Statement regarding the Passing of Princess Ashraf Pahlavi

Jan 08, 2016, 09:00 ET from Robert F. Armao

NEW YORK, Jan. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Princess Ashraf Pahlavi, twin sister of the late Shah of Iran, died peacefully in her home in Europe Thursday at the age of 96 on the 80th anniversary of the unveiling of women in Iran.  Considered a pioneer of women's rights, she was the first woman to appear unveiled in public in Iran when she accompanied her father to the graduation ceremonies that launched the unveiling initiative.  As a result, she was maligned and hated by the religious fundamentalists.

Recognized as a skilled diplomat, Princess Ashraf headed the Iranian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly for more than a decade. She was considered a powerful spokesperson for her brother often acting as his envoy for many successful diplomatic missions. One of her most significant successes was her negotiations with the Chinese as the first Iranian diplomat to head a mission to that country that led to establishment of full diplomatic relations between the two countries.  In exile, she remained active supporting initiatives related to reviving Iran's cultural, literary, and artistic heritage.

She was president of the pre-revolutionary Women's Organization of Iran, honorary vice-chair of Iran's National Committee for World Literacy Program, Vice-President of the Imperial Organization for Social Welfare, head of the Iranian Delegation to the United Nation's General Assembly, chair of the First United Nations Conference on Human Rights in Tehran in 1968, chair of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, and, in exile, honorary president of the Foundation for Iranian Studies.

She is survived by one son, Prince Chahram and five grandchildren and great grandchildren.


SOURCE Robert F. Armao