Young Iranian Voices Support For Ahmadinejad

Supporters of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

hide captionSupporters of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hold portraits of the president during a recent victory rally in Tehran.

Majid/Stringer

Setareh Sadeqi, 24, is an English teacher from the city of Isfahan, the third-largest city in Iran, located south of Tehran. But unlike the thousands of young people who have taken to the streets of the capital, protesting Iran's controversial presidential elections, she says she voted for incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and denies any accusations that the voting might have been rigged.

"They try to draw him as a dictator, while he's been chosen by most of the people who voted in Iran," explains Sadeqi. "I think the media and people ... generally just hear what people in big cities, like at the capital city, [say], but in Isfahan, in Mashad, in lots of other cities, we had lots of supporters for President Ahmadinejad."

Foreign Policy

President Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust and refusal to recognize the state of Israel have been some of the most contentious issues of his presidency, but Sadeqi says many people in Iran agree with him.

"We love the Jewish people; we have lots of Jewish friends and we respect them, but not the government," she says.

President Ahmadinejad has also been criticized by the international community over Iran's nuclear program and his government's efforts to produce enriched uranium. But Sadeqi says Iran develops nuclear energy for peaceful programs and that should not be mistaken for nuclear weapons.

The Future Of Iran

Sadeqi says many people in Iran — even supporters of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi — want the protests to stop and people to calm down. As for the future of the country, Sadeqi says it's looking bright:

"I think we are improving much more than before — in technology, science, exporting things. ... I think we are stepping forward to more development and generally I am very optimistic about the future of my country."

Hear the full conversation with Setareh Sadeqi by clicking the "Listen" button in the upper left-hand corner.

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