Few in this part of the country have a more personal interest in the events in Iran than University of Montana History Professor Mehrdad Kia, who is a native of Iran.

Kia appeared on the KGVO Talk Back program on Tuesday with Bob Seidenschwarz of the Montana World Affairs Council and spoke of the brutal regime currently in control of Iran, in relation to the recent death of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike ordered by President Donald Trump.

Kia cited one example of the brutal treatment of the Iranian people by Soleimani’s troops.

“In three days they killed, and I will use the word ‘massacred’ nearly 1,500 unarmed civilians,” said Kia. “Their only crime was they had come to the streets initially to protest the rise of gas prices, and eventually denouncing the government and demanding democratic rights.”

In addition, Kia said that the families of the slain were not even allowed to mourn for their family members, and some mothers and fathers who attempted to hold funerals for their loved ones were put in prison.

Kia said that Soleimani had been accelerating attacks on U.S. interests throughout the Middle East, attempting to provoke a response from the American government, who they viewed as weak.

“What happened in the last few weeks is that they fired at several American military installations, and in one of those attacks, an American contractor was killed,” he said. “That was not enough, so they surrounded the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and they tried to set fire to the heavily guarded compound.”

After Soleimani was killed in the drone strike, Kia said Iran has been manipulating the media around the world, but specifically in the United States, to stoke fears that a major military conflict may be coming soon.

“The U.S. military is being manipulated by the Iranian regime to display its power,” he said. “Utilizing the hatred among certain folks in the media for Donald Trump if so deep that they are using this to say a war is coming, and what you have done is you have committed suicide by confronting the major power in the region.”

Kia said the one major goal of the current regime is to maintain its power.

Kia has said many times on Talk Back that the vast majority of the Iranian people are opposed to the Islamic regime currently in power in that country.