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San Diego's Iranian Americans dismayed by unrest in Iran

People in Iran have been protesting for almost a week following the death of 22-year-old Masha Amini after she was taken into custody by the Iranian government's morality police for not wearing her head scarf properly.

Women have led the protests by burning their hijabs and cutting their hair on the streets and on social media. Iranian state media says 17 people have been killed since the protests began.

Mehdi Moein was born in Iran and lives in San Diego. He said the Iranian Americans he's spoken with in the last few days are distressed by what is happening.


“Tremendous sadness upon all of us,” he said. “It has had a tremendous impact on all of us, in particular those of us that are parents.”

Moein said people here and in Iran are demanding answers regarding Amini's death. The president of Iran has ordered an investigation and offered condolences to the family. But for some, that hasn’t been enough.

“Something needs to be done quickly about it in terms of calming the nerves down and also in terms of answering to the demands and requests of the society," Moein said.

He went on to say that the anger "has to do with the fact that some of the young that are on the street might think that they are not being listened to”

Finally, Moein offered words from the Persian poet and philosopher Saadi, “We are all belonging to the human family, as a member, as a body and if one member of that body is ill, the entire body will be ill."


Other Iranian Americans contacted by KPBS on Thursday declined interviews because they feared their families in Iran would be punished if they went public with their thoughts.