ATLANTA — One of the United States' few Iranian American elected officials is a member of the Atlanta City Council.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant spoke to Councilman Amir Farokhi about the worries he still has over the tensions between the U.S. and Iran over the killing of one of Iran’s top generals.
“It’s been kind of an emotional roller coaster, frankly,” Farokhi said. “There’s always that sense that the country you love, and you consider yourself American, can view you very differently in a short amount of time.”
The director of Georgia State University’s Center for Middle East Studies, Allen Fromherz, has also been keeping a close eye on the U.S. tensions with Iran.
“I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet. I think we’re still in a very serious and dangerous situation at the moment,” Fromherz said. “Although we may have been last night in a red-hot zone, I think we’re at least still in an orange-red zone right now.
“Iran is more than just the official government. Iran is more than just the IRGC, the Iran Revolutionary Guard (Corps). It also has many elements throughout the Middle East next to American forces that could strike American targets that are not necessarily directly under Iranian control.”
Farokhi told Diamant while President Donald Trump’s push Wednesday toward de-escalation indicates a potential pathway toward peace, there will likely be tension between the two countries for a long time to come.
“I think it’s both hope and unease. I think there’s a hope that the de-escalation leads to a commitment to diplomacy and working out differences that way, but there’s unease because tension has been around for decades,” Farokhi said.
Some of the people on the front lines near where the missiles Iran launched hit Tuesday night are from Georgia.
Georgia National Guard troops have been deployed in that area supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.
Gov. Brian Kemp confirmed Wednesday morning on Twitter that no Georgia Guard troops were harmed in the attack.
Channel 2’s Richard Elliot went to the National Guard headquarters in Cobb County, where they’re monitoring the situation.
Elliot got an exclusive look at the Guard's joint operations center, where Guard members here can keep tabs on Georgia-based soldiers deployed overseas.
“We keep in touch just to make sure, and we will know if there are any issues, but generally it’s them communicating back to us,” said Georgia National Guard Col. Pervis Brown.
For security reasons, the Guard can’t tell us exactly where Georgia troops are deployed in the Middle East or how many are there.
But it did give Elliot photos from December 2018 of Georgia’s 201st Regional Support Group meeting with Trump at the al-Asad Air Force Base, one of the two bases hit with missile attacks.
In a tweet Wednesday morning, Kemp said, “Following Iranian airstrikes on two bases where US troops are stationed, adjutant General Tom Carden has confirmed that Georgia National Guard personnel in the region are unharmed.”
“We are the best equipped and best trained military in the world. We remain vigilant and committed to keeping our nation safe,” Carden said in a statement.
Security issues kept the Guard from talking about communications with those Georgia troops, but officials did say they hope to see them soon.
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