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‘We are against war’: Montrealers rally against military intervention in Iran

Iranian-Canadians take to Montreal streets for peace rally
WATCH: Montreal's Iranian community took to the streets on Saturday to demonstrate against violence as tensions remain high following the deadly attacks in Iran. Global's Brittany Henriques reports.

Hundreds of protesters rallied in downtown Montreal on Saturday, Jan. 25, demonstrating against war with Iran.

Protests like these have been happenening all over Canada since a U.S. airstrike killed senior Iranian General Qassem Soleimani — something demonstrators say was illegal.

“[The] main message here is that we are against war,” said organizer Mehrdad Amiri.

Some argue the incident ultimately triggered the killing of 57 Canadians, when Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 went down on Jan. 8.

READ MORE: ‘Mixed emotions:’ Loved ones of Iran plane crash victims angry, shocked jet was shot down

“There’s a huge amount of anger in Iran to the government that has just killed 170 people in this airplane,” said protester Nima Machouf.

Anti-war protesters marching in downtown Montreal.
Anti-war protesters marching in downtown Montreal. Brittany Henriques / Global News

Tempers are flaring on Saturday as anti-war protesters wave their signs, hoping for peace and unity.

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“We don’t want war. We don’t want an American intervention in Iran,” said Machouf.

“We are against what the Iranian government is doing to its own people — killing them, but not allowing them to have democracy.”

Timeline: What led to a major rise in tensions between the U.S. and Iran in 2020
Timeline: What led to a major rise in tensions between the U.S. and Iran in 2020

Some insist the Canadian government has an important role to play in this situation.

“We find the government of Canada’s position in this situation is very timid. We would like it to be more courageous,” said Echec à la guerre member and anti-war protester Judith Berlyn.

READ MORE: Montrealers commemorate Iran plane crash victims

The complexity of the issue has Iranian-Canadians worried and angry for both their people and the prospect of war. They ask that Iran cease the killing of its citizens.

“The war has different faces,” said Amiri.

“One is the United States and other is the Iranian government. We consider them a criminal government against Iranian people.”

Iranian-Canadians protest Iranian government and war in Iran.
Iranian-Canadians protest Iranian government and war in Iran. Brittany Henriques / Global News

Anti-war protesters insist going at war is far from a solution to the existing tensions.

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“As we always say, we were against the war in Iraq,” said Berlyn.

“Doesn’t mean we thought Saddam Hussein was a good guy.”

U.S., Iran draw back from brink but new threats show crisis not over
U.S., Iran draw back from brink but new threats show crisis not over