Tears well up in Amir Boroumand’s eyes as he listens to a Persian voice full of despair.
The plaintive call for international support comes from a 34-year-old Iranian father-of-two who posted his message on a website popular in Iran.
“He’s just asking to the world, please support the new generation of Iran for democracy and peace,” translates Boroumand, in the living room of his Rosedale home. In the background, live footage of the Iran street protests flickers across the screen of his laptop.
Boroumand, 73, fled Iran for a better life in 1986.
The father-of-four has never stopped hoping the corrupt regime that ruined his country would one day fall.
Watching and reading about the recent protests that have drawn tens of thousands to Iranian streets, he believes a turning point may have been reached.
“That is my dream. I wish, and I pray daily, that they can throw out the system,” and usher in democracy and freedom, a respect for women’s rights and enforce the separation of religion and government.
“We are very close. We need international support,” said Boroumand, who was a physical education instructor at an Iranian university when he left the country. He spent two years in Greece before coming to Red Deer in 1988, where he and his wife of 50 years, Parvaneh, raised their family.
Boroumand believes Canada, U.S., and the rest of the international commuity, can help protesters succeed in overturning a regime he says has done nothing for the country and its people.
“For the last 39 years, they didn’t support the people of Iran and their rights. I want this time, please, please, don’t close your eyes to the shooting and killing of innocent people in my country.
“The problem is the people of Iran, especially the women and the new generations, the students and so on, they have no life, no future, and no education.
“The women are in a very, very dangerous situation in that country. They are second people.”
Iran’s leaders are only interested in enriching themselves and holding on to power, he said.
“For this reason, they are killing daily.”
When Ayatollah Khomeini took power in the Iranian Revolution of 1979, he and his supporters killed tens of thousands, he said.
“The best generation of my country.”
He has never been back.
“It’s not safe, there’s no trust. The system, the regime is a total dictatorship.”
Boroumand calls himself a proud Canadian and Red Deerian. But Iran remains dear to him.
“Of course, I am very homesick. I wish, one day before I die, to see my country again.”