Shah of Iran's younger son kills himself in US

Alireza Pahlavi, centre, at Leila Pahlavi's funeral Alireza Pahlavi, shown centre at sister Leila Pahlavi's 2001 funeral, was 44

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The younger son of the Shah of Iran, Alireza Pahlavi, has killed himself in the US after a long battle with depression, his family says.

His brother, former crown prince Reza Pahlavi, said the family had been thrown into "great sorrow" by the news.

"It is with immense grief that we would like to inform our compatriots of the passing away of Prince Alireza Pahlavi," a family statement said.

Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was ousted in Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.

Alireza Pahlavi was 44. He was found by police dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Boston Globe reported.

"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 family statement read.

Alireza Pahlavi had studied philology and ancient Iranian studies at Harvard University in Massachusetts. He had also studied at Columbia University in New York.

Leila Pahlavi, the late shah's daughter, died in 2001 in a London hotel room aged 31. Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi died in Egyptian exile in 1980.

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