenues because of tough U.S. sanctions and cannot finance half of its annual budget.