American Morning

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June 22nd, 2009
09:45 AM ET

Iranian protester pleads for U.S., world to intervene

A picture obtained on June 21, 2009 shows Iranian riot police on a street of Tehran on June 20, 2009.

A picture obtained on June 21, 2009 shows Iranian riot police on a street of Tehran on June 20, 2009.

An Iranian student protester in Tehran made a passionate plea for help from the world community this morning in a phone call to CNN’s “American Morning.”

For safety reasons, CNN can only identify the student by his first name, Mohammad. He's been a part of the protests and a target of the violence there. Below is an edited transcript of the interview.

John Roberts: What is the scene like on the streets? Are there more demonstrators out there on the streets? Or is it much quieter than it has been in recent days?

Mohammad: Hello. Actually I participated in Saturday's demonstrations in parts of Tehran. What I saw, I saw thousands of security officers that tried to break up the crowd. They used canisters and batons and water cannons against us. They attacked us. And we also in response attacked them. We attacked them by throwing stones. And we built trenches in the streets and actually defended too.

Roberts: So there was quite a large confrontation going on there over the weekend. But can you tell us what the scene is like on the streets today?

Mohammad: Today was a long day in Tehran. And yesterday there weren't any organized rallies in Tehran. Because we take orders from our leader Mr. Karroubi and Mr. Mir Hossein Moussavi. The connections, the communication is very difficult, more than even you can imagine in Tehran. But I myself haven't received any orders from our leaders yet. But as soon as I get any order, I will participate in any demonstration that they tell us.

Kiran Chetry: When you say receiving orders, tell us how the protests are organized. How are you guys called to go and where?

Mohammad: Actually, I'm a regular person. I'm not behind the scenes. I cannot tell you exactly how these demonstrations are organized. But as I know, as people said, there is a council, a group of Iranian reformists who organize these demonstrations and they tell us in any way that they could and we just follow.

Chetry: Do you get it on your cell phone, text messages, are you able to use the internet?

Mohammad: Actually, they reduce the internet speed. We have severe problems with the messenger software and every software like messengers. This is arranged by making calls, messages, calls to his friends or her friends and try to gather as much to tell as he or she can.

Roberts: Mohammad, we have been talking this morning about what the students are fighting for and whether the students are fighting for something different than the older more established political candidates like Moussavi. Are the students seeking regime change? Are they looking to bring down the Ayatollah and completely change the form of government there in Iran? Or are you looking for – as has been suggested – more civil rights, more freedoms within the context of the existing regime?

Mohammad: Yes. Let me tell you something. For about three decades our nation has been humiliated and insulted by this regime. Now Iranians are united again one more time after 1979 Revolution. We are a peaceful nation. We don't hate anybody. We want to be an active member of the international community. We don't want to be isolated. Is this much of a demand for a country with more than 2,500 years of civilization? We don't deny the Holocaust. We do accept Israel's rights. And actually, we want - we want severe reform on this structure. This structure is not going to be tolerated by the majority of Iranians. We need severe reform, as much as possible.

Roberts: Interesting perspective this morning from Mohammad, a student demonstrator there in Tehran.

Mohammad: Excuse me, sir. I have a message for the international community. Would you please let me tell it?

Roberts: Yes, go ahead.

Mohammad: Americans, European Union, international community, this government is not definitely - is definitely not elected by the majority of Iranians. So it's illegal. Do not recognize it. Stop trading with them. Impose much more sanctions against them. My message…to the international community, especially I’m addressing President Obama directly – how can a government that doesn't recognize its people's rights and represses them brutally and mercilessly have nuclear activities? This government is a huge threat to global peace. Will a wise man give a sharp dagger to an insane person? We need your help international community. Don't leave us alone.

Chetry: Mohammad, what do you think the international community should do besides sanctions?

Mohammad: Actually, this regime is really dependent on importing gasoline. More than 85% of Iran’s gasoline is imported from foreign countries. I think international communities must sanction exporting gasoline to Iran and that might shut down the government.

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Filed under: Iran
soundoff (878 Responses)
  1. Carl Vitillo

    The United States needs to stay out of the Iranian elections. Look at the 2000 Bush vs. Gore election. We Americans didn’t take to the streets. I’m getting tired of watching the Iranian protests on all our news channels. Enough is enough.

    Carl

    June 22, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  2. Michael

    Forget support. Send nukes!

    June 22, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  3. VEYMERTIMES

    Nothing has change in washington,and it wont change soon...This remainds me when bush defended the saudis,but not irak .No wonder why they want us out . We Americans always talk about spredding democracy aroud the world and yeat,once again we failing to support it...And all the people,the ones who are trapped in the past like some of the fellows here, is not going to help.We are all in the same team,don't forget it. SEMPER FI

    June 22, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  4. K_ Jones

    Right now what can we do for the people in Iran?Any intervention would most likely lead to another war that we do not need. We can not be everywhere at once. In my own opinion, the people already see Moussavi as their leader. The smartest thing would be for Achmedinajad to accept defeat before sh#$ really hits the fan. In reality, he became a dictator. Why hold elections and allow candidates to run against each other if the peoples votes are going to be worth nothing? In a heart beat,
    the protests could/will turn into violent riots and more people will die like Neda. Stop blaming America for what is going on and try to fix this problem as a nation not as a mob.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  5. Steven

    I remember when Jimmy Carter force the Shah of Iran out of office. I also remember the taking of American Hostages by the people of Iran because we tried to help. The Hostages were held for almost two years. The US always get slap arround when ever we attempt to do something. And, we always get blame for the World problems. We went in Iraq and Affganastan with the American People fitting the bill for that endeavor. And we are still in those countries. Regardless of popular belief, the US is not responsible and should not be held accountable for the Fate of the World.
    As a Natural Born Tax paying American Citizen, I vote that we stay out of this. This is not our Fight.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  6. Nick C

    We should not do anything..........These same people cry "Death to America".............Now they love us when they need it!

    Just let them be themselves!.................NOT (1) US soldier should be put a risk, NOR $1 be spent for these counties.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  7. John

    We have responsibilities to help these people in Iran. What happened to our freedom loving people? Are we afraid or do we put our self interest in front of freedom? This is the best opportunity we have to free Iran from these fanatics. Where are you Mr. Bush? Mr. OBAMA does not want to do anything, because he wants to deal with these killers. Please help them any way you can to get their freedoms. They are not our enemies, they are our friends. Believe me I KNOW.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  8. Neo

    Jackie,

    Time and again people of Iran have shown to be the most pro-US population in Middle East (after Israel). The flag burning is a propaganda of the Iranian government not a real reaction of the Iranian people.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  9. Nick D

    It is wrong to base our interpretation of events in Iran based on the opinions of one person. Americans would like to see a pro-American, pro-Israel, secular revolution in Iran but I think this is wishful thinking.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  10. Matt in Seattle

    How is it still possible in this day and age that people think because they see one person burning a flag on TV that means the *entire country* feels the same way?

    Wake up.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  11. Adam

    The problem with more sanctions is that the people who have felt their burden and will feel more of are ordinary Iranians who are protesting in the streets.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  12. Jamie

    Iran was one of the most progressive nations in the middle east until 30-40 years ago. There also was the whole Iran-Iraq war. I won't pretend to know the history...but there is definately "history" that put the current leaders into power. The new generation has decided enough is enough. Corruption and abuse of power.

    If (some of) you cowboys think that the US should step in, you are F'n crazy. In case you weren't aware already, we're stretched between Africa, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Now Pakistan and N.Korea are becoming hot zones and the "drug war" along the US/Mexico border is also a poential flash zone.

    In order to not further bastardize the US in the middle east, this uprising needs to succeed on its on, with little to zero US intervention. In case you aren't paying attention, one wrong move...one ichy trigger finger and we'll be at war with North Korea. Team America, world police we are not folks.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  13. Michael

    This is not our problem and we should stay out of it. If they truly want to change their government then do it and stop asking for other countries to do it for you. Step up and take control of your situation for once and stop relying on others.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  14. Behzad

    I am an Iranian American so I see both sides. My American side cringes when I see American flags burned or I recall hostages taken at the start of the Islamic revolution. My Iranian side weeps when I see young people bludgeoned on the streets. Both sides hope we can rise above our baser instinct, educate ourselves and act with intelligence and compassion toward each other.

    Americans, put aside your rhetoric and grudges. Understand that Iranians love our country. The two cultures are aligned in more ways than you can imagine. Iranians are a friendly, generous people who have been grossly suppressed and misrepresented by their illegitimate government. We must stand with the reform movement if we hope it turns into a true revolution. The enemy is not Islam. It is those who have usurped Islam for their own benefit.

    Iran and America once enjoyed a strong, constructive partnership on the world stage. We can get there again.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  15. Steve

    The average American doesn't understand the totalitarian regimes.
    Obama is in that age group. My parents escaped from a totalitarian regime. Those stories told by the people that were undr Stalin and Hitler are all forgotten.
    American people need to understand that those people that burn American flags in other countries are the government sponsored people and are in the monority just like the people that burn American flags are in the minority here.
    The Islam religion has to go. Just imagine the outcry if the pope ordered mass murders of all non Catholics or the head of the Episcopalian church ordered the killings of all protesants.
    What kind of religion orders tyranny against their own people.
    We here in America have to wake up, before Islam destroys us.
    We have to educate our young the truth and the dangers out there.
    The press has to tell the truth and explain what is right and wrong when they see tyranny in Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba, Venesuala, Pakistan and Iran.
    Pres Bush saw this but was too stupid to get his point across to the
    young people of America. Obama needs to that. People of America can't have their blinders on they need to help those people that want freedom. .

    June 22, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  16. abtin

    JackieQ- Brea -Ca, monica0220, you two are the essence of the 'CNN viewer' what ever is put on the TV, you believe. Open your eyes, dont be so ignorant and think and research. The people on TV burning flags are uneducated villagers the same people who are pro-ahmadinejad!! These people who are protesting now are the people who have been quite due to oppression of the government, but now they are all united and not scared to express thier dislike for this regime! You understand that now, ignoramas?

    June 22, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  17. Jon, PA, USA

    I think we should be stopping the flow of gasoline to help prevent a nuclear armed Iran (with it's current leaders).

    However, this fight is for Iranians, by Iranians. We tried to interfear before, and the result is the current regime. Leave Iran alone. If they do succed, and overthrow their dictatorship, then we should help the new government in ANY WAY POSSIBLE.

    I am all for freedom for IRAN, and would be willing to fight with them for there freedom, but freedom cannot be imposed !

    June 22, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  18. Don

    Give the flag burning a rest, focus on the real issue, human rights. Right or wrong people burn flags in the US every day when they need attention

    June 22, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  19. Leila Larijani

    You are ignorant to think this man was paid by CNN, I am an Iranian American and this is how most Iranians think, for once think outside of your box and try to understand what these people are going through. Of couse there are extreamists in every country even America, do not judge an entire nation by one persons actions. I believe that USA should not specifically intervene but Obama needs to say that we support the Iranians right to freedom. Ronald Regan did not say to Gorbecev- keep this wall up. He said-" Tear down this wall." Why is Obama so scared to say we support the Iranian peoples right to freedom? WHY???? Iranian people you are not alone. Many support you. Keep fighting for your right to freedom.
    "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."
    Abraham Lincoln-

    June 22, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  20. S Callahan

    We don't need to invade Iran. We need to sit still on this and let God (see Exodus 14:14). I doubt this man is illigitimate in his message..he is speaking for the youth there..keep in mind that is over 60-70% of the population. In defense of his plean, Consider the changed ideology of the US or Euorpean youth...it's as though the 'worldly' spirits are demanding justice in the world..and rightly they are. Justice does not have to violent though....remember the days of old when God showed his mighty hand....I say it's best to have the millions walk , peacefully, in song and praise to God seven times around the capital of Iran and watch God's mighty works happen.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  21. D. Tadenev

    I am US citizen, but I came from former Soviet Union and I believe and understand Mohammed and his fellows. First of all our president has to speak up clear that US on the side of freedom fighters finally. Second we have to help not using any violence the way Mohammed said or any other way. America always says it supports freedom so do it otherwise we all liars!

    June 22, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  22. Liz

    BeefMasterX- SHUT UP!! You sound like the Ayatollah!

    June 22, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  23. Curt

    It's quite clear that the desire for freedom and individual rights(including for women) are universal. If we continue to stand up for those rights as we have in the past it will give the people of these radical and repressive governments the strength to fight for themselves. Would anyone concede that maybe the changes toward these universal rights in Iraq and Afghanistan that our country has fought for could be having a positive effect on the Middle East? Lebanon elected a pro-west government over hezbollah and now we are seeing the Iranian people stand up out of the want to peacefully join the rest of the modern world! Maybe Bush isn't such a war mongerer afterall and he realized we would have to make sacrifices in order to spark a change in the Middle East.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  24. tony

    I have been supporting Obama's muted approach so far, but this regime is weakened now.... there is no way it wil give up its nuclear ambitions now. The leaders will see becoming a nuclear power as the only way to save their skins. We should try to help the Iranians change their regime.... the problem is how.
    Unfortunately, the effectiveness of sanctions will depend more upon our ability to convince the Europeans and Russians (good luck with that one) to go along than anything we can do directly. Still, Obama should use some of his prestige to give it a shot.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  25. Reality

    They are risking their lives to protest against filled out ballots that exceed the population of the towns? Hmmm... Maybe they can come to America after they are done there, to show us what we should do since many of our cities produced more votes than our population?

    June 22, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  26. James Carter lll

    How easily we forget when Iran held our hostages for over a year!! When they burned our flags and kept saying DEATH TO AMERICA!!

    June 22, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  27. Gerson Figueroa

    We can't judge the Iranian people for the past protests and American flag burning, the government had alot to do with staging that, we must see the Iranian as a whole.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  28. Robert

    JackieQ- Brea -Ca,
    You will never get it.
    Thank god most of people in the world do not think like you.
    But u have the right to exist !!

    June 22, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  29. James Carter lll

    SHelly "Iran in their fight for change:
    How can I sit here in front of my television or computer screen and enjoy my freedo"
    Seriously can you say the same when Israel invades the Palestinians and kills 100's of innocents children?
    Or now you feel touch?

    Next time Israel kills innocent Palestinians I hope that you too speak up.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  30. E

    These people are different than their crazy government...

    They are speaking about the "Audacity of Hope"!

    The U.S. should support democracy for these people who are crying for liberty...

    Plus, this crazy government is like a bad apple....It's infecting every country around it and is destructive to world peace.....

    Obama, remember change?

    June 22, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  31. alexpinca

    I have listened to many interviews of Iranian Americans from academia and other community leaders who are saying that BHO is handling this situation correctly. He is not giving the Leadership in Iran the pretext that it is America causing the turmoil in Iran. We should certainly do everything we can to support the opposition but we should be careful not to react emotionally resulting in more harm than good.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  32. Neda!!!

    Hey Jackie Q; You still don't get, do you? Flag burning is What Basij and their relatives used to do (in civilian clothes) and they are now killing people! They are minority with power and guns and the rest of Iran are hostages of the regime. Please, open your eyes..and others...

    June 22, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  33. James Carter lll

    "We are the ONLY country in the WORLD that has free speach. "

    Bob Kole YOu are soooo wrong. Travel to Europe. Spain, Italy, France, UK etc
    Al those nations also do have free speech. In fact the have more freedoms than us in the USA.

    Beautiful slime women in Spain, Germany and France even go topless and nude at the beach without getting a ticket!! How is that for Freedom!

    June 22, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  34. George

    Why United Nation is so quite when the cry of the Iranian people echoes the world? If you look at the way people are ruled in Iran, one can easily understand that the motive behind it is nothing other than power and enjoy the comfort of life. Supreme leader himself was a revolutionary and came to power through revolution. Once he got the power and comfort of a divine figure it is hard for him to give it up. Mohammad Ahamadinijad is a pawn in his hand. It is important for the United Nation to hold the torch of freedom it stands for.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  35. KEVIN

    ON 2 SIDES HERE TOU HAVE AN IRANIAN GOVERNMENT THAT ONLY SHOWS ITS SUPPORTERS EVERYTIME THEY DRUM UP SOME KIND OF REHTORIC ABOUT SOMETHING AND NEVER SHOW THE PROTESTERS WHILE THE MEDIA ALSO DOES THIS TOO, ALWAYS SHOWING THE HATRED OF THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT TOWARDS THE U.S., AND REPORTING IT, KIND OF LIKE WHAT RUSSIA DOES, SADAAM HUSSEIN DID IT WHILE HE WAS IN POWER, AS IF IT WAS THE ONLY ONE THING GOING ON IN IRAN. IT SEEMS TO ME WITH A MEDIA WITH SO MUCH INFLUENCE IN THE WORLD (BADGER,PROVOKE,INTIMIDATE,ENUENDO,REPETITIVE ANGERING QUESTIONS, SUGGESTIVE ACTION, AGITATE,TWIST,RUMOR,SPECULATE,ASSUME,ETC....) THEY DON'T ADVOCATE AN OVERTHROW OF THAT COUNTRY , THEY DO ALL THAT STUFF HERE IN THIS COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 22, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  36. Murni

    jackieQ get out of your shell. With your narrow mindedness maybe the world thinks all Americans are like Rush. My support to all the new generation of Iranians wanting the same freedom we have. Yes Obama you have to be more supportive by action and not only words.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  37. David

    Didn't We burn our own flag at some point? I think the United States as a whole would like to help, But if we steped in what would stop the people in power right now in Iran, from saying things like the reformest leaders are working with the Americans arrest them all. The power to change comes from people. I think the best thing I can say is WE are WATCHING Things are and will being set in motion the question is Will you the Iranian people follow it to the end.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  38. Monica

    According to my information there were no protests for them today because they were in mourning for those that have lost their lives. there were 10 more killed.

    I hope that the Iranian public understand that we are with them and offer our solidarity. Its unfortunate that we are not stepping in as a nation. I understand the nuclear situation and the chaos that will be caused to the global economy, but that does not mean that we should not step in as it could be far worse.

    Now that we are considered the "meddeling west", would that not ally the Iranian regime further with North Korea. As it is the two goverments are on friendly terms.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  39. alfred hanson

    i think i like obama not hasting to jump in .first his speeches,personna and a lot more is what is bringing about change everywhere on this universe of us.either you are for him in most of his proposals or you pay the price .this should be a lesson to all,esp. all politicians running for a kind of position.unfortunately this th new order of the system.i think it is about time. i promise you watch when it is the time to act about iran he will come with the best resolution.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  40. wayne caddigan St. Johns N.L. Canada

    I have watched the united states of americia get involved in two wars
    since the 2001 attack on the twin towers in New York City. I really think
    this situation in Iran needs to be looked at under a microscope before a decision can be made on it. My advise to the United states of America is to use extreme caution before committing your country to
    any sanctions or military help. It just might explode into another war
    Americia cannot afford. Good LUCK on this one

    June 22, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  41. J Gerhard

    I believe the US government should help anyone big or small in their hope for freedom. I think the USA is bigger than to sit back and watch EVIL around the world. I think it's time we choose side here.

    True Iranians did take American Hostages and burn our flag in their streets at one time. Like 20 or 30 years ago. Hello those people are now in their 50 and 60's, the new generation does not want all the negativity their elders did. I believe the younger generation is better informed and educated about their freedom.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  42. Thomas R

    There was a time when Iranians chanted "Death to America", then again it wasn't that long ago when we Americans were out for blood after being struck by an extremist minority and that anguish and fear mutated into hatred and distrust of the Muslim world.

    Our current administration is wise to react with caution. Hawkish talk of war and "regime change" is exactly what has re-enforced the existence of this theocracy and authoritarian regimes like it.

    My hope is that the Iranian Revolution of 2009 become more than broken dreams and broken promises that the previous revolution delivered. Good luck to the freedom fighters!

    June 22, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  43. James Carter lll

    Mohammed you said, "I saw thousands of security officers that tried to break up the crowd. They used canisters and batons and water cannons against us. They attacked us. And we also in response attacked them. We attacked them by throwing stones. And we built trenches in the streets…"
    Here in the USA after the cops attack us with water cannon and pepper spray if we then attack them with stones then they wills shoot us to death. So you see is not that much different.

    Also you guys want the USA to intervene, yet when Israel attacks the Palestinians and kills them NOBODY gives a crap!!
    The USA doesnt need to get involve in the middle east at all. We had enough problems thanks to Bush, Cheney and all those war Criminals GOP

    June 22, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  44. Falyn

    I support a FREE Iran. The past is just that the past.
    Throwing mud on each other will never solve any problems.
    Many Cultures....One Race....HUMAN!

    June 22, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  45. Raymond

    Hi ,
    I am a Canadian-Iranian living in Toronto from 7years ago. I just want to say to the people who think that Iranian people are against US and they burnt the American flag, That these people who you see in Baseij are only thousands, brain washed people who live and getting paid by Iranian government and every time government want to show outside world, they will bring them with buses from different cities .
    They are minority and less than 1% of the population.
    Please do not mix these people with the Iranian. These are animals who will not have any place in the world If the government will change and they have to stay there and die or kill innocents people like NEDA.
    I hope my country will be free on day and I hope that day will come soon. Please support our people for freedom.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  46. Ray G.

    If Iran does not get any help from UN or US, this protest will be stopped and the U.S. has to deal with this government. So help Iranian and let them get the job done.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  47. MikeG

    I agree with michaelk that Obama needs to try to intervene along with members of the United nations and the European Union. That is the key. No single Country can do this alone....We need to see that the Iranian people want change but not revolution.
    Only the World Community ( US included) can come to the aid to allow the Iranian government to give their people a voice to be heard. If they do ...peace may be restored.. They need to LISTEN to their people and work with them, not againste them. The US cannot tell the Iranian people what needs to be done, As an active member of the international Community , we need to work together to create a peaceful vehicle for the Iranian people to be heard. The world is watching...

    June 22, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  48. Melissa

    While I agree that sanctions might work, the majority of the worlds oil and gas come from the middle east and supporters of the Iranian gvt. There's nothing we can do about that.

    I support the Iranian people in their efforts but I don't agree that the United States should interfere in any real way.

    The US needs to stay out of this. It is an internal Iranian matter and needs to remain that way. The moment the US gets involved, other country's will get involved too and we could end up with the third world war with the middle east.

    Iran needs to deal with this itself. You have the support of the American people, but the American gvt needs to stay out.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  49. Robert Flynn, Nashville,TN

    This is one brave man, and the Iranian people as a whole! More and more has mounted against this regime and it was only time before the Iranian people stood up and fought this tyranny. I hope these brave people overthrow the current tyrannical government and establish what this person described: An Iran that is a well respected and protected member of the international community. Death to the dictator!!!!

    June 22, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  50. Eileen Peabody MA

    BeefMasterX, What exactly do you expect Obama to do? He has held his tongue when it came to the question of the elections. This situation has escalated to a cry against the Iranian Government on the whole.

    Do you suggest we fly in a drop armed paratroopers? I would think if this is the scenario you prefer we would see a much greater death rate of the opposition. Plus, it would give the government the usual source of blaming the U.S. With the U.S. to hang for the revolution...you can bet they would stop tip toeing on the murder of their own people.

    Do you suggest we go in like we did in Pakistan when Israel took action against them? Israel had its reasons....but we voiced our concern for both sides and stayed out of the way.

    Do you suggest we go to another war? Right now many civilians are feeling the brunt of our presence in Iraq and Pakistan. This is not to say our support of both contingencies is not good....it's just that we are fighting religious extremists and their view is even the innocent should be scarified for their version of Ala's direction.

    And finally, how can we jump into another confrontation when our own citizens are losing their jobs, homes, and hope?

    If we are to go in to support the protestors on a more military or forceful basis....I once again suggest any action be coordinated through the UN or any other Democratic Alliance.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  51. Tyler

    Yeah but now they are asking for our help. Why dont we prove them wrong. Show them that they were burning the flag of a nation of good people who will do everything we can to bring the freedom and liberties we enjoy to all people of the world.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  52. Me

    The sad truth is the US government does not have any ability to get involved right now. We already have 2 wars, both in countries neighboring Iran and both bleeding our blood and treasure for years. We are involved with Pakistan, a failing nuclear state also on Iran's borders. We have an intense situation with N Korea. We are still in financial crisis and cleaning up the miscellaneous internal messes of two and a half decades of sloppy management and failed policies. What good would words do when we cannot support them with action? The American people are free and there are ways we can help with or without our government. If you care so much, put up!

    June 22, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  53. Rachael SA Arizona

    Actually, the majority of Iranians in this present protest did not burn the US flag. They were too young at the time. I agree that there are still some who did burn American flags that are part of this protest. The majority of US flag burners are part of the Islamic Regime that these youngsters are fighting against. The Islamic Republic used the US and Isreal to propagandize and rewarded those who flag burned with positions of power or in some cases-gain the lives of their families. Yes I remember it too well, my entire family was killed by the Islamic Republic. The Iranian community on the whole is not against the US. There are too many Iranians who are Jewish, Christian, of any other denomination, or simply want to preserve the antiquity of the culture. There are too many Iranians who are Muslim but do not believe in the heresy of the the Islamic Republic's brand of Islam. Mohammed is correct, Iranians do not want the Islamic Republic's regime to be the example of Iran or the Iranians. You should not "buy" the propaganda from the Islamic Republic and remember from whence it comes. The Islamic Republic tortures their own people, and I do mean physical torture. Please only hold those who hate the US responsible for what they did back then and not those who didn't do anything wrong to this country. Iranians are not all crazy Ted Bundys, or Khomeinis.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  54. Monica

    I just hope that CNN realizes that their conversation was recorded and that this poor student who made this call will probably suffer the consiquences for it.

    The government is monitoring everything. I think that should have been included in the report. I was watching this morning and nothing was acknowledged to that effect.

    Let the people know exactly how dangerous it is for those that are contacting the media by any means necessary.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  55. Danny

    The world wants to help, but first, the people must make their full effort to overthrow this horrible government in Tehran. They rule with vile tactics. Like the Gestapo. They take people in the night, murder whole families of those that escape ect. Fear like that is not something we are used to in America. We will help when Obama's Administration gets their plan formalized. This time the world is watching. That is why the regime is using different tactics than they normally do. America will do her duty when the time comes. Watch and pray.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  56. the voice of reason

    Seriously, what is with all you people saying "but in the past you have burned our flag"

    Don't you realize that the reformers never did that. It was a big show put on by the regime as propaganda and only a small minority of hardliners participate. It is of course made to seem as if everyone in Iran agrees with the regime but obviously they do not. Just 8 days or so ago Achmadenijad said "Iran is the most stable country in the world." Does anyone really believe that? Of course they want everyone outside the country to think that they are all united under the Ayatollah. But that is simply not the case.

    Now here we have someone, or rather, a whole huge group of people fighting for their freedom. Arguably the majority of the country. Agreeing with us that Isreal has rights, this regime should not have nuclear weapons, Iran should be more open and engaged with the world. How can we not help these people?

    June 22, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  57. Nikita Kaim

    Oh, if you check out Moussavi's Facebook, he's now trying to blame the West on the regime's censoring technology/ tactics.
    We should drop a neutron and be done with it.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  58. Dixintex

    How do we really, really know that Mohammad is a real student in Iran and not a made up person? Look up 'yellow journalism' and you'll understand my concern. It could be made up by ANYone.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  59. Linda of Detroit

    We as Americans must help! At the very least hold rallies in support of the people of Iran who want reform. This may give the courage and confidence to continue the fight, and stand tall for the rights of all the citizens.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  60. Bob Kole

    Maybe President Obama and others should look at the statue of liberty pictures taken last month. Maybe then they will remember what this country stands for.

    Liberty can come from one person, Gorbachev in Russia, Lec Weleasha in Poland, here we have thousands calling for liberty and change and we turn a deaf ear?

    Do I want to send troops no, would it be easier to do nothing, yes but that is not what America is about. We are the ONLY country in the WORLD that has free speach. We should use that voice to lend support to those who wish the freedom to choose what governement they wish to have. We have been hearing about working together with other nations and defeat those who follow an extreme view of Islam. Well here is the handing curve ball, are we going to hammer at it or not even swing?

    June 22, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  61. Dino

    CNN sucks. How much did you pay this punk?

    This country didn't care about the rigged elections of 2000 and 2004. Why should I give a crap about Iran?

    June 22, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  62. al

    This is one guy. I just don't know if he speaks for the entire group of protestors or if he is just relaying his opinion to the world. I want to believe that the people of Iran are not the American flag burning and "death to Americans" chanting people that we always see on TV but how can anyone be certain.

    I think the protestors need to make more overtures to America and the American people. I believe the people and the govt. of American would support them if they really believed that this is what the Iranians want.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  63. Thomas

    Wow Jackie, way to generalize. because, you know... the whole population of Iran was burning American flags. thats like saying all Americans eat Burgers and hotdogs everyday, because thats what tv says we do!

    the Iranian people need help, and the one time countries in Europe and the US should be helping a middle eastern country, we just sit by and watch. I'm not saying we should invade, not at all, but we need to get involved. because the government in power in Iran is Illegal, and should be treated as such.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  64. Jon

    Wow – congratulations to Americans by showing that we're the "bigger person." Who cares that they burn our flag? Aren't we supposed to be better? Aren't we supposed to be America, the country that fights for the rights of all people? I guess when you get down to the populace, half of us are hateful, revenge-seekers and the other half believe in what America stands for. Sounds familiar – like maybe, half of them burn our flag and the other half have no problem with us?

    Hey America, try opening your eyes for once and using your smarts – not ALL of the Iranians have a problem with us and the ones that don't deserve to be free, just like we deserve to be free. THAT is what it means to be an AMERICAN – not this petty, vindictive hate that fills our country all of the time these days.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  65. kristin alba

    WE ALL LOVE YOU ...PEOPLE OF iRAN..THE GREAT iRAN.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  66. Woods Berry

    There is a better way to fight, and it doesn't involve acting like animals, and making chaos and having by-standers getting killed.

    A government reflects its people, if Iranians really want change, they can do so by uniting and peacefully working together while following and respecting the laws of the nation.

    Don't let your country turn into another Iraq or Somalia, civil war will not do any good and will make the situation worse.

    –Woods.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  67. Arx

    PLEASE AMERICA AND OBAMA...DON'T INTERFERE!!! We do need help but the US is stuck in Iraq & Afganistan so CLEAN UP YOUR MESS FIRST! IRANIAN PEOPLE WILL FREE THEMSELVES!! Aram from Norway!

    June 22, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  68. carlo

    what a bunch of nonsense, this interview was a travesty, first, you don't know who this person is and who paid him to say what we want to hear.

    We need to stay out and let them figure out what direction they want to take, CNN, please, don't assume that we are a bunch of hillbillies, some of us know what's going on.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  69. Lo

    To Jackie Q:
    Are you incapable of comprehending what you read? My brain hurts from your comment. Mohammed is asking that we DONT send gasoline to Iran. And he is trying to overthrow the regime that encourages US flag burning.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  70. Dixintex

    Here is advice to our friends in Iran: Find out who is part of the Basij militia, go to their houses at midnight and beat THEM up. There are more of you than there are of them. You need to turn the tables on them and give them a lilttle taste of their own medicine. Ride around in Toyota trucks/small motorcycles with sticks and whack them on their legs/backs/heads. Take charge!

    June 22, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  71. Jackie O

    We should all know by now that a government's actions do not necessarily represent the will of the people. Iranians are a very intellegent, civilized people with a wonderful culture that is tainted by their repressive antagoniztic government . We should support the pepole through the European Union and the UN.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  72. Patrick

    Yeah, right, let's get into another Middle Eastern country, because it's people need our balls to overthrow their dictatorial leader! Where were they when our 52 hostages were taken? Where were they when we had Americans kidnapped in Lebanon and in other areas of the Middle East? Where were they when 9-11 happened? Where were they when we took out Sadaam Hussein? What will happen if we move in is that they will cheer us for one day, then start their idiotic Anti-American, America is Satan chants all over again. I say, let them rot in the stew they made for themselves.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  73. steve

    Jackie-
    what you are the last couple ofd weeks are real Iranians, the until now unheard masses, anything you see coming out of state run TV in the past is the the view of the oppressive anti West regime that the people are currently rebelling against.

    They are pleading for our help!!!!!

    June 22, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  74. Arx

    Burn your flags?? How many flags do you have? And WE the true Iranian people are a peaceful race unlike YOU.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  75. jc bryant

    I would like to know if the regime change in Iraq gave hope to the Iranian people. If so, this could make us look differently at the Iraq war.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  76. Mehdi

    The people of Iran are allies of the west & America! Millions of Iranians live in the US & are ever so proud to be Iranian – Americans The regime in Tehran does not represent the true voice of Iranians! We want peace, democracy & freedom in Iran! Gob bless America & those who live for freedom!

    June 22, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  77. SimonL, Madison, WI

    We should keep in mind that we, as consumers of the media, only get bits and pieces of what happens in Iran (or basically any other place we don't live in). We need to be careful about generalizing and making invalid assumptions based on limited information. Mohammed seems to be an intelligent and articulate individual, but he does not speak for the entire Iranian population or even the ones who want change. At the same time, it is folly to say that all Iranians hate the United States because a few were caught on camera burning our flag. How would we feel if others believe they know how all Americans are because they watch Jerry Springer?

    June 22, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  78. michaelk

    Some of these comments are idiotic. Iran is a country made up of very educated peop-le with a small majority of fundamental lunatics who happen to be running the government so don't be so jusdgemental, short sighted and living in your small world when you make such ridiculous comment. Go out and travel the world so your eyes can open up to reality.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  79. Bob Ramos

    Mohammed: Americans, European Union, international community, this government is not definitely — is definitely not elected by the majority of Iranians. So it’s illegal. Do not recognize it. Stop trading with them. Impose much more sanctions against them. My message…to the international community, especially I’m addressing President Obama directly – how can a government that doesn’t recognize its people’s rights and represses them brutally and mercilessly have nuclear activities? This government is a huge threat to global peace. Will a wise man give a sharp dagger to an insane person? We need your help international community. Don’t leave us alone.

    Chetry: Mohammed, what do you think the international community should do besides sanctions?

    Mohammed: Actually, this regime is really dependent on importing gasoline. More than 85% of Iran’s gasoline is imported from foreign countries. I think international communities must sanction exporting gasoline to Iran and that might shut down the government.
    ---------------------------
    Mohammed makes a lot of sense. Sanctions including the importation of gasoline does not require troops. Of course, such sanctions would require the active participation of those countries that border Iran. That is the major sticking point.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  80. shain

    the same people who are beating the students burnt your flag, these poeple are bunch of thugs paid by the government to act the way they do.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  81. Susan

    Can anyone tell me why the Arab countries in the middle east always seem to go silent when things are happening in their own region? Why dont they get involved? The Saudi's never seem to help, whats up with that?

    June 22, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  82. Pat from Buffalo

    Let the past go. These students are asking for their freedom, peace and a place in the international community. They want what the rest of us want. We must support them. Loudly.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  83. LindaR

    Your courage and spirit are admirable and we applaud you and othes in Iran like yourself.

    It is time for the main countries to work together on these type of problems and join forces for the good of mankind. The US is not in any positon to go it alone anymore, especially now.

    We feel for you but are restricted by too many things from charging into Iran's internal politics.

    Iran needs prompt UN action, not just us alone. Where are the other super powers on this?

    June 22, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  84. Steve Potter

    Jackie ? Not all Iranians burned American flags, just like not all Americans voted for George Bush and torture. Open up your mind.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  85. American supporter of Moussavi

    Thank you, Mohammed, for your courage. This gives us great hope for the future of the Middle East. We think of you several times a day, and urge our leaders to support you. We Americans don't know what it is like for our streets to be turned into war zones.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  86. Randy

    JackieQ, just because we see regime-sponsored photos of Anti-American flag-burning rallies doesn't mean the majority of Iranians feel that way. You should know that. Did you know large groups of moderate Iranians held candlelight vigils for Americans after 9-11? As an American, I was long reading some of their anti-regime activist websites, before so much attention turned toward Iran after this election. Check out websites like Daneshjoo.org, that have long been the voice of more moderate, secular, western-like, Iranians.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  87. michaelk

    Where is Obama? What is he waiting for? He should try to intervene along with members of the United nations and the European Union. Now would be a good time if any to send in a covert team to arm the citizens and let them fight this ruthless regime. Tell our President to do more on this issue instead of playing golf.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  88. MikeNature

    every country has there crazies, as do we friend. so try not to judge so quicly.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  89. J in Georgia USA

    Oh for God's sake, the young man speaking probably wasn't even born when the Ayatollah came to power, and he's certainly not part of the fundamentalist nuts burning flags of Western countires. This is a NEW generation speaking, one that repudiates kneejerk hatred of the West. Do you realize how revolutionary his statements about Israel are, for example? The West needs to do whatever it can to help the tremendous, courageous efforts of these people as they attempt to effect change in Iran.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  90. taylor

    greatest sympathy to the families of every casualty.

    this is a new generation, reason outweighs subordinance to traditionalism and fundamentalism. hopefully.

    my thoughts are with iran.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  91. Megan

    Jackie Q, you don't get it , do you? The people who burn our flags ARE not the majority. What you see on TV is the minority terrorist supporters. Read what the guy said and I believe whole-heartedly that this is true! Government is different from its people.

    "We are a peaceful nation. We don’t hate anybody. We want to be an active member of the international community. We don’t want to be isolated… We don’t deny the Holocaust. We do accept Israel’s rights. And actually, we want — we want severe reform on this structure. This structure is not going to be tolerated by the majority of Iranians. We need severe reform, as much as possible."

    June 22, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  92. BeefMasterX

    For 30 years Iranians have been held hostage by violent extremists.
    Now, there is an opportunity to foment democracy in the heart of islamic hatred, and Obama can barely speak.
    Obama should resign. He is a bigger embarrassment than Nixon.
    And almost a bigger embarrassment than Carter, the last democrat to get on his knees at the feet of Islam.
    Impeach Obama.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  93. shar

    These students never burnt our flag. The same people who ar killing the students are the ones who burnt our flag. We can't punish the kids like Neda for the behavior of the ones whom u are complaining about. Mohaamed, u are in our rayers, we support u and hope the international community is hearing your voice.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  94. George

    This sounds like a guy that was paid by CNN to say what the Americans wanted to hear. Very funny.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  95. Alan

    I support the people of Iran, but every time the united states get's involved in Islamic affairs it bites us in our ass.
    I do respect your wanting new leadership a new voice for the world.
    As an American I can appreciate that, because we voted someone in office that can do the same.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  96. Danny K

    Jackie, you realize that the same government has been in place for almost 30 years, and that they have stayed in power by antagonizing the US. Mohammed represents a group of Iranians that wants to rejoin the rest of the world as a rational civilization. So don't be so judgmental and dismissive.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  97. Monica0220

    Unfortunately I feel the same way. Everytime we do something 'wrong' in the eyes of the middle east, the streets of Iran are flooded with protesters yelling 'Death to America', 'Death to American's', and burning of the American flag. Do I want to put the lives of our US Armed Forces in harms way for yet another Middle East country that truly doesn't appreaciate the blood we have split to help liberate their country in the name of democracy... No... Let's wait. Remember, the United States and it citizens had to suffer in order to achieve it's freedom. Pain let's you OWN your victories.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  98. Shelly

    Iran in their fight for change:
    How can I sit here in front of my television or computer screen and enjoy my freedom, my liberty when I am watching another fellow human being who deserves the same. And have decided to stand up even die for their liberty. I feel I must do and say something to support basic human rights. My heart cries and bleeds for the Iranian people. I ask our creator what can I do ; together we can speak out and stand up with them and some how help them to find change. I thank God for their courage.

    Sincerely, written
    Shelly

    June 22, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  99. JackieQ- Brea -Ca

    But you use to burn our flags on television. Remember?
    We support you by staying out of the way and spreading the news. Keep tweeting.

    June 22, 2009 at 9:48 am |
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