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Thursday, 23 May, 2002, 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK
Shah's 'secret daughter' lays claim
shah
The late Shah with the former Queen Farah in 1979
An Iranian woman has gone to court claiming she is the daughter of the late Shah of Iran, a newspaper has reported.

reza
Reza Pahlavi: Woman claims he was swapped for her
The woman, identified only as Masumeh, told the Tehran judge she was born on 31 October 1960, the same day as Reza Pahlavi, the former Shah's eldest son and former crown prince.

She said she was secretly swapped with the baby boy, after she was born, the Iranian newspaper Abrar said.

Masumeh told the judge that her real name was Fumika Pahlavi and that she was switched by her disappointed parents for Reza.

She asked the judge to order genetic tests to prove her claim.

But the judge placed her provisionally in a rest home, after her father told the court she had mental problems.

Judgement has been suspended pending a verdict from doctors.

'I want truth'

"I have no doubt. I am the legitimate daughter of the former Shah and (former Queen) Farah. I have come to court with proof," Abrar quoted the woman as saying.

"I have no complex about being a princess. What I want is the truth. If the Pahlavi family does not fear that the secret of the exchange with Reza be found out, let them carry out tests."

The Shah and his family fled Iran in January 1979 in the face of the Islamic revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini.

The former Iranian ruler died in 1980 in Egypt and his son Reza now lives in the United States.

The immediate Iranian royal family now consists of the former Queen Farah, two sons, Reza, 42, and Ali Reza, 36, a daughter, Farahnaz, 39, and their half sister, Shahnaz, 61.

The Shah's youngest daughter, Princess Leila Pahlavi, 31, was found dead from an overdose in a bedroom at a London hotel last year.

See also:

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