Bay Area Iranian-Americans fear retaliation, war in wake of U.S. attack

This is the collateral damage in human terms of Trump’s ad hoc assassination of a top leader in Iran. Gen. Qassem Soleimani and five other military leaders in a drone attack Thursday near the Baghdad airport

Trump has no Vision, no Plan, no Clue.

Trump only does what floats through his mind in the moment. 63 million voters put this inept, dangerous Clown into the most powerful Position on the Planet Earth.

It is a shocking, disgusting commentary on the American body Politic and its Judgment.

San Francisco Chronicle 1.3.2020

The U.S. killing of Iran’s top general in a drone strike has many in the Bay Area’s Iranian-American community on edge about retaliatory attacks that could spiral into war, endangering family and friends in the Middle East or even in America.

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“It’s kind of a scary time for all of us Persians or Iranian-Americans,” said Dornaz Memarzia, a member of the Bay Area Iranian community and a former activist. “This is not a good time for us.”

Tensions in Iran had already been steadily escalating since 2018, when President Trump pulled the United States out of an international deal to limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities and reimposed economic sanctions against the country’s oil, financial, shipping and shipbuilding industries. But the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani and five other military leaders in a drone attack Thursday near the Baghdad airport pushed things to a new stress level.

Iranian leaders have vowed retribution for the killings, and Memarzia and others with family in Iran fear that could lead to a cycle of retaliation between the U.S. and Iran that might turn into war.

“Some are for regime change; they want the regime gone and they consider this a good thing,” she said. “On the other hand, this was such a reckless move by the Trump administration without getting any approval from Congress or advice from foreign policy advisers.”

Memarzia, whose grandparents live in Iran, said she is worried about them and that their lives have already been made difficult by the sanctions. Increased U.S. involvement in Iran would only further destabilize an already precarious situation, she said.

“The act that happened last night, many Iranians are approving that,” she said Friday. “They are fed up with the regime, all the economic sanctions, all the mismanagement and corruption.

“But they don’t consider the consequences. Look what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan after U.S. intervention.”

Abbas Milani,of the Iranian studies program at Stanford University, said the attack on Soleimani may further destabilize an already volatile situation. Despite Trump’s claims that he’s not trying to overthrow the ruling regime, that seems to be his intention, he said.

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Abbas Milani – Head of Stanford University Iranian Studies (2005 file photo)

“I don’t think too many people expected the U.S. would take this action,” he said. “This was the most serious escalation of this low-key war that’s been going on for almost 40 years between the U.S. and Iran. This is the most glaring, blatant act of war against Iran, taking out second-most powerful man in the country.”

Trump has said he ordered Soleimani’s killing to prevent an attack on American troops. Milani said the administration could have taken other steps short of the drone strike to protect its troops and bases.

Among Bay Area residents, he said, the most common reaction is “fear for what this could mean for their family and friends in Iran, and what it could mean for the U.S.”

Activists in the U.S. are planning protests across the country to decry the drone strike. The Answer Coalition and Code Pink have scheduled a demonstration outside the Powell Street BART station in San Francisco for noon on Saturday, and others are planned over the weekend in dozens of additional American cities.

San Francisco police said Friday that they were stepping up security measures while monitoring the situation in Iran.

“We have deployed additional resources to key locations throughout the city,” the department said in a statement. “At this time, we do not have any credible threats.”

In Los Angeles, home to the nation’s largest Iranian-American community, the Los Angeles Police Department delivered a similar message Thursday night.

“This Department is committed to ensuring the safety of our vibrant and diverse community, and we ask every Angeleno to say something if you see something,” the LAPD tweeted.

New York City officials also said they were on alert.