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Farda Audience Picks Late Shah's Son As Iran's Person Of The Year

  • RFE/RL

Iran's former Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi

Iran's former Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi

RFE/RL Radio Farda's audience has chosen exiled Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi, the eldest son of the late deposed Shah of Iran, as the most important and most influential person of the Iranian year.

The selection is the result of an online poll that was timed to coincide with the Persian New Year and included thousands of respondents.

The 51-year-old Pahlavi has called for the prosecution of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on charges of crimes against humanity. He has also said he wants to unite diverse Iranian opposition groups and forces to eliminate the regime in Tehran.

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who was awarded an Oscar for best foreign-language film, finished second by just a few votes.

In February, Farhadi became the first Iranian filmmaker to win the prestigious Academy Award for his movie, "A Separation." He dedicated his award to the Iranian people, whom he described as peace-loving.

His success sparked jubilation among Iranians, but the Iranian government canceled a ceremony that was due to be held in his honor in Tehran, without explanation.

The number three newsmaker of the year, according to those who voted in Radio Farda's poll, are Iran's political prisoners. Human rights activists believes several hundred Iranians are jailed in the country over their political activism and dissenting views.

Pahlavi received around 33 percent (4,028 votes) of the vote, while Farhadi followed with 31 percent (3,717 votes) and Iran's political prisoners received nearly 10 percent of the vote (1,198 votes).

The poll was conducted online on Radio Farda's website and its Facebook page. Some took part in the poll by sending e-mails and text messages to Radio Farda. In total, Radio Farda received 12,024 votes from Iranians inside and outside the country.

People were asked to vote on a list of 25 Iranian and international personalities chosen by experts, journalists, and intellectuals as the most influential figures of the Iranian year.

Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi, Syrian protesters, jailed human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, and dissident writer and filmmaker Mohammad Nourizad were all in the top 10.

The poll was not intended to be representative of the views of the entire Iranian population.

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