University of Iowa Iranian Students Protest Election Results

By Jami Brinton, Reporter

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iranian students at the University of Iowa voice their deep concern about the man who they claim cheated his way to the presidency of their homeland.

"Nobody wants to see a person like Ahmadinejad, not any Iranian would, like to see him behind the controls of a nuclear weapon," said Yashar Vasef, a former student at the University of Iowa who organized today's protest.

Even from half-way around the world, these students still feel the fear penetrating their home country.

"I'm not sure my family's okay," said an international student at the University of Iowa. "I talk to them and they say they are okay but you never know. You're far away and they don't want to make you worried."

Contrary to the violence surrounding protests in Iran, this demonstration in Iowa City was peaceful.

"We're just here to show our support for the people seen on the streets in the hundreds of thousands and just tell them they're not along, to keep up the good fight," said Vasef.

Clad in green and black, each color represents why these students protest.

"Black is just because we are mourning for our people being killed on the streets," explained one student.

Green symbolizes the students call for greater democracy.

Some chose to use the cloth to disguise their identity, that's because they want to return to Iran someday and work, possibly even for the government.

Like a student who wants to only be known as Mohammad who's taught in Iran for several years and wants to teach there again one day.

Education jobs in Iran are largely controlled by the government.

Mohammad is one of many here who believe last week's presidential election was rigged.

Still, these students know their wish for change in Iran in the short term is a long shot.

"I don't want to be pessimistic but I don't think they'll re-do the election," said Mohammad.

"I'm not really hopeful they'll change the results," said the student. "Just want to say we are here and we know what you are doing so even if you hide it for a while it will start showing up in a decade or so."

The Iranian students are recruiting people to sign a petition they'll send to Iowa's congressional delegation in Washington.

It asks them to disregard Iran's election results for the safety of protestors.

The students also are asking the community to wear green on Friday to show support for Iranians what want a new democratic government.
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