Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi will establish a European residence after he visits Egypt next week, but he is counting on returning to Iran at an opportune moment, according to a former palace aide who just returned here after visiting the monarch in Morocco.
Hossin Amir-Sadeghi, the aide, said, "He will return when the country starts to break up, and that's not far away if Bakhtiar folds." He was referring to Prime Minister Shahpour Bakhtiar, whose government is the target of the Islamic-inspired revolution led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Amir-Sadeghi would not say where in Europe the shah plans to live nor when he is expected to move there. the shah, however, has extensive properties in Switzerland and frequently visits there.
Amir-Sadeghi said that the shah had no current plans to visit the United States.
He suggested that the shah intends to return to reign in a constitutional monarchy rather than rule with absolute power as he did before leaving Jan. 16, ostensibly for a vacation.
In the last days of the shah's rule, Amir-Sadeghi, a son of the shah's former chauffeur, emerged from a power struggle in the palace spokesman's office as a self-described "adviser" to the monarch. He said his discussions with the shah -- one of the rare audiences granted by the monarch since he left -- took place in Marrakesh.
"Nobody is being received," Amir-Sadeghi said. "He has cut off most family members"
Amir-Sadeghi was the aide who disclosed the shah's departure plans the day before the monarch left Iran, while official palace spokemen continued to deny it up to the last moment.
Amir-Sadeghi described the shah's mood as "better," and said "the aura which surrounded him in Tehran is gone." In his final days here, the shah was described by visitors as morose, easily distracted and seemingly out of touch with the tumultuous events swirling around him.
When asked if the shah feels betrayed by the United States, which has been making overtures to Khomeini after years of unremitting support of the monarch, Amir-Sadeghi said, "The shah feels betrayed by his own idiots, not the United States."
Amir-Sadeghi said the shah spends most of his time reading and "thinging a lot -- assessing."
He said the shah is also intensely interested in what is happening in Iran politically and regularly reads the papers and listens to the news broadcasts "as much as I advise him to keep off that.
"He feels very much he still has a responsibility to this country and to the people... If necessary he will take a stand," Amir-Sadeghi said.
The crisis, Amir-Sadeghi explained, will come when Bakhtiar's government collapses and Iran falls into anarchy and civil war.
"The army will not be able to act without extreme bloodshed, and the army is under the shah's orders. He is the only man who can keep the army together," the former palace aide said.