Episode
January 13, 2020

What are Iranian-Americans thinking right now?

As tensions between the US and Iran flare, many Iranian-Americans find themselves worrying about relatives abroad and backlash at home.
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On Monday, January 13, 2020 at 19:30 GMT:
As the US and Iran trade military threats, Iranian-Americans are finding themselves in the crossfire. As many as 200 Iranian Americans were detained and questioned for hours at the US-Canadian border earlier this month after returning home from a concert, legal groups say.US Customs and Border Protection officials denied the detentions, but they did confirm vigilance was increased after the US recently assassinated top Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

Iran denounced the killing as an act of war and has launched ballistic missiles at US troops in Iraq in response. However, the move is considered a muted reaction, as Iranian leaders had previously vowed a "revenge so harsh that (Americans') bright day would turn into a dark night."

For his part, US President Trump appeared to be walking back threats against potential retaliation, including striking unnamed Iranian cultural sites, a potential war crime that would spur international outcry.

Amid these developments, Iranian-Americans are worrying about their relatives in Iran, as well as potential blowback at home in the US. Social media this week is already awash in anti-Iranian sentiment. In response to the uncertainty and rhetoric from politicians, some Iranian Americans are choosing to postpone traveling abroad. Others are celebrating the death of Soleimani, but expressing fear over what could come next.

In this episode we ask, what are Iranian-Americans thinking right now? Join the conversation.

 

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

 

Hoda Katebi, @hodakatebi
Community organiser
joojooazad.com

 

Jamal Abdi, @jabdi
President of the National Iranian American Council
niacouncil.org

 

Mana Kharrazi, @ManaKharrazi
Community advocate
manakharrazi.com

 

Read more:

The Soleimani Assassination Is America’s Most Consequential Strike This Century – The Atlantic
Border Screenings Spark Travel Fears For Iranian-Americans Amid Rising Tensions - NPR
The Day After War Begins in Iran – New York Times

What do you think? Record a video comment or leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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