A University of Tehran professor said in an interview that Iran likes seeing protests on U.S. college campuses, adding those are their supporters if there is ever a conflict between the two countries.

Professor Foad Izadi, who, according to the University of Southern California Center on Public Diplomacy, earned his master’s degree from the University of Houston, was seen in a video published to social media and translated by MEMRI.org, being interviewed about the protests in the U.S.

“Sooner or later, this kind of support for the Zionist regime by the American regime will diminish. It might not stop completely, but its diminishing is important,” he said in the MEMRI video. “This is why the demonstrations [on U.S. campuses] are important.”

Izadi spoke as a member of the Islamic Republic, and oftentimes said, “we,” referring to him and the republic.

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State troopers in riot gear try to beak up an anti-Israel protest

State troopers in riot gear try to beak up an anti-Israel protest at the University of Texas on Wednesday, April 24, 2024. (Jay Janner/American-Statesman)

“We are watching the demonstrations and like what we see, but it should not end with this,” Izadi said. “If not for the Islamic Republic, the case of the Palestinian idea would have been closed years ago. The idea of resistance belongs to Iran, but on the operational level, when it comes to recruiting connections and building networks, the [Iranian] state has not been involved in a sufficient level.

“These (American students) are our people,” he continued. “If tensions between America and Iran rise tomorrow or the day after, these are the people who will have to take to the streets to support Iran.”

Izadi said there are Hezbollah-style groups in the U.S. that are much larger than those in Lebanon.

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“America is the Great Satan and our main enemy, but we have hope in these areas,” he said.

Iran expert and Foreign Desk Editor-in-Chief Lisa Daftari provided insight on Izadi’s comments.

“Quite rich to see the same regime that is fixated on torturing, raping, blinding, executing its own college students, is applauding the ignorant college students on American campuses,” she said. “It speaks to their focus on growing their influence outside of Iran.”

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A protester holds a sign during a march on Columbia University campus in support of a protest encampment supporting Palestinians

A protester holds a sign during a march on Columbia University campus in support of a protest encampment supporting Palestinians in New York City, April 29, 2024.  (REUTERS/David Dee Delgado)

Daftari explained that Iran has been beefing up terror proxies in the region and paying their way into American universities.

But at the same time, she said, the Iranian people have suffered under the rule of their “barbaric” leaders.

After watching the comments, Daftari also said it was interesting to hear Izadi say they have more Hezbollah followers in the U.S. than in Lebanon.

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“Regardless of when these pro-Hamas protests quiet down here in the U.S., it’s apparent the regime has its sights set on manipulating this momentum to launch more attacks here in the West,” she said. “The question then remains will they focus on a physical attack or just the information war, or both?”

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