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Madison Iranian-Americans closely following tension news

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Shiva

MADISON (WKOW) -- Tension is rising in Iran as Iranians angry over the accidental shooting of a passenger plane are taking to the streets to protest their own government.

Meanwhile, an ABC News poll in the US shows more than half of Americans disapprove of President Trump's handling of the situation and the nation's involvement.

25 percent say they feel safer after the airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

The rising tension is felt around the world, especially by those with loved ones in Iran.

"It's kind of a sense of panic and a sense of here we go again," Shiva Bidar, Madison Alder and City Council President, said.

She says tensions between the US and Iran have been a reality her entire life.

"We have seen it over and over again, whether it was post 9/11 or even now," Bidar said.

Even though she left the country as a child back in the late 70s, she still has plenty of family in Iran that she rarely gets to see because of the Trump administration's travel ban.

But they tell her the situation in the country is very difficult for the every day person.

"It's very tense. Really, people are living on pins and needles," she said. "They don't know what's going to happen next, it's been like one thing after another."

The event that hit closest to home was the shooting down of the Ukranian plane full of Iranian-Canadians returning home from holiday.

"That was my immediate reaction, that it could have been me visiting my family and on my way back," she said.

She said that one of the hard parts of being Iranian-American in these times is people expect them to be able to answer questions about intricate foreign relations topics.

"We feel like we have to be educators at the same time that we are ourselves going through a very difficult time," Bidar said.

One thing she says she hopes many in both countries can agree on, is war should be avoided at all costs.

"Certainly for me it's very personal but I think we should all be concerned about the idea of war and the consequences that it has," Bidar said.

She said the Madison community has been very supportive and understanding, looking past stereotypes that national media have portrayed about Iranians and Iranian-Americans.

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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