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Belgian FM against inviting Reza Pahlavi for godfather ceremony


Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Louis Michel warned Tuesday of a diplomatic row with Iran if media reports were true that a member of Belgium's royal family wanted to invite the son of the deposed Shah of Iran to be the godfather of his newly-born daughter, IRNA reported from Brussels.

Speaking on local RTBF radio, Michel said the news in the Belgian press that Prince Laurent would invite Reza Pahlavi "was not confirmed at all."

"I have even the feeling that that corresponds rather to a rumor," he said.

Michel, however, warned that "If it was the case, that would put evidently a diplomatic problem."

Michel said he did "not judge the quality of this person," but added "that a member of the royal family, therefore of a Belgian official institution, choose for godfather for his child the son of the (deposed) Shah of Iran, this is as if an official authority recognized the former system while there is another system today, with which we have contacts".

Prince Laurent is the youngest son of King Albert II of the Belgians. His wife Princess Claire gave birth to a baby girl named Louise Sophie Mary on February 6.

Belgian press speculated Monday that Prince Laurent intends to invite Reza Pahlavi, who lives in the US, to serve as godfather for their daughter.

A spokesman for the Belgian palace told IRNA that the reports were mere "press speculation."

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