The 45-year-old son of the late shah of Iran died early this morning inside his South End home after he allegedly shot himself, according to Boston law enforcement officials and a Web posting by his brother.
Prince Ali-Reza Pahlavi was found inside his West Newton Street home by Boston police around 2 a.m. today, according to police and the posting on rezapahlavi.org.
“It is with immense grief that we would like to inform our compatriots of the passing away of Prince Alireza Pahlavi,’’ according to the posting by his older brother, Reza Pahlavi. “Like millions of young Iranians, he too 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.’’
The posting continued, “although he struggled for years to overcome his sorrow, he finally succumbed, and during the night of the 4th of January 2011, in his Boston residence, took his own life, plunging his family and friends into great sorrow.’’
The statement added, “once again, we are joined with mothers, father and relatives of so many victims of these dark times for our country.’’
A law enforcement source in Boston today confirmed that Ali-Reza Pahlavi is the person who who apparently shot himself in the South End earlier today.
Alireza Pahlavi’s father was the shah of Iran and a close American ally, who was overthrown in the 1970s by a fundamentalist Islamic revolution in which remains in power in Iran today, bedeviling the current American administration with reported plans to build nuclear weapons.
Ali-Reza was born in 1966 and most recently has been a student at Harvard Divinity School. He has lived in the South End for many years, but has kept a low public profile.
His older brother, Reza Pahlavi, is a lawyer who lives in the United States and has taken a much more public role in opposing the continued control of his homeland.
A spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said today that the shooting death was under investigation and has not been officially classified as a suicide. However, Jake Wark, said the shooting is not being investigated as a homicide.
Boston police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll said that “preliminary investigation suggests that the bullet wound was self-inflicted.’’
Driscoll said the fatality remains under investigation by homicide detectives.