Monday, February 15, 2010

Iranian Americans Protest in Washington D.C.

Scores of Iranian Americans marched outside the White house in solidarity with the Iranian people's uprising on the anniversary of the 1979 revolution in Washington D.C. on Saturday.

The demonstrators say they're rallying to show support to the hundreds of thousands of Iranians who defied what they called "unprecedented repressive measures" taken by the Iranian regime.

They came out onto the streets of Tehran and other cities to call for a change in leadership.

Iranian American protesters also called on the Obama administration to stand with the Iranian people and take stronger measures against Tehran.

[Henry Goudarz, Protester]:
“We are trying to say to the White House that this is time for us to stand by Iranian people rather than standing by the Ayatollah."

One of the organizers of the protest said the main purpose of the rally was to show support to the people who defiantly risked death, and other grave consequences by marching on the streets of Tehran.

[Shirin Nariman, Organizer]:
“We are here in support of them to let them know that even we might be miles and miles away but we are with them in this. We also support them; we want also the regime change.”

The Iranian opposition movement calls itself The Green Movement and is made up of a number of pro-reform groups and parties. They seek political change in Iran and say that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the June 12 election by fraud.

The crackdown against protesters in Iran has recently intensified. Iranian human rights organizations say since the June election, more than a thousand people have been arrested. They also say hundreds of students, activists and lawyers have lost their jobs or been prevented from continuing their education.

Thousands more have fled Iran because of security concerns. A handful of death sentences have also been handed down.

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