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Iranian-Americans in U.S. concerned for family in Middle East

Posted at 5:35 PM, Jan 08, 2020

Iranian-Americans in the U.S. say they're worried about how safe their loved ones are living in the Middle East.

The president of the Arizona chapter of the National Iranian American Council, Ali Scotten, says his grandmother, aunts and cousins live in Iran. He's been keeping in contact with them frequently and is concerned for their safety.

Scotten was born in Phoenix but raised in Saudi Arabia. He says he's made many visits to Iran to visit his mom's side of the family. He says the violence and hatred unfolding there is not reflective of all Iranians.

"You have to remember, Iran is a country of 80 million people and those people you see chanting 'death to America', they don't represent the majority of Iranians," Scotten said.
Scotten says he doesn't believe more violence is the answer.

"There's a concern that there could be civil unrest as well in Iran, just like what you see in Syria," Scotten said. "If the government collapses, you'll have groups fighting with each other and there will be years of civil war which could be very bloody."

Scotten says his family is unable to come to America because of the travel bans in place.