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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 April 2006, 09:48 GMT 10:48 UK
Iranian diaspora: Reza Shokouhi
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Reza Shokouhi
Name:Reza Shoukouhi
Age: 28
Lives:Long Beach, California, US
Works: Business owner

My family left Iran in 1986 - my parents didn't get along and the Iran-Iraq war was going on.

We came to California largely because of the weather and because here the Iranian community tends to help each other out.

They also tend to integrate well and try to fit into the American way of life. Many are also very wealthy and show off to each other.

There are two distinct groups of Iranians in LA - there are the ones in north LA, in Westwood and around, and then the group in Orange County, which tends to keep to themselves.

When we came we didn't have much. In many ways, there is a gulf between the two sides I mentioned - but most people here are anti-regime, some are from the Shah period and are even monarchists.

Some of these Iranians would go back to Iran eventually but some are very established in the US. They would probably support the US if there was a war.

They support US policy towards Iran and even the idea of sanctions. They have satellite channels which are supported by the US government to spread Western ideals.

I can't stand the regime, I'm raised on Western values so I cannot agree with their views. I do not agree with their attitude towards Jewish people - some of my friends are Jewish plus there are many Iranian Jews.

I felt it was very unnecessary for [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad to make such comments. People should not speak like that in the international community.

IRANIAN DIASPORA VIEWS

I disapprove of the regime, its lack of freedom and education. I don't know what would happen if the US attacked it, but what else can Western countries do?

I don't believe in long-term sanctions but short-term to show disapproval, it could work.

I visit Iran once every now and then, to keep in touch with my background. In the US life is very different to Europe and Iran and it can take time to adapt to life here.

I visit certain streets in so-called "Tehrangeles", such as Wilshire and Westwood, where there are mostly Iranian Jews and there is a high concentration of Iranian businesses. If I want to get in touch with my roots I can go there.

The Iranian community here tends to all get along - Muslim, Jew and everyone else. I think everyone bonds over the fact they are against the regime.





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