Middle Eastern Americans on opposite sides of Iranian conflict weigh in at anti-war rallies

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SAN DIEGO — More rallies popped up across San Diego Wednesday in protest of a possible war with Iran.

Protesters chanted and held up signs in Balboa Park at the corner of President’s Way and Park Boulevard, taking a stand against the threat of war.

“The working class in the United States has nothing to benefit from the wars that we are waging in other countries,” Juliana Musheyev with Answer San Diego said.

The Answer rally at Balboa Park took place just a few hours after and a few streets down from an earlier demonstration Wednesday by Veterans for Peace, which spread the same message.

“We can’t afford this crisis and this conflict,” protester Mejgan Afshan said.

Afshan is from Afghanistan. She said she felt targeted after the U.S. invaded her home country in 2003. She worries now about how Iranian Americans will be treated here if a war breaks out again.

“We need to stand with them and let them know that they are not alone,” Afshan said.

But Iranian-American Elna Khoj disagrees with the protesters and supports President Donald Trump’s strong stance against Iran.

“The Iranian people truly want Trump,” Khoj said. “They want someone strong enough to stand up to the Iranian regime, and Trump has been the only one that’s like, ‘We’re going to call your bluff, dude. Let’s see. Let’s see what you’re really going to do. Because it’s not going to be much.'”

The protesters at the rally in Balboa Park also denounced the sanctions Trump said he will impose on Iran, calling the proposed move a form of “economic warfare.”

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