Activists bring messages of peace to Iran

May 25, 2009 7:13:30 PM PDT
A group of Americans belonging to a peace activist group is traveling through Iran and talking to Iranian citizens. ABC7 spoke with one of the members of Peace Action West from Tehran by phone Monday.

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The images of Iran that most Americans see involve Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and his hard line supporters, criticizing America and its allies for trying to stop Iran's nuclear program. Iran's test of a long-range missile last week heightened tensions even more.

"A lot of people conflate the leaders of Iran with the people of Iran and have a sense that everybody here is anti-American, when in fact, they're one of the most pro-American countries in the Middle East," said 29-year-old Rebecca Griffin of Peace Action West.

Griffin is currently in Iran with a group of peace activists. They are bringing messages of peace from ordinary Americans and they are videotaping messages from Iranian citizens to place on their Web site.

"We know you are a great civilization and your accomplishments have earned the respect of the United States and the world," said President Barack Obama through a video posted on YouTube in March, just before the Iranian New Year. They were inspired by his promise to begin a new era in diplomacy with Iran after a 30-year chill.

Griffin's group is working on citizen to citizen diplomacy.

"Iranians are just like Americans. They want a peaceful relationship. They love the American people and I've gotten an amazingly warm welcome from everyone that I've met here and at the same time, wanting to tell Iranians that there are people like us who are working very hard to promote peace in our country," she said.

You can follow Griffin's travels in Iran through her blogs for Peace Action West.

Link:
www.peaceactionwest.org

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