September 20, 2017

Iranian-Americans rally in front of White House

By Christine Simmons
Associated Press Writer

Hundreds of protesters, many of them Iranian-Americans, marched from Capitol Hill to the White House on Saturday, most holding Iranian flags and chanting demands for the U.S. to take more action after Iran’s disputed election.

After marching through several blocks of downtown Washington, more than 200 people rallied in front of the White House. They shouted demands for President Barack Obama and leaders of other countries to “reject the sham elections, impose complete sanctions.”

They also shouted “death to Ahmadinejad,” referring to the Iranian president whose disputed June 12 re-election prompted days of street protests in Iran. Some carried pictures of Neda Agha Soltan, a young woman who bled to death in a Tehran street. She became a symbol of the postelection protest movement after videos of her death by gunfire were posted online.

Iranian-American organizations, such as the National Coalition of Pro-Democracy Advocates, and human rights groups organized the march and the rally in Lafayette Square across from the White House. Demonstrators said they wanted to show their solidarity with the protesters in Iran. They also wanted world leaders to suspend all political and diplomatic ties with Iran and demanded that the Iranian regime hold an election supervised by the United Nations.

Reza Kamandar, who took part in the rally, said his brother was shot by a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard earlier this week and died. The 43-year-old math teacher said he traveled from Houston to Washington “to support my people.”

“I’m here to tell Mr. Obama please, please take action. You need to take action right now,” he said. “In Iran, they don’t want this government.”

Yavar Moghimi, a 28-year-old who has many family members in Iran, said he participated in the rally to make sure Iran’s disputed election “is not forgotten in the eyes of policy makers here” and remind them “there’s tons of people who are political prisoners right now” in Iran.

The crowd heard from several speakers, including former Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo.

(View Source – Miami Herald)