Protesters speak out against US policies toward Iran

February 3, 2012 7:24:06 PM PST
Rising tensions with Iran spawned anti-war protests in the Triangle. About two dozen protesters gathered outside the federal courthouse in downtown Raleigh Friday.

The protesters in Raleigh joined people in at least four dozen other cities protesting American involvement in pressuring Iran to end its nuclear program.

"I feel that our nation is way too aggressive," said protester Stormie Kirk. "I don't feel like we have any right to be involved in what's going on in Iran."

Demonstrators said new economic sanctions against the Islamic-fundamentalist country are too severe.

"The sanctions that are being imposed right now are really an act of war against the Iranian people," said protester Andy Koch. "They are going to cause hardship, suffering, starvation, and lack of medical supplies, right now today."

However, some experts said stopping the sanctions would not be a good idea.

Duke University Professor Dr. Bruce Jentleson said the sanctions serve a different purpose, while also hoping meaningful diplomacy follows.

"There's a certain point at which you bring them to the table to negotiate," said Jentleson. "But, there's never been a case in history where a country has said uncle because of them."

Jentleson said the threat of Iran developing nuclear weapons remains a very real concern but political rhetoric has caused scaremongering.

"Most estimates I've seen is that there is time," said Jentleson. "Iran is not on the brink. They are trying to do it. But they are not on the brink. But we really need to make smart decisions and not get caught in any sort of rush to judgment."

Regardless, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says Israel could strike Iran in April, as the Persian nation refuses to back down.

Demonstrators say protests against military and economic action against Iran will continue across the United States Saturday.

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