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Utahns protest potential war with Iran — including some local Iranian-Americans worried for their families

It’s been a whirlwind of emotions for Arya Barkesseh since it was announced Friday that President Donald Trump had ordered a U.S. strike that killed a top Iranian general.

The 18-year-old Iranian-American from Salt Lake City scrolled through social media and found memes joking about how Qassem Soleimani’s death will lead to World War III. Others posted photos of Iranian models with objectifying captions.

It seemed as if people here were desensitized to the gravity of the situation, he said at an anti-war protest that drew about 170 people who chanted and waved signs in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday.