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Iranian-American lawyer calls U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian top commander "erratic" decision

Jan 3, 2020

A Rochester-based Iranian-American human rights lawyer says that the U.S. drone air strike that killed Iran’s top military commander is part of a decades-long series of aggressions by the U.S. against the Middle Eastern country.

Tina Monshipour Foster at Duke Human Rights Center conference in 2008,
Credit Robin Kirk / Creative Commons

Tina Monshipour Foster works with Volunteer Legal Services of Monroe County.“I think that the people who are suffering there in Iran because of the current regime are doing so in part because of U.S. actions,” Foster says.

“A lot of us, the Iranian Americans feel that Iran has been used as a scapegoat and a whipping boy for U.S. domestic interests," she adds.

She says that U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East appears to lack a strategic goal or principle that guides actions, and called the assassination of Iranian Military General Qassim Suleimani an "erratic" decision.

“It appears to people in many places in the world that the U.S. government’s foreign policy is really dictated by the political interests of whoever happens to be in the White House.”

However, Foster says she’s also concerned for what this could mean for attitudes towards Persians and Iranians domestically.

“There are many many Iranians living in Rochester," she says. "They are your neighbors, your friends. And it’s unfortunate that we have to focus on these differences.”

In response to the drone air strike that killed Iran’s top military commander, Iran’s supreme leader has called for retaliation and the Iranian defense minister promised a crushing response. The U.S. has begun to send additional troops to the region.

Iran’s supreme leader has called for retaliation and the Iranian defense minister promised a crushing response.