Middle East Monitor / April 18, 2023
The eldest son of Iran’s deposed Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, on Tuesday visited the Western Wall [Al-Buraq Wall] of Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in Occupied East Jerusalem, and voiced hope to restore “historic friendship” with Israel, Anadolu News Agency reports.
During his father’s rule, before being overthrown in 1979 by the Iranian Islamic Revolution, the Shah regime had built strong ties with Israel. Since that time, he and his family have been living in exile.
“It is with profound awe that I visit the Western Wall of that Temple and pray for the day when the good people of Iran and Israel can renew our historic friendship,” Reza Pahlavi wrote on Twitter, following his visit to the Western Wall.
“2,500 years ago, Cyrus the Great liberated the Jewish people from captivity and helped them rebuild their Temple [in reference to the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex location] in Jerusalem,” he added.
For Muslims, Al-Aqsa represents the world’s third-holiest site. Jews, for their part, call the area the Temple Mount, saying it was the site of two ancient Jewish temples.
On Sunday, Pahlavi was officially welcomed at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport, where he was greeted by Israel’s Intelligence Minister, Gila Gamaliel. He also met with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Monday.