OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Reactions to the killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in the local Iranian-American community appear to be mixed.
Even for two metro men with a lot in common.
Dr. Hossein Saiedian and Dr. Hossan Zand were both born in Iran and both earned PhD’s at the University of Kansas. But they couldn’t disagree more on whether the United States’ military strike against Iran was in the best interests of the two countries.
For Saiedian, an esteemed KU professor, the U.S. military’s decision to kill Soleimani on Thursday night was the appropriate action, following a series of escalating incidents in the region.
“Soleimani was a grand terrorist,” Saiedian said. “He was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. And, of course, Iran.”
Saiedian’s adult sons, Ideen and Seena, couldn’t agree more.
“These are fundamentally problematic actors in the region,” Ideen Saiedian said. “That have resulted in massive, massive atrocities for the innocent people who are living there, and so this was a proper attack.”
But others in the metro’s Iranian-American community, , like Zand, disagree.
“I am very unhappy because I was completely confused,” said Zand, a local educator who, like Saiedian, was also born in Iran before earning his doctorate at KU.
“If you want to find the archenemy of ISIS, it is Soleimani,” Zand continued. “He was the enemy of the enemies of the United States, and he didn’t need to be eradicated like that.”
But on either side of the debate, this is a very delicate issue for Iranian-Americans here in the metro.