Iranian Student Association holds vigil for ISIS attack in Iran

The Iranian flag hangs in the SEC Plaza during the vigil.

Riley Youngman, Editor-in-Chief

Candles burned bright as a steady rain drizzled around the SEC Plaza. Students and community members gather together, circling around signs denouncing terrorism and promoting unity and love.

Around 25 individuals, many members of the Iranian Student Association at OSU gathered in the SEC Plaza Friday afternoon to mourn, remember the victims of the ISIS attack in the capital of Iran Wednesday.

“We Iranian students at OSU join our fellow people in Iran in condemning the act of terrorism and share the grief and sorrow of our community with the victims of terrorist attacks that occurred (on June 7) in Tehran, the capital of Iran,” said an official statement from the Iranian Student Association.

For many, this vigil was a place to share their concerns and find community.

“This is a great opportunity for those of us that are so far from home to come together,” Sahar Mohtashamipour, and event attendee said.

Seventeen people were killed in the attack, and more than 45 were wounded. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

“We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the brutal attacks in Tehran. They are an unacceptable affront to all humanity,” the ISA statement read. “We extend our deepest condolences to the victims of this terrorist attacks and their families.”

Ali Mousavian, another event attendee and a Ph.D. student at OSU, hopes that people both in Corvallis and around the world can understand that Iran, and Iranians as a whole, do not support ISIS.

“Many people are not aware that Iran is one of the countries fighting against ISIS,” Ali Mousavian said. “Not only are they doing this in Syria, but also in Iraq. They are going to these countries to fight.”

The ISA denounces all acts of terror, and does not believe that Islam calls for the kind of violence that ISIS has demonstrated in the name of Islam.

“The continued and recent terrorist attacks across the world have shown once again the need for increased international cooperation and solidarity in the fight against terrorism. We will always remember the victims of these attacks,” the ISA’s statement said. “We pray to God to give strength to all of those victims who have suffered during this catastrophe.”

Having a place in the community to come together for Iranian students away from home provides the students with a platform of support they otherwise would not have. The vigil was meant to offer support for those that needed it.

“I appreciate all of my friends here, and not just my Iranian friends,” Paria Ghorbani said. “They sent me nice messages after the attack in Tehran and showed their support. They show me there is still humanity in the world.”

In addition to being a venue for support and solidarity, the Iranian Student Association wanted to treat this vigil as an opportunity to spread awareness of the attacks and answer any questions people may have had about the events.

One member of the group said that his parents still live in Tehran. On the day of the attack, he remembers waking up and seeing the news. He was able to reach his parents, who were safe, but the anxiety of being so far from them still remains.