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Bay Area Iranians apprehensive in aftermath of attack on Israel

Iranians in Bay Area apprehensive following attack on Israel
Iranians in Bay Area apprehensive following attack on Israel 02:42

SAN FRANCISCO -- With the recent escalation of attacks between Israel and Iran, many are concerned about the further loss of civilian life. Iranians in the Bay Area are praying for peace and the safety of their loved ones.

It's not the first time Persis Karim has seen these images from the Middle East and she knows it won't be the last.

"Every time something like this happens, we all feel a collective sense of dread and fear," Karim said.

Karim is the director of the Center of Iranian Diaspora Studies at San Francisco State University. It's been difficult for her to avoid thinking about the recent unrest and her family members living in Iran.

Persis Karim
Persis Karim KPIX

"The bottom line is there's a day after these confrontations and the real suffering doesn't happen to the policy makers, the governments or the individuals who are spewing this vile rhetoric," Karim said. "What happens is the consequences are felt by everyday citizens."

Hamid Azimi with the Iranian American Community of Northern California feels nothing is going to change until there is true democracy in Iran.

"The real problem is that the root cause of the unrest in the Midde East is the Iranian regime which has been what they call 'the export of revolution' which is really export of terrorism," Azimi said.

Iranian Americans say they need United States assistance for change to happen but not in the way some expect. They want action through diplomacy not weapons.

"U.S. needs to side with the people of Iran and recognize their right they have to confront the IRGC inside Iran on their own and it's the political tool that the U.S. has in providing that support," Azimi said.

If peace is to be achieved, Persis Karim says it's vital for the U.S. to set an example and be consistent in the way it observes international and humanitarian law.

"I think if you keep supplying arms to a country like Israel without holding them accountable for the way it's impacting the civilians of Gaza, you can't expect people to understand that you're interested in peace," Karin said.

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