Iranian Believes Attacks, Sanctions Hurt Average People

Jan 8, 2020, 9:49 PM | Updated: Jan 13, 2020, 2:23 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – An American man with Iranian heritage living in Utah said he worries for the safety of his family members back home as tensions rise between Iran and the United States.

Alborz Ghandehari’s parents left Iran in the 1980s. He was born and raised in the United States, but keeps in touch with many family members still in Iran.

He believes the current conflict between the US and Iran is hurting the ordinary people there, while doing very little to impact actual government leaders.

“I think our community, the Iranian-American community, is feeling a lot of pain and stress right now,” Ghandehari said. “I think what the Trump administration did last week in Iraq, was really an unprecedented escalation that made war much, much more likely than it was before, and I think that risked millions of lives.”

Ghandehari, who also serves as the civil rights committee director for the Iranian American Society of Utah, said many of his family members in Iran are fearful for their own safety.

“I’ve been in touch with some of them, and they’ve been feeling a lot of fear right now, not knowing what’s going to happen,” Ghandehari said. “The people that would bear the brunt of the impact of a disastrous war like this, are going to be Iranians, ordinary Iranians, people like my family members.”

Ghandehari added that he doesn’t believe added sanctions, announced by President Trump Wednesday, would do anything to impact government leaders either, instead hurting regular people.

“It’s people like them, ordinary people, millions of Iranians in Iran that are unable to afford basic necessities like medicine, food, other kinds of basic needs,” Ghandehari said.

The Iranian American Society of Utah issued a statement with their stance on the recent conflict mostly echoing Ghandehari’s opinions, but also adding this:

“A war would also wreak havoc on pro-democracy movements that have emerged across the region in recent months, including in Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon.”

Ghandehari was hopeful that tensions will continue to subside, and that the US and Iran can avoid a war that he says would also threaten the lives of American soldiers.

“War is really going to be terrible for most ordinary people,” he said.

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Iranian Believes Attacks, Sanctions Hurt Average People