Council to Consider Official Resolution Condemning Iran

The words “Justice for Mahsa Amini” have illuminated Beverly Hills City Hall since Sept. 29, in honor of the 22-year-old Iranian-Kurdish woman who died in police custody in Tehran on Sep. 16 after being detained by the “morality police” for violating the government’s hijab rules. Her death sparked protests around the world and in Iran, which have continued into a third week, according to the Associated Press. As the City Council prepares to consider a resolution condemning the government of Iran for the physical beating and death of Amini at its Oct. 11 meeting, Councilmembers took to the streets and joined in the protests. 

On Sep. 29, Councilmember Sharona Nazarian spoke in front of hundreds who gathered at the West Hollywood Park for a candlelight vigil for Amini, hosted by the Iranian American Women Foundation. As the first woman of Iranian descent elected to serve on the Council, Nazarian’s voice is significant and her platform far reaching. Mayor Lili Bosse also attended the vigil.

“The policies that the regime sets are not those of the Iranian people,” Nazarian told the Courier. “This is not a religious or cultural issue when it comes to what happens to the people of Iran who are just asking for basic freedoms. The Islamic Republic is not the Iranian people and their policies do not support the views of the people. Obviously, I am excited that we are supporting a resolution against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”  

Banners on the Beverly Hills Tower building Photo courtesy Shawn Far

On Oct. 1, Mayor Bosse held up a banner that read “Women, Life, Freedom,” as she marched alongside thousands from Pershing Square to Los Angeles City Hall in protest of the Iranian government. “Beverly Hills is standing up for human rights and we want everyone across the world to stand with us,” Mayor Bosse said in a statement last week.  

Throughout the city, Amini’s memory is honored. At the Beverly Hills Tower building on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Canon Drive, a large banner reads “We Stand With the Women of Iran #mahsaamini” next to an image of Amini, shown smiling with her hair down. Next to it, another sign reads “Free Iran” above a pre-revolution Iranian flag with a lion and sun emblem in the middle–an anti-government symbol. The flag was changed after the Iranian Revolution and now features a stylized red symbol at the center to reflect the Islamic Republic. 

“A lot of people come to Beverly Hills from all over the world, and they will now be aware of what is happening,” Shawn Far, owner of the fashion house Vertigo and the Beverly Hills Tower building, told the Courier. “Everyone is joining this movement. This could be something like Black Lives Matter.”

Nearby, West Hollywood City Hall was also lit in the Iranian flag’s red, white and green, colors as a show of support for the women of Iran this week. Over the weekend, Los Angeles City Hall was illuminated with Iranian national colors. 

“They cannot celebrate their femininity, they cannot dance, sing or even show their hair,” Nazarian wrote in a social media post. “If they get a divorce, they lose custody of their child. All the beauty that a woman brings to this world, are seen as immoral or taken away.” 

Councilmember Nazarian addressing West Hollywood rally