Former Persian Empress Farah Diba during Interview with Youm7 - Photo by Hazim Abdel Samad
CAIRO - 30 July 2017: On January 16, 1979, the Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi left Tehran after being overthrown by the Iranian Islamic revolution. The airplanes carrying Shah Pahlavi and his family, including his wife, Empress Farah Diba took off from Tehran airport and headed to Aswan International Airport in southern Egypt, where they were received by the late President Mohammed Anwar Sadat, and his wife Mrs. Jehan Sadat.
Therefore, on the 37th anniversary of the death of her husband the Shah, who passed away on July 27, 1980 and was buried in Al-Rifai Mosque in Al-Qalaa district, south of Cairo, the former Empress visits her husband's grave every year and commemorates his death and is accompanied by her friend, Mrs. Jehan Sadat.
Diba during the interview - Photo by Hazem Abdel Samad
The former Empress of Iran shares a strong friendship relation with Jehan Sadat, that lasted 47 years, as well as deep feelings for Egypt and the Egyptians.
In Youm7’s interview with Diba, she started by expressing her and her family’s gratefulness to the Egyptian people and the late President Anwar Sadat for their hospitality to them when they came to Egypt in 1979.
When asked about the relationship that she has with Jehan Sadat, Diba said that Mrs Jehan “is a great friend,” and that she considers what Mrs. Sadat, President Sadat and the Egyptian people did for them in the wake of what happened in Tehran in 1979, when many friends refused to host them, “is a debt that they appreciate and recognize.”
On the other hand, Youm 7 also talked to Jehan Sadat on Thursday, after she placed flowers on the tomb of President Sadat in Nasr City and the tomb of the late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in the Rifai Mosque, about receiving Shah Pahlavi and his family in Egypt.
Mrs. Jehan noted that Sadat received the Iranian Shah because “no else received them” and because he never forgot the favor when the Shah supplied Egypt with petroleum products during the October War in 1973, denying what some historians claimed that President Sadat received the Shah because he aspired to obtain a number of economic and military gains.
Diba further talked about the secret behind the friendship that originated between President Sadat and the Iranian Shah, saying that the reason was that “they believed in each other. Their friendship was based on many mutual interests, the most important of which was the development of their respective countries.”
On the current Egyptian-Iranian relationships, Diba commented that in her opinion, “Egypt and Iran enjoy a special position when it comes to regional politics,” they both also have great deep-rooted civilizations and their nations share similar nature in kindness and hospitality, pointing out that Egypt and Tehran once had an amazing relationship during the time of President Sadat and Shah Pahlavi.
Diba refused to discuss the current Qatari crisis, but when asked about the Hassan Rouhani administration in Iran, she responded that “Rouhani will not be able to implement the things and promises that he said he would do for the Iranian people, but hopes he succeeds.”
On the future of Iran, Diba affirmed that she trusts the Iranian youth to be aware enough, as well as the brave Iranian woman, pointing out to the difficult circumstances facing the people in Iran from “executions, imprisonments, poor salaries, the very high poverty rate, as well as the corruption of the Iranian government,” which the Iranian people are aware of.
Diba advises the Iranian people to “increase asking for their rights gradually, putting pressure on the government, the president and leaders in Iran to improve their lives.”
Regarding the performance of Maryam Rajavi, leader of the Iranian opposition abroad, and the Iranian president and parallel leader of the People 's Mujahideen Organization, who is based in Paris now, Diba refused to discuss her opinion but expressed her trust in the Iranian people to know where the truth lies.
Translated by Mariam Mostafa
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