Anti-shah leaders say Americans understand
November 18, 1977 — United Press [UPI]

The Mossadegh Project | May 10, 2015    

A UPI report on perhaps the most high profile mass protest against the Shah of Iran in the United States.

Protestors Say Violence Shows
Depth of Hatred Against Shah

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Leaders of anti-shah demonstrators said Thursday the American public might have disliked the violence, but now would understand the depth of their hatred for the shah of Iran’s regime.

“The American people probably did not like the violence. But one thing they could see is that Iranian students feel very, very strong against this regime,” Chicago University student Sheila Kazemi, 23, from Tehran told a news conference.

Miss Kazemi, who said she was one of the Iranian Student Association organizers of the demonstrations, said she did not believe the adverse publicity was counterproductive to their cause.

“We believe we did have the support of the American people,” she said. She said Americans who witnessed or saw the demonstrations via the media “must feel that there must be something wrong with this (Iran’s) regime or it would not be so hated.”

Miss Kazemi claimed the demonstration that resulted in tear gas invading President Carter’s welcoming of the shah was started by Iranian secret service agents [SAVAK] — a claim disputed by a wide variety of eyewitnesses who state the students took the initiative in the attack on shah loyalists.

She criticized Carter’s support of the shah.

“Carter made so much about human rights in his campaign, and it all fell through. The United States is the main supporter of the shah,” she said.

Vahid Ahmed, a student from Tehran who said he attends the University of Oklahoma, was asked if he advocated the violent overthrow of the Iranian government.

Ahmed replied, “Certainly. What are the alternatives? We don’t think the shah is gathering these weapons as playthings.”

The two students said they both plan to return to Iran, even though they said they risk arrest upon their return because of their anti-shah activities.

“Most Iranian students here are from the middle class or lower middle class, Miss Kazemi said. “Most of us are here on our own, because student scholarships are very hard to get. The families of students getting government scholarships have to put up their homes, their businesses, their wealth as collateral.”

She estimated only about 3 per cent of the Iranian students were in the United States on government scholarships.

Related links:

Carter ‘hopes’ Shah survivesUPI, December 8, 1978

Students Protest Lack of Human Rights in IranThe Militant, March 30, 1964

Iranians Students Association Protests Puppet Leaders — letter to The Daily Iowan, Jan. 1978

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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