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Alireza Pahlavi, the second son of Iran’s former Shah who died of a gunshot wound on Tuesday, wished to be cremated after death, then for his ashes to be scattered in the Caspian Sea, his brother told the press in Boston.

“We mourn today the succumbing of our beloved Alireza to the weight, pain and daily burdens of this grave illness, and because of its robbing the promise of yet another life, unfulfilled,” Reza Pahlavi, Iran’s former crown prince said. “Depression is an illness often with tragic consequences,” he said.

Boston police said in a statement “the preliminary investigation indicates that the gunshot wound was self-inflicted”. However, the official cause of death will be announced by the office of the medical examiner. Elaine Driscoll, a spokeswoman for the force, said in a phone interview that there was no indication when the results will be released. She declined to describe the type of the wound.

Alireza Pahlavi was born in 1966 in Tehran and received degrees from Princeton and Columbia Universities in ethnomusicology and Ancient Iranian Studies. He also studied Ancient Iranian Studies and Philology at Harvard University, according to the website of his mother. He was said to have suffered from depression after his sister Leila took her life in London in 2001.

He had “serious passion for the history of the Persian civilization,” for which he will be remembered, Pahlavi said in the conference. The date for a memorial service that will be held in the Washington area will be announced later. The family will “dutifully fulfil” Alireza’s will, according to his brother.

Shah Moahmmadreza Pahlavi was deposed in 1979 revolution that brought Islamic clerics to power. He and his family had to escape the country; Alireza was 12 at the time. The Shah, who suffered from cancer, died in Egypt and is buried in Cairo.

Ali Sheikholeslami
euronews correspondent in London

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