Iranian-Americans in California React to Suleimani’s Death
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As tensions continued to escalate between the U.S. and Iran over the weekend following the killing of Iran’s top security and intelligence commander by an American military strike, worries about a draft rose among young people and antiwar protesters demonstrated in the streets in cities across the country.
[Read the latest updates on Iran and the U.S.]
That includes in San Francisco, where protesters marched down Market Street, and in San Jose, where The Mercury News reported that hundreds of Bay Area residents — a mix of college students, Chicano Brown Berets and other activists — gathered in front of City Hall on Saturday.
The Los Angeles Times reported that at least 200 people held signs bearing messages like “No War or sanctions on Iran …” and chanted “No More War,” as they marched through downtown.
As my colleague Jose Del Real reported, Southern California is home to the largest Iranian community outside of Iran. And in the heart of the enclave known as Tehrangeles, near U.C.L.A., feelings were mixed.
On Thursday, the National Iranian American Council issued a statement condemning the Trump administration’s move.
“The last thing the world needs is yet another disastrous American military adventure in the Middle East,” said Jamal Abdi, the organization’s president. The killing of the commander, Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, was “a profoundly reckless move,” Mr. Abdi said.
But many Californians who emigrated from Iran said they weren’t mourning Mr. Suleimani.
“A world without Suleimani is a better world for everyone,” Roozbeh Farahanipour, 48, told Jose. “Personally, I’m happy he got assassinated.”
[Read the full story about reactions in Tehrangeles here.]
Mr. Farahanipour grew up in a chaotic Tehran and was tortured under interrogation for his anti-government activism in his 20s. He eventually settled in the U.S., where he was given political asylum.
And on Sunday, The San Francisco Chronicle reported that a couple dozen Iranian-Americans rallied in the city’s Union Square to celebrate the death of a man they said was responsible for violence and decades of oppression.
Others said they were wary of war and frustrated with American intervention in the Middle East.
“To hell with Suleimani, I don’t care about him at all, and I don’t care about Trump either,” Farsheed Nooryani, 55, a real estate agent in the area, told Jose. “But this will escalate the tensions in the region.”
Dozens of Iranians and Iranian-Americans were held for hours at the border waiting to cross into Washington State from Canada, raising concerns about illegal detentions.
The situation has reshuffled already fraught political dynamics around impeachment. My colleagues reported that Speaker Nancy Pelosi hasn’t made up her mind on how to proceed.
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And Finally …
The Golden Globes were on Sunday.
If you made it past Ricky Gervais’s cringey, nihilistic final opening monologue as host, you saw the usual parade of celebrities toasting their colleagues and thanking the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
If you didn’t, you can read up on everything you missed here.
The short version?
There were upsets: Netflix went into the ceremony leading with 34 nominations and came out with only two prizes. Sam Mendes’s “1917” was named best drama, in a move that seemingly pushed back against the growing dominance of streaming giants.
Joaquin Phoenix asked the audience members to stop taking private jets, since those fires are exacerbated by climate change.
There were also historic firsts. Awkwafina won for “The Farewell,” becoming the first Asian-American woman to win a Golden Globe for best actress in the musical or comedy film category. Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite” was the first Korean film to win a Golden Globe. Dinner at the event was vegan for the first time.
Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from U.C. Berkeley and has reported all over the state, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles — but she always wants to see more. Follow along here or on Twitter, @jillcowan.
California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.
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