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Iranian RIT student says tensions are dangerous to civilians in Iran

Jan 9, 2020

Credit A. Sue Weisler/RIT

Amid tensions between the U.S. and Iran, one Iranian RIT student says he’s worried about what this means for citizens back home.

Amir is an Iranian PhD student at Rochester Insitute of Technology. He asked to use a pseudonym to protect his identity because he’s concerned about his family’s safety. 

Amir says that on Tuesday night when news hit that Iran had struck two U.S. military bases in Iraq, he was scared it meant war.

“In wars, people die. The politicians don’t go in the wars themselves," he says. "And I’m pretty sure the current president of the United States is not willing to send his own children to the war.”

He says he’s concerned that the lives of civilians in Iran would also be at stake.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced more “punishing” economic sanctions against Iran in response to Tuesday's attack.

Amir says sanctions have hurt the people far more than they have hurt the Iranian government, making it harder to access certain medicines, for instance.

“The only thing that the sanctions do is make ordinary people’s lives miserable,” he says.

Tensions flared when a U.S. drone strike killed Iran’s top military general, Qasem Soleimani, last Friday in Iraq. Amir called the move “dangerous” for the Iranian people.