Iranian-Americans join Iranian election

June 12, 2009 at 4:33 PM
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LOS ANGELES, June 12 (UPI) -- Several of the Iranian-Americans who cast their vote Friday in the Iranian presidential election say they still feel connected to their native land.

Iranian-American Shahdad Kelishadi told CNN despite the fact he is not living in his native land, he still felt compelled to visit one of the 41 designated voting locations across the United States where votes could be cast for Iran's presidential election.

"Even though I am not in Iran, my heart never left Iran, and it is my duty to help Iranians in any way possible if it will bring positive results to the country," Kelishadi said.

"For most of us, part of our identity is back in Iran. We want to know that we've done something to make a difference," fellow Iranian-American Kiana Karimi, a student at San Francisco's Academy of Art University, offered.

"It's time to take action and participate actively in the government that makes decisions that affect my life and my image in the world," University of California-Los Angeles student Ehsan Zahedani told CNN.

An estimated 1 million Iranian-Americans live in the United States, the 2000 Census indicated.

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