Central Florida Iranians hesitant to talk about what's going on in their native country
1/8/2020 - Expatriated Iranians who now live in Central Florida are keeping a close eye on what is happening in their native land and neighboring Iraq.
“There’s a mixture of emotions you go through,” said one man who asked FOX 35 News not to name him in this report. “I was listening to the speeches of both President Trump and the Ayatollah in Iran, and they’re both trying to avoid conflicts.”
He said he is backing President DonaldTrump’s decision to kill Iran’s General Qasem Soleimani in an airstrike last week.
“Trump is doing the right thing. He’s played his cards right. In my opinion, he needed to contain the situation by making the moves he has,” the man said, adding that Iran’s retaliation in launching missiles at two military bases in Iraq didn’t surprise him. “I think it was just to appease to the masses of the Iranian people to show that they have done something to retaliate the assassination of Soleimani.
The unrest makes him nervous, as much of his family is still living in the Iranian capital city of Tehran. He spoke to his sister after Iran’s missile strike.
"My sister, I told her to leave the capital and her family moved up north to smaller areas where there’s less activities."
He says his family is in a tough position, explaining that, “you have to wear black and you have to pretend you are mourning the loss of Soleimani. If you don’t you could be subject to harassment or imprisonment or even death.”
Tehran launched “more than a dozen" ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq that house U.S. troops over America’s killing of a top Iranian general, U.S. Department of Defense officials confirmed. (Photo: FOX News)
He fled Iran at the age of 18 after being expelled from school for not conforming to the Ayatollah’s ideologies. He tells FOX 35 News that a close relative of his was killed for having anti-government flyers in the early 1980s. Right now, he is limiting his phone calls to his relatives in Iran out of an abundance of caution.
“I know they’re under surveillance, and I don’t want to risk their life. It’s complicated, so I’ve learned over the years to mind my own business, stay out of politics and pay the bills and continue the American dream,” the man said.