Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Shah's youngest son found dead

Alireza Pahlavi has been found dead at his home in Boston (AP)

The youngest son of the late shah of Iran has been found dead in an apparent suicide at his US home.

He had "struggled for years to overcome his sorrow", his brother said.

"It is with immense grief that we would like to inform our compatriots of the passing away of Prince Alireza Pahlavi," the shah's oldest son, Reza Pahlavi, wrote on his website in announcing the death.

He said his brother was "deeply disturbed by all the ills fallen upon his beloved homeland, as well as carrying the burden of losing a father and a sister in his young life".

Pahlavi, 44, died from a single gunshot wound that was apparently self-inflicted, said Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney's office in Massachusetts. Boston police said they found a man dead shortly after 2am on Tuesday at a home in the city's South End neighbourhood.

Former Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was overthrown in the 1979 Islamic revolution. He fled Iran and wandered from country to country, ill with cancer, and eventually died in Egypt in 1980.

Alireza Pahlavi was born in Tehran in 1966 and attended school there until 1979, according to a brief biographical sketch on the website of his mother, the former empress Farah Pahlavi.

From 1979 to 1981, Pahlavi attended schools in New York and Cairo, and from 1981 to 1984 he attended Mount Greylock Regional High School in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Pahlavi studied music as an undergraduate at Princeton University and ancient Iranian studies as a graduate student at Columbia University. He also did postgraduate work at Harvard University in ancient Iranian studies and philology.

In June 2001, a sister of Pahlavi's, Leila Pahlavi, was found dead in her London hotel room. A coroner ruled that her death at 31 was the result of an overdose of barbiturates. Her mother said at the time that her daughter had been "very depressed". Her doctor had said she had a history of anorexia, bulimia and psychological problems.

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