A group of ten to fifteen people dressed in Israeli Defence Force (IDF) t-shirts and waving Canadian, Israeli and IDF flags slowly encircled a large group of Iranians holding posters reading “#SupportIranDeal” and “we choose peace”.
The Iranian group was just starting to coordinate their August 15 rally, passing out flags bearing the #SupportIranDeal logo of the dove and olive branch, and creating large posters. This was in Toronto, one of hundreds of locations staging a rally in support of the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 signed on July 14.
The approaching crowd had posters carrying messages such as “Unmask Obama. Obama for Caliph. This is Creeping Jihad” and “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it”, juxtaposing images of the Iranian nuclear negotiations with Adolf Hitler and Neville Chamberlain signing for appeasement in 1938.
They approached the Iranian dove and olive branch crowd chanting “stop the terrorists” and “they are murderers”.
The police eventually stepped in to place a barrier between the opposing sides, but not before the Iranian crowd started chanting “peace, peace, peace” in reaction.
This was just a small kink in one of over a hundred similar events taking place worldwide on Saturday. According to a press release posted by the journalist Negar Mortazavi on the #SupportIranDeal Worldwide Facebook page, the grassroots-powered events were formed largely in response to increasingly vocal opposition to the deal.
On August 15th 2015, Global Day of Peace for Iran, thousands of people are gathering in cities across the world to show support for peace and prevent another war in the middle east. This is a grassroots movement organized by dozens of volunteers in over 100 cities in 20 countries in 4 continents. Hundreds of volunteers, with no affiliation to any organization or group, have joined this grassroots movement.
Thousands of volunteers all around the world are gathering to show support for the historic nuclear deal with Iran, which will make the world and the Middle East a safer place, give Iranian civilians a relief from harsh economic sanctions, and allow for resumption of peaceful relations between Iran and the United States. This is happening while pro-war lobbies in the U.S. are spending millions of dollars on campaigns to kill this deal and the prospect for a sustainable peace.
In the weeks leading up to the event, the event's logos and slogans were being distributed widely by supporters.
One member of the U.S. diplomatic team Marie Harf even took note of it in a tweet:
I have no idea who is doing this, but it's kind of awesome. https://t.co/uO9Geb8LvO
— Marie Harf (@marieharf) August 8, 2015
In the Iranian government, Massoumeh Ebtekar, Vice President and head of environmental protection in the Rouhani administration, posted a link to the event's Facebook page.
Ebtekar called to support the deal in the face of opposition from inside the U.S. congress and “Zionists”.
Here is a selection of tweets from cities that saw gatherings in support of the deal:
— Mahsa Khalili (@MahsaKhalili_) August 15, 2015
— Soodeh (@SoodehFa) August 12, 2015