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Nikki Tareh hasn't been able to contact her family in Iran since protests broke out over last week's election that would keep Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power.
She says the phones and Internet are down throughout the country, and she simply can't get through.
The 23-year-old joined about 30 others clad in green -- the signature color of Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi -- on Utah's Capitol steps Wednesday to show her support for her family, friends and the hundreds of thousands of Iranians protesting what they say was a rigged June 12 election in the biggest protests there since the 1979 revolution. Demonstrations have continued ever since the election, and at least seven have been killed and hundreds arrested, the Associated Press reports.
"I can't be there for them in person, but I want them to know our souls are with them," said Tareh, who was born and raised in Iran and has lived in Utah for the past eight years.
The rally was organized by Sohrab Mirmontazeri, an Iranian-born filmmaker who immigrated to the United States in 1990, when he was five years old.
"The only way Iranians communicate with the outside world right now is the Internet, and I hope they see this and know we are supporting them," he said.
Mirmontazeri pegs Utah's Iranian community at about 10,000 people, and he has planned a Saturday rally with live music and speeches at Salt Lake City Hall, culminating with a march to the State Capitol.
Protests throughout Iran started over elections, but many attending the Utah rally Wednesday said the conversation since has broadened.
"Fifty percent of Iran is under 21, and they are a peaceful generation," said Sahar Mirmontazeri, Sohrab's sister. "It has come down to human rights."
Her husband, Chris Gregoire, said caring about the plight of Iranians should extend beyond just the Iranian people.
"This should be for the American people to care about, too," he said. "We in this country have had to fight for our rights, and we should support them in their fight."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Where » City Hall's Washington Square, 451 S. State Street
When » Saturday, June 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
What » Live music and speeches in support of protesters in Iran, culminating in a march to the State Capitol. Attendees are encouraged to wear green.