Birth of Farahnaz Pahlavi

The family remains of great emotional relevance to Iranians. The Pahlavis themselves know that they stand no chance of being reinserted into Iran politically, though they must more than suspect that their moments of personal grief will be reflected in monumental ways on the larger stage of the political imagination. Indeed, the initial statement by older brother Reza on his website starkly attributed Alireza’s suicide to the younger man’s despair over — an all-too-blatant political stance that only opened the family up to criticism. Certainly, the shattering fall of his father and the dislocation of exile contributed to Alireza’s depression and pain. But just as surely, any suicide in a depressed person arises when such anguish combines with intimate factors from that individual’s genealogy, biochemistry and medical history.