DJ Suss D: A small group of Iranian Americans carrying American flags have been demonstrating in front of the Eugene Whole Foods. I spoke to one of the demonstrators.
[00:00:09] All right, so I’m standing here in front of Whole Foods Market and people have signs out saying, ‘Support Iran.’ (Yes.) Why are you out here with signs saying ‘Support Iran?’
[00:00:20] Concerned Iranian American: We are here to support democracy and freedom in Iran. There is a revolution going on right now in Iran. This has been happening since September 2022, when a 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian girl named Mahsa Amini, Mahsa Jina Amini, was killed by the morality police for showing a little bit of her hair.
[00:00:45] That was a catalyst for people to come out and demand freedom and democracy and a secular government in Iran, and we are here to support that.
[00:00:56] DJ Suss D: And how do you get a democratic government in Iran? (We are right—) What’s stopping it?
[00:01:00] Concerned Iranian American: Well, what’s stopping it is the Iranian government, who is killing, shooting, executing people. More than 20,000 people are in prison right now. Since September, more than 600 people have been shot, including 70 children, nine-, 10-year-olds. So it’s really hard to bring about change.
[00:01:23] We’re trying to help the Iranian people. We are certain that we will win because we are on the right side of history and we are hoping to bring a fair and free election to decide the future of Iran and future government. Right now, we are concentrating on overthrowing the government. We do not want a Islamic Republic anymore.
[00:01:47] DJ Suss D: So how did the Islamic Republic come to power?
[00:01:51] Concerned Iranian American: That was starting in 1979 when the shah was overthrown. A revolution happened. Everybody was looking for democracy and freedom. Unfortunately, that movement was basically taken over by a theocratic government, and we have this situation for 44 years, a theocratic dictatorship, basically.
[00:02:16] DJ Suss D: And how much is America complicit in this new regime?
[00:02:20] Concerned Iranian American: In you mean the Islamic Republic? Well, yeah, they are complicit. Carter actually didn’t support the shah. There are documents that have just come out that Khomeini got financial support from the Carter administration. It was very unfortunate.
[00:02:39] And so a lot of Iranians are frustrated right now. We, right now, at this point, we do not want the United States, we do not want boots in Iran. We don’t want military intervention.
[00:02:52] However, we would like United States to support Iranians right now in this current revolution by putting sanctions, by considering IRGC, Iranian Revolutionary Guard (Corps), as a terrorist organization. We would like the U.S. government to pressure E.U. to consider IRGC as a terrorist organization. That’s our demand.
[00:03:17] We do not agree with Islamic Republic’s being an enemy of everybody and making wars and trying to export their revolution. We don’t want that. We don’t want terrorism. We just want free and fair election. We want democracy. We want to have peace and freedom with everybody. We have no animosity. We just want to live in peace and security with all our neighbors. Period.
[00:03:40] DJ Suss D: All right. Did you want to give your organization?
[00:03:42] Concerned Iranian American: We are just concerned citizens. I don’t belong to any specific organization, we’re just concerned Iranian Americans. We just want freedom, period.
[00:03:51] DJ Suss D: Iranian Americans, pleading for the U.S. to do something about human rights violations. For KEPW News, I’m DJ Suss D.