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Local Iranians react to election results

June 13, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Many members of the large Iranian community in Los Angeles own businesses in Westwood. Saturday's news of hard-line president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's re-election came as a crushing blow for Iranians in the U.S. who voted against him.

"We're all so sad and we cannot believe the result," said L.A. resident Avishan. "All my friends in Tehran are crying, and everyone is so sad. But who is there to hear our voice?"

Others say it doesn't matter who is elected president. They say the regime is the real problem.

"The decision maker is the Ayatollah, and that system should be changed," said Roozbeh Farahanipour. "The Prime Minister is nobody."

As video of protests and violent clashes in Iran appear on television many are concerned about their family and friends. People said cell phones and other lines of communication have been cut off.

While people said they are disappointed by the re-election of Ahmadinejad, many said they are equally disappointed by the loss of opportunity for change.

"I don't believe in either [parties], but it's the people's vote that we wanted to see. It was their satisfaction that they have a say," said Sholeh Shahbaz.

But Ahmadinejad does have local supporters. One Iranian-American said despite the arguements over the validity of Ahmadinejad's victory she believes the election was carried out fairly.

Opponents believe the outcry will lead to change.

"We cannot be quiet, this is totally unfair. This is like a betrayal for us," said Avishan.

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