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. Blue (Denver, Co)

    OMG! My heart bleeds for the Iranian people. Our NATO allies need to stand up & speak out. That said, the Iranian people are in the fight of their lives, and need to win it without foreign intervention. What would Americans have said if Europe had sent troops to the streets of Alabama during the Civil Rights movement?

    Rest in Peace, Neda. You're beyond this Veil of heartache.

    June 22, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  2. Eric

    For clarity, American did not win its freedom from Britain on its own. Google: 'France in the American Revolutionary War'

    June 22, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  3. Rick

    Iranian in Denmark wrote: "Back in 9/11 we all became American, I think now we should all become Iranian to get rid of these Islamists and “Ahmadi Nejad” the chimp."

    WHAT? You think we should ALL now becoming Iranian? For WHAT, I'm becoming Iranian too?? Is not big joke! Is crazy! You want me speaking Farsi also? Okay, give me dollar – I speak Farsi! Neh mi fama, Hodafes!

    June 22, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  4. Hmmm....

    Guns against stones. It may seem out of place but as Iran calls for our help it also calls for reflection here at home. Did our forefathers see such images for us when they protected a right to bear arms. How easily a few can repress many with todays technology and limiting the ability to protect ones self. This should cause us to pause when we seek laws here at home that may put us in a similar position someday.

    June 22, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  5. Mike

    Unfortunately, the administion and the democrats are filled with the John Lennon type of protest. Perhaps they will stage a "bed-in" to show support for the Iranian students? Our cowardness weakens not only us, but freedom everywhere.

    June 22, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  6. Kevin

    Yes, you are right they use to burn our flags. However, I am not sure that was this generation.

    Very delicate situation, one we can not get involved in, not yet. Sorry, we just cannot at this point. We cannot offer anything, because we cannot back it up. There is the potential that there will be significant repercussions if we are involved. If we support a movement and the opposition begins to be slaughtered, we would have to sit back and watch. Our soldiers cannot handle anymore, we already ask to much of them with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There would be nothing we could do but sit back and watch what we instigated.

    We will pray for you, sanctions might work, and support the ideas of liberty and expression.

    Unfortunately, there is nothing the United States can do other than offer words of support, and these words may end up being the very sword of destruction.

    Dont forget our troops in Iraq. We cannot put more pressure on them by supporting revolutionaries in Iran.

    June 22, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  7. Jennifer, NYC

    I pray for this brave Mohammed and all of the brave Iranians who ae standing up to a brutal dictatorship. They are lying to their people, and brutally repressing them. I hope and pray they will overcome this repressive regime so they can be a part of the civilized world.

    June 22, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  8. Dara

    I am utterly amazed at the STUPIDITY and IGNORANCE in the comments by JackieQ and Monica 0220!!

    Do either of you even know that the US was actually behind a coup in Iran in 1953 that overthrew a DEMOCTRATIC government and replaced it with a US friendly dictatorship. Much of the problems in Iran are rooted in that interference. The reason the US should not interfere again is not that Iranians and muslims in general are ungrateful America haters, as your simple minded comments claim, but rather that the twisted history of American involvement in Iran could actually endanger these brave protesters.

    Read a little history before you post stupid comments!!!

    June 22, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  9. Roshea

    Is Hezbollah and PA Hamas being used to assist Iran to control the Iranian people? Shiites and Sunnis fighting? Ever heard of the Molotov/Ribbentrop pact? It is an alliance between Hamas and Iran. So the scene is finally set for brutal imposition of Islamic theocracy upon the ME and what? the world? Does the Islam theocracy reaching all the way into the office of Obama. Yes it is folks. Perhaps USA citizens need to take note of the brave Iranians fighting for their country! We could learn a few things. Imagine what people can do to uproot evil in their country! Dare we step in their shoes and believe? A government that does not represent the people anymore and thinks it can have its way without anyone uprising, but look whats happened! The best to the Iranians, they have guts! Americans use to.

    June 22, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  10. Ed Hands

    @DK

    "I have to laugh at those who try to blame Obama for EVERYTHING. "

    LOL!!!

    Welcome to the past eight years and being a Republican. Look at your own post!! You're still blaming him for everything...even now!!!

    Give it a rest already.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  11. Sherri

    DK: Who says we have to be the police force for the world? However, we have been as long as there has been something in it for us!! That is how we have gotten involved in so many place where we should not have been to begin with. Having said that, this is the best opportunity for US government to take the control out of bunch of idiots with nukes and save lots of lives in that region.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  12. atretrio

    I'm watching the coverage of these events and I can't help but think that if McCain had been elected we would be bombing all these freedom seeking people. Bomb Bomb Iran. The republicans said that Obama was naive when it came to his ideas about talking with Iran, that his policies were making America less safe and, that he had no expierence. Now the republicans are saying that he's not taking the right approach. That his response is weak. When it comes to foreign policy I'm going to listen to the people who actually have some credibility on the subject. People who aren't so eager to bomb everyting in sight. Would any of this be happening with McCain in the Oval Office? Think about it. Those protesters would not be there. This would not be happening. The world knows where America stands. So when I see that some of the congress and the Senate have opinions that differ from the President I know its free speech, I also know its wrong.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  13. Tanya

    The world is against the policy of the iranian givernment. And now when the own people of Iran stood up against their regime and it's foreign policy we can't leave them alone. By fighting, getting killed persians are helping not just themselves but also the entire world to put an end to the dictatorship. Persians are changing the world for better. Persians are highly-educated , very civilized people and they don't hate west, they are pro-western. It's just the government which is in hands of a bunch of ignorant mullalar provokes hatred toward the west. But persians know the truth. People who burned american flags are a bunch of hilly-billies who were payed to do that. Persians hate their regime, their government

    June 22, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  14. gregg

    The Iranians now crying for help from the free world has said many times in the past," Death To America" you people made your bed now lie in it. I am glad Obama is showing presidential restraint and not acting like the buffoon GW Bush .

    June 22, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  15. Mark

    It is the responsibility of any Democratic government to assist any other government (weather legit or seeking to be legit) to provide or install a Democratic government for the people by the people.

    While I am against and hesitant to send soldiers (I was a former soldier for 10 years) to once again another place in the world that asks for our assistance to only turn around years later and insult us for being there in the first place. However, I am torn by my desire to want to help the the result that help will give. Americans are ALWAYS interfering is what we hear, what we don't hear is that we were ASKED to interfere.....

    If Irianians want change, then they need to form a replacement government, hold secret votes support or assisted by the UN to prove majority rule. Then, and only then should the INTERNATIONAL community get involved to remove the old government. As an international community, stay there until the new government is in place and working.

    Stand up for what you want. Stand behind what you say. Expect from your government the power YOU give it!!!! Remember, a government is there to voice your desires and to protect your freedoms NOT to set those freedoms for you.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  16. David H. Blackburn

    I hope that when the President speaks tomorrow (Tuesday) at 12:30 p.m., he will speak out verbally in support of the Iranian people who want freedom. I agree that the International community should draw up a response to the Thugs and so-called hypocritical religious leaders who are suppressing free speech and civil rights of the Iranian people. I would like Iranians who are protesting tyranny within their country to know that this president and the American people's prayers are with you. Now, the world is getting a good understanding of Iranian democracy and why the U.S. has the 2nd Amendment (to carry guns). That would have been an equalizer in Iran.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  17. Walter

    We need cooler heads to prevail. Can someone in the Iranian leadership say something that appears diplomatic?

    You know what would be interesting? A live event, showing all the presidential candidates and the Ayatolla speaking in a civilized way at the same time with some basic agreement that discussions are under way to address the demonstrators concerns.

    THATS ALL THE WANT. They are not interested in revolution. They are not interested in taking over the positions of power, they JUST WANT THEIR VOICE TO BE HEARD and have a sense that IT IS being heard.

    THATS IT.

    If they do that, these demonstrations will be over with within a week.

    The Iranian people are too smart and have too much history to let this break themselves from their common unity.

    Time for cooler heads to prevail.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  18. Farsh

    Lets not forget who overthrew the democratic leader of Iran in 1953 and install the Shah, and lets not forget who decided it was time for the Shah to go and welcomed Khomeni in 1979. The US has always meddled in Iran's affair, but today the Iranians are asking for help and Obama is not doing a thing.

    AND ALSO , THE BURNING US FLAGS ARE DONE BY GOVERNMENT PAID EMPLOYEES OF IRAN, THEY ARE NOT THE IRANIANS YOU SEE IN THE STREETS TODAY FIGHTING FOR THEIR RIGHTS AND FREEDOM. FOR THE AVERAGE AMERICAN, I KNOW IT IS HARD TO UNDERSTAND THE IRANIAN AND US POLITICS BUT IT IS SOMETHING YOU NEED TO RESEARCH AND KNOW...

    -----------------------------
    Monica

    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 2:54 pm |
  19. Mino Cap

    The Iranians will solve "this" particular problem. We did have our own share of bloody share of bloody protests, and much like the Iranians right now, but always something came out of it that is good for our country - we learn, we strengthen our democracy more, etc., and . . . we did it our own way.
    What is happening in Iran right now will give way to a much better system, trust me, just like ours. Yes, it will cost blood, but when did it ever not? Our own labor unions of long ago freed us from the injustice of greedy corporations by shedding blood for us so that we may get our much enjoyed benefits right now.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  20. britty

    It doesnt look like there will be any major change for the people of Iran any time soon. Just more fighting and killing. I feel so sorry for them and i cringe when i see the images of violance ,especially the women Nada bleeding on the street. why cant we just go and send some snipers to take out all the bad guys in command.. then let the people rebuild their government... sucks that all of the world watches on tv and internet as they suffer things we cant even imagine. I hope they get what they want and the killing stops soon. they are good people.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  21. Truman

    I totally agree with another poster on here (George). There is something fake about this interview....it seems staged. "Mohammed" seems to be saying exactly what needs to be said in order to get the American people in favor of meddling in Iran. Prior to all of this, Americans wanted NOTHING to do with Iran. Everybody was already upset with Iraq & Afghanistan, and were worried that Bush would extend the wars into Iran.....now, many Americans seem to want us involved.....media manipulation if you ask me.....

    June 22, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  22. Drider

    Bazid, read these posts a bit more carefully sir.

    The only ones who bring up the ludicrous thought of US troops being sent to Iran to "help" are followers of Obama.
    No rational, thinking person in America would even have such a ridiculous notion come to mind, the mention of it is designed simply to invoke Bush/Hitler garbage.

    Of course the main beef these followers have against this Iranian man who is appealing for help is that in him doing so, is destroying what was suppose to be wise and determined leadership as us not being seen as meddlers, as Obama decreed.

    PS,
    Most of us knew he was full of bull from the start of his "non-meddling" campaign and we secretly root for these Iranian freedom fighters anyhow.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  23. ChazinPA

    We need to stay as far away from this as we can, if others lead the charge through the UN, we agree and nod, and go along with it nothing more.

    When the U.S. gets involved with Iran, it always seems to end badly for us in one way or another. Iran is like that girl who just for some reason kept popping up in your social life, and you mess around a few times, and every time you say... "I wish I never did that, it was more trouble than it was worth."

    Same thing.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  24. Samadi

    International communitry: Act and pressure the unrecognized government of Iran to stop these horrible crimes. How can you watch peaceful, freedom seeking people getting killed and do nothing! There is something extremely inhumane about that.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  25. Farsh

    JackieQ- Brea -Ca,

    The only people in Iran that have been burning US flags are government employees which are paid to do so....

    You need to understand the different the people of Iran and the government...

    June 22, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  26. Robert

    Wow some people dont want to help Iran because of past differences...Just like the Great Dr.Martin Luther King saig To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it. It dont matter that we were once cursed at how better are we then them if we do nothing. In order to be respected we must be respectable. Second we need to stop reffering to them as them we are all one in the same its us over there.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  27. Alex

    As an Iranian-American, I would like to thank all of you for your kind words of support for our people and recognizing the universal right of freedom from oppression and persecution.

    To those of you that keep addressing the flag burning, please keep in mind that the majority of these flag burners are the poor and uneducated people from the "dahats", or villages. Quite simply, many of them don't know any better. They often believe that those behaviors are in defense of Islam, which they are led to believe is under attack by the West.

    Iran boasts one of the highest literacy rates in the world and places high priority on education. It is these people, those that have come to know better, that are protesting and need our support. Ironically, at the time of the revolution, the regime had encouraged families to have many children to ultimately back their flawed principles. Today, it is those same children, the children of the revolution, that are fighting for Democracy.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  28. Sean

    As a veteran of Iraq (2004-2005 & 2006-2007), I can tell you that I fully support the Iranian people. All of you people saying "they should do this on their own" and "remember when they burned our flag in the streets and shouted 'Death to America'" seem to have quickly forgotten that in Iraq there was NO demonstration to bring down Saddam, but we went in anyway. There was NO organized opposition party who was willing stand alone in the face of that dictator, but we went in anyway...all in the name of freedom. I saw friends and civilians blown up and shot to give freedom to a country who didn't have the initiative or courage to fight for it on their own. Now Iran, part of the "Axis of Evil" has a huge number of her citizens screaming for freedom and DYING for their own freedom, and the United States isn't going to do anything about it? That is the most backwards logic I have ever heard. I would gladly fight along side any man or woman who is will to fight for their own freedom. God Bless the Iranian people…don’t give up hope!

    June 22, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  29. Hamid

    To everyone.

    I hope after watching all of these videos and photos on internet, we have noticed that there is a difference between Iranian people and the current government in charge.

    Do you still think this government is going to use the atomic energy for peaceful matters? After watching how they bit and kill their own people you think they would have any mercy for others?

    How the other countries can help? simple, don't recognize the selected president, don't trade with them, block the money they have in banks, like what the UK did. Anything but military intervention which I am totally against, would be helpful. Provide the people with hints about how to be organized and protest with less casualty.
    .... you know what? Ask the politicians who where in charge 30 years ago in your country. Ask them what did you do in 1979 to help bringing down the Shah government.. They can help for sure.

    Send a letter to your MP, governor, .... today! The earth is no longer bounded by lines on maps. If we want to live in peace there should be peace everywhere.

    Live in peace all.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  30. JO

    Where is the Western World?

    Poor people Whant Freedom.

    Help The Iranian's and The Palstinian's get reed of
    therie rajims.

    Hamas, Ayattula's

    You are next!

    June 22, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  31. Tony

    The World is powerless to help. We haven't heard anything from other Muslim countries. Iranians must help themselves. After all, it is the Iranian bothers and sisters who are clubbing and killing their own. It appears that the ones with the clubs and guns don't care – shame on those cowards.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  32. Hooman

    These students never burnt your flag. The same people who are killing them are the ones who burnt your flag. Remember the state TV is controlled by those extremist, that's what you have seen. Now, get the whole story from youtube and tweeter, from real people.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  33. Ellen Rudolph

    IIt is quite alarming to see how so many are ready to castigate either Obama or teh Iranian freedom fighters, It is indicative of how little some folks know of International politics, past and present. Obam ahas struck the right balance regarding Iran in order to avoid having the USA become the excuse for further bloodshed in Iran. We need to let thispure process process proceed w/out giving the current regime the excuse for mass slayings using tas an excuse he propanganda that the freedom fighters are fighting at the US' urging.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  34. Michael

    For the last several years, the world has told us to leave them alone. But we always stick our nose in where it does not belong. This produces dictators like Saddam and regimes like the Taliban and the Pakistani regimes. This is hands off time. Hope for them, but this is their fight. They will have to spill their blood in order to achieve freedom. Freedom can not come from intervention by other countries. It must come from within. Keep up the fight! And do not let up!

    June 22, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  35. ji

    234 years ago a group of people stood up and demanded change. They fought for what they believed for and they won creating the United States of America. The people of France were kind enough to give assistance with money, supplies and manpower. We asked for their help and received it and with their help won Freedom and liberty are two grand ideas that we fought for. Are these people not doing the same? When they ask for help will we not provide for them just as France did for us? When Mousavi asks, the United States should be there. The difference between Iran and Iraq / Afghanistan are that the people of Iran are ready for change. I am nowhere near a fan of Iraq. A horrible war developed on lies and personal gain. I am not Iranian or Middle eastern, I am a white christian from Arkansas by way of California, so in this case there is no bias. If it were not for France 234 years ago where would we be here in the United States? Give these people a chance!!!! The United States needs to help no strings attached. Help them win their freedom then let them govern themselves just as France did for us, with NO western influence!

    June 22, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  36. Noel

    People of Iran,

    Rise up and defeat the Ayatollah menace.
    It could easily become WW3 if they maintain power.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  37. Mason Emerson

    President Obama, Please do as the Iranian student says and cut off Iran's gas. I read it has only one gas refinery so one way or another please see that what he says is done. If anyone has the ear of the President, please get him this message at once.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  38. shahrbanoo

    Iran consists of about 9 different tribes (turkmans, persians, arabs, kords, lors, etc) each withholding different values and culture. the only power that mollas thought will bring these tribes together was through religion which was practiced by majority, Islam. Iranians at first seemed to be supportive of the idea. However, after years this idea of Islam was not a reason of union anymore, it turned out to become a forced repulsive method to take people's liberty and freedom away.
    Iranian new generation, under age 30, were born after the revolution and have seen nothing but dictatorship. there are more than 70 million Iranians living currently in Iran. less than half voted in the election. majority of those who didn't vote were the ones who didn't find any of islamic republic candidates to be worthy of governing the country.
    the reason that re-election was rejected by khameneyi was that many of those who voted for ahmadi nejad at first, wouldn't vote again because their violent actions toward protesters, besides those ~35 million who didn't vote would this time vote for musavi to just show their opposition. also iranians living outside the country would vote for musavi too to support iranians inside...thus by allowing a re-election khameneyi's power would be doomed.
    now, young Iranians are trying to change this regime, for many musavi is just a excuse for change. but many fear the direct involvement of the United States, because of recent US/ middle-east history during the presidency of Bush + the history of Iran/Iraq war. The only way that US could show its friendly support is letting Iranians voice to be heard through media, so Iranians inside and outside could keep in contact, and UN take action in supporting their human's right for freedom and democracy.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  39. Deb

    The Iranian election has been a disaster from the begininng. It stands to reason that the election was rigged. If the majority really voted to keep the current 'leader' they would not be protesting now.

    But this is a travesty that the Iranian people must handle on their own. The 1979 revolution didn't need our help so we must instead send our 'prayers' as Rebecca York suggested and hope the outcome is positive.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  40. Sherri

    Jackie Q: do yourself and everyone else a favor and stop commenting. You sound like a dumb blond!

    June 22, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  41. DK

    I have to laugh at those who try to blame Obama for EVERYTHING. What is he suppossed to do? Drop Billions of dollars into invading another Middle Eastern country? That and a 1000 other decisions by George W Bush is why our economy is so weak right now and why the US infrastructure has begun to deteriorate. I feel for the Iranians who are being repressed by an extremist government. But, to assume they are the MAJORITY of their country and to call for another US police action is incredibally short sighted. Let's show compassion and support for those seeking freedom in Iran... but the US does NOT have to act as the police force for the world. I would rather see tax dollars go into US education and healthcare than poured into another war with another muslim nation.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  42. Sherri

    It is amazing how many ignorant people live in this country !!
    To all of you who constantly generalize and put everyone in the same pot, please go and read your country's history starting with the end of WWII and learn how the foreign policy of this country has meddled in so many different parts of the world. Once you research and read (i doubt too many of you is capable of it) you will realize how many of these comments are so out there.
    In the meantime do everyone else a favor and don't add your comments, they are really idiotic. If the US foreign policy is not to help a country such as Darfor and we all have seen what has happened , would it be wise to make the same mistake over and over again? If the president is a person who has no clue about a country and invades it, does it make sense the next president sit on his hand and wouldn't commit to helping human beings in despair? President Clinton has stated in numerous occassion that he "wished he had done something about Darfor"!!! So go learn your facts before you make a full out of yourselves.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  43. Mark

    I agree with George, CNN pays good for a story like this, albeit rehearsed. Reading the transcript shows you how obvious it was just that: a read transcript. Maybe Iraq will have WMDs too, I got a tweet from Mohammad that said it was so. Keep a balanced eye on the American media, I had no idea how controlled and manipulated it was until I lived in Europe. I love this country, freedom, and democracy; but it is not for everyone and does not need to cost more Americans their lives. The true threat to our country is our invasion of yet another sovereign nation and not making the issues of our homeland a priority.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  44. Shawn

    It is sad that people with little knowledge are still among us. This kid did not burn the U.S. Flag. I think he was a kid in 1979. The brave Iranian people are trying to stop an evil government which soon might send a nuclear device this way. The world and our own survival is dependent to support these students. They are stopping a new Hitler. They don't ask for U.S. Military help. Not that the U.S. Military could do anything anyway. We can't fix Iraq which is 1/3 the size of Iran. And lets remember that it is this Iranian government that has killed more of our Military than any other government in Iraq. If Iran is Free our military would be a lot safer. All it takes is stop trade and blockade Iran. No gas no trade. This goes to Russia, China, Europe and the rest of the world. Stop trading. Do not recognize the Iranian mullah government. Issue international arrest for War crimes and crimes against humanity. Next time any of these mullahs and mullah puppets step out of Iran they should be arrested and put on trial. As a final step arm the Iraninian people. Drop ship FN-SCAR Guns. They will become free. They already have shown no fear of death.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  45. Lynn (CTR), Lake of the Ozarks, MO

    Amy –

    Well said, I agree 100%, we cannot afford to help another country even if we wanted to, and definitely cannot afford to open anymore doors of corruption.

    L

    June 22, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  46. Howard

    Rebecca York,

    You need to call 911 right away, whatever medication you are on must be bad.

    " June 22nd, 2009 12:37 pm ET
    If we all think and send positive energy, peace, freedom, love when thinking of the Iranian protestors and their supporters, that is allot. Butterfly effect, critical mass consciousness………

    June 22, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  47. demarco

    Listen people,All I've ever heard coming out of Iran is death to America, and now you people want our help,you come to this country
    and become better than the citizen's. How about first realizing that GOD don't like ugly............You people mock our religion you mock our
    way of leaving and then when stuff it's the fan in your country you want the us to help. Well tell your idiot leaders to first recognIze OUR people's existence you know...........
    what kind of God would tolerant you treating women worst than animals..............

    June 22, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  48. Becky - Indiana

    Burning our flag is not the issue here.
    These young people want freedom, justice and to be respected by their elders and the world. This is their country and their place to define its future...not ours.
    We took on the most powerful country in the world in 1776 and by the grace of God and plane dumb luck, we won. I pray that they can too. May God be with you.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  49. Dick

    Oh sure, when you are in trouble "Please help us America!!". Freedom isn't free! You want to change your country, some will die. And THAT people is what it takes, pure and simple. I wouldn't want it to be Americans dying. As far as being and Iranian-Ameriican (or African-American, or Mexican-American for that matter) horsesh*t! If you were born here, you are an AMERICAN of iranian,mexican,african (pick one)decent. If you can't live with that, go back to Iran,Mexico,Africa,etc. This is AMERICA, FIRST AND FOREMOST! Dont like it? LEAVE, please!!!

    June 22, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  50. khurram

    @drider
    no u wont be standing for anyone wanting freedom.
    firstly, this guy Mohammed is just a hoax and no iranians want US to be in iran
    secondly , you didnt side with the iraqis. you went there to steal oil. No iraqis ever wanted US presence. US attacked iraq on the claim of possessing WMD. when the real reason was just to gain access to the oil reserves

    June 22, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  51. Jack

    The United Nations should be helping the Iranians or at very least European Countries. I feel for the Iranians but the United States should not get involved. It would only fuel the fire for more terrorist.
    For everyone saying Obama should take this time to make a strong statement. Shut up! He said exactly what needed to be said. Its the Iranian peoples moment in history and no one should dilute it for political gain!!

    June 22, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  52. Larry

    We should not intervene.

    The USA has killed and punished enough of our own protesters in this country to last a lifetime.

    Remember Chicago 1968. Kent State. Martin Luther King The Civil Rights Movement

    The people in Iran need to remember the words of a man who knows the real cost of freedom.

    Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it. Malcom X 1965

    June 22, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  53. julie

    Can we really refuse to do business with their government because the election was a sham? Didn't Al Gore win?

    June 22, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  54. Hamid

    For over 30 years the Islamic Republic killed inocent Iranian people to stay in power. This regiem is dangurous for the world peace.

    This is the only chance to remove the Islamic republic of shame. Every government must speak up and support Iranian in their fight against this Evil system. God bless you all.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  55. Jim

    I too hate to see others oppressed, but if the Iranian people want freedom, they MUST earn it themselves. Once enough people get together and press for freedom, it will endure. If the US comes in and buys it for them by spilling American blood, the Iranians have earned nothing and appreciate nothing and nothing will endure.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  56. Brian

    Death to America, but could you please help us?

    June 22, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  57. javadgain

    In support to our great citizen Mohamad who made a phone call to CNN today: We will remove this dictatorship and we will show the world one more time Iranians are peaceful and most trusted nation.
    We will bring back our credit. We built the HUMAN RIGTHS by Cyress(Great Kourosh) and stand beside it.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  58. brad

    Somone from Iran- thank you for your post. you are correct. Americans often have a difficult time grasping the idea of the people and the government being two different groups.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  59. Joe

    Great job, Mohammad. Your words were very accurate and appreciated. As for what to do, I agree that the gasoline sanction will most likely end up hurting the very samepeope who are now protesting. Need to figure out a way to affect only the leadership. In the meantime, someone needs to figure out a way to deconstruct the nuclear mechanism that is now in play in Iran. Don't take our collective eyes off the ball. To do so will be devestative to life as we know it in the civilized world and life will be far worse than the existing riot situation is now.

    The real problem lies with Iran's nuclear facilities. Those must be discovered and destroyed immediately.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  60. Mich

    Why do we need to intervene in Iran when there are dozens of corrupt, dictatorial regimes in the world, repressing and slaughtering their own people? How long has the killing in Darfur gone on?

    Oh yeah, Iran has oil, Darfur doesn't. Never mind.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  61. JayW in Austin

    How would American's have reacted if Britain or France or Russia stepped in and tried to settle the 2004 US presidential election snafu? Iran for Iranians. Let them settle it amongst themselves. However, if the reformists need a few more guns, I'm sure the NRA and friends would offer them at a discount.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  62. Casey

    A few thoughts:

    First off, concerning President Obama's action, or lack thereof. I personally think that the president has handled this situation very well, and I'll tell you why. First off, there were folks like John McCain who were calling on the President to be more forceful with his comments as early as the day after the election. The major violence did not begin for an entire week afterwards. Had President Obama spoke out forcefully then, it very much so WOULD have been seen as the United States meddling in a sovereign nation's internal affairs–and it we would have been accused of doing so before the really atrocious nature of the current regime was brought into such poignant focus for the entire world to see. Don't get me wrong–I think that most Americans already had a negative view of the current regime anyway, but the way things have played out in the last week, no one in Iran can blame America for what has happened there this past week. We took a hands off approach, and in doing so the Ayatollah has been unmasked in a more poignant way than he would have had we been quick to rally support for the opposition.

    Furthermore, on this same point, there was a wonderful interview on the CNN newsroom between Don Lemon and an Iranian-American journalist Saturday night, just before 11pm EST. I've written and asked CNN to post that interview to cnn.com but so far they've not done so. The journalist in question had spent the last four years in Tehran and was clearly an expert on the state of affairs in the country, and he said that Obama was "the only person in Washington that seemed to be thinking sensibly" about the situation, and that President Obama had done exactly the right thing up until that point.

    Now, a second point: Do I believe that the Ayatollah is bad news?? Of course I do. Do I think that Moussavi would be a better leader?? Of course. But, let's not forget that prior to the election commentators were saying that Moussavi was essentially a moderate candidate who may or may not turn out to be better than Ahmadinejad. Moussavi himself is in favor of a nuclear power program for Iran. Don't get me wrong–of course I want him in power, and of course I want a regime change. But, I think it's a bit too soon to start treating him like he's the MLK of the Muslim world. This conflict is about voter fraud–we wouldn't be seeing this all happen if votes had been counted properly. I'm convinced that had Moussavi lost the election by a slim percentage but the votes had actually been counted, then you wouldn't be seeing protests or violence in the streets today.

    That brings me to another point: do I think that the election was rigged? Yes. Do I think that Moussavi won? Perhaps. The truth of the matter is that the real vote tally wasn't counted, and many commentators have said that it's entirely possible that Ahmadinejad may have won the election. Now, this is not to say that that's what I think happened–I'm simply saying that it's not outside the window of possibilities that had the vote actually been counted, it could have gone his way by a 51-49% vote.

    That having been said, this is my point: Let's say that Moussavi and the protesters did win the election. Ok, fine. How much might they have won by? Every single commentator out there will tell you that Ahmadinejad would certainly have gotten at least 40% or so of the vote–at least that much, and it's entirely possible that he might have gotten more.

    Soooo....for those that are saying that "the real Iran doesn't hate America, the real Iran are those who are protesting against this tyrannical regime." Well, hey, I'd like to believe that. But, the truth of the matter is that even if Moussavi did win, 40-50% of the country voted for Ahmadinejad–so let's not view this whole thing through rose colored glasses and act as though 90% of the people are being controlled by 10% of the population. That's just not what's happening there. So, if the US were to get involved, what are we going to do??? Kill off 45% of the population????

    Which brings me back to what I started out with: President Obama has done the right thing so far. The John McCain/George Bush/GOP quick-to-war, "Bomb, Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran" mentality would most definitely not be in anyone's best interest–neither of the people marching or of those of us here at home. We all need to keep that in mind before we cast judgment on our own President.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  63. Cyrus

    I just repeat what one of the readers rightfully wrote here: " These students never burnt our flag. The same people who are 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. "

    June 22, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  64. Alan

    My comment is in response to Jackie Q. The people of Iran are not the ones that burn our flag. Those are few extremeist out of 75M that live in Iran that do such a shameful act. You can not pass judgement on a population of 75M by viewing an act of a few in the population. Iranian people are peace loving people and that is evident through out the 3000 plus years of their heritage and history.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  65. Henrik Sørensen

    The reason a lot of people around the world HATE the US: army and the US: government(s), is that every time they meddle they leave a huge mess. I am PRO NATO and PRO democracy as well. I like the American people in general. Friendly and outspoken. The US. ARMY on the other hand ... Well it's always nice to have friends with a HUGE HAMMER, but it's generally not wise to do brain surgery with it.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  66. Rachael SA Arizona

    To Tom in Albuquerque- Stop taking money from the Islamic Republic to continue your gibberish. We all know the IRI pays you to say such ridiculous nonsense. The protesters are being killed, held prisoner, tortured, accused of immorality, etc,etc,etc. This is not being done by the US nor Britain, nor do these people play pawn to the US CIA to get shot by other Iranians. These are people who have already been tortured, beaten, families killed, tortured, beaten, falsely accused etc etc. Go see a psychiatrist Tom. Apparently you have a problem with sadism. Either that or get the hell out of America if you feel the IRI is so good and live with the IRI yourself.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  67. NS

    To: JackieQ- Brea -Ca

    The people who burned US flags in Iran are the same people attacking Mohammad and all of the protestors in Iran. To be clear: the "riot police," the "Basij" and a very small ignorant population were the ones who burning US flags in Iran. The majority of the people in Iran are freedome seekers who want peace with the international community. I am 100% certain that Mohammad has never burned a US flag.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  68. Bob

    We want blame a whole country because some tug burned the US flag one day? Americans burnd US flag several times in US.
    People of IRAN (not the government) has always loved US and its people for what it has always stood for which is human right.
    All these people are asking is basic Human Right. US does not need to and should not get involved militarily, but should get involved in any other way to help these people to get there.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  69. Greg Martinez

    I get a real sense....for years... that the Iranian people have always wanted to have a voice or Freedom. They are a proud people who want a place on the World's Stage as a free society. Unfortunately, political rhetoric such as the burning of the American Flag is a symptom of an suppressive government and is orchestrated by that government. Any government that rules via suppression is going to contrive and invoke "group mob psychology" control and they supplant the "pictures" to be viewed by not only of the suppressed society but more importantly, by the world's free peoples as to distance themselves from the world. This hatred is self serving...it attacks our Freedoms and conveys to Free peoples a sense of hate against so called Free Societies. This is a classic example of reinforcement of flawed ideologies and keeps the suppressors in power via a military platform.

    What has happened in Iran is that the ruling cleric have lost all relevance to their society. I hope freedom prevails. My prayers are with the Iranian People.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  70. kkambiz

    If you turn back the pages of history, you will find that American government was directly responsible for fall out of democracy in 1958 with the help of CIA. the reason at that time was the political and financial interests which US government decided to topple Mosadgh and help the late shah to take his power.
    However today peace loving Iranian are asking help not to intervene militarily into Iran but ofcourse sanctioning key element which can help financially and economically overthrough this tyranny government which has been problem maker of world peace from its beginning of its satanic regime of islamic republic.
    Therefore we need help from world peace loving people to overthrough this tyrany government and once for all eradicate the islamic ideology from Iran which will help world reach sooner to peace. as all know Iranian government is responsible in major terrorist activity and helping islamic terrorist organization financially and militarilly in training and also sending basijis and other islamic millitia to make trouble in different parts of the world.
    by helping to overthrough this government the world will come to peace faster than to keep this fascist government to exist.
    and we do not want any military action against Iran , no invation of any sort....please

    June 22, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  71. Charles Eragon

    No western wants US involvement in Iran either. You need to earn your freedom like we did more than 200 years ago. However we applaud all the people who want to express their feelings and protest for what they believe. If there is anything you could learn from the US is that one. Freedom of speach, democracy and tolerance are the key for a great and powerful society.

    My thoughts with the Iranian people and everyone who wants to be free and be able to talk without fear to be punished just because he or she does not agree with their government.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  72. Daniel

    That's all I needed to hear...

    June 22, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  73. Shadowman

    What's happened in past, stays in past. I believe they wants change for better future, if any of you don't believe that, then can anyone tell why those people are in pain or even end up die for either freedom or civil right?

    As you seen what the Supreme Leader said, Americans are their enemy, why are we their enemy? even now?

    Honestly, I forgot the word "Iran" long time ago until the Iran president start light threat, insult, and bad mouthing a lot, that's when the word "Iran" come back in my mind. Looks like Iran president wants America to stay enemy to Iran.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  74. Matt Colver

    Of course the U.S. wouldn't be free if the French navy hadn't come to our rescue to help us fight off the British. It helps to have powerful supporters.
    The world will sit this one out.
    It's learned it's lesson on getting involved in middle east affairs.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  75. Will G.

    Pro-American, Anti-American, that isn't the issue. What is the issue is that a country who wishes for change, and I'm not talking a campy post Obama "change", I mean a real policy change to their fundamentals is being denied by an extreme conservative nut. This show the majority of Iranians do not support Ahmedenajad or his outdated policies or insane beliefs. They want basic civil rights for their peoples.

    They want to become a better nation that is respected in the international community, can't we support that?

    June 22, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  76. cool guy

    that's a small minority with the flag burning

    June 22, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  77. Lloydacris

    I'm reading a lot of comments from people sayinghow the US should intervene in Iran, arm the protesters or even send in troops!
    Haven't we seen where that has gotten the US in the past!? Can anyone say Bin Laden!?
    I was born in N.Ireland and lived there for the first 22 years of my life. I have first hand experience of terrorism. I also saw the results of guns and bombs FUNDED by Americans sympathetic to the poor little IRA, trying to kick those big bad Brits out of Ireland.
    The worst thing the US can do at this point is get involved in Iran. If this revolt is meant to overthrow the government, then just let it happen. Stop trying to police the world! It doesn't work.
    Obama is right to keep quit on the topic of Iran. Let the people of Iran fight the current regime themselves.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  78. Bill

    CNN, please leave and let Iran solve their own voting issues. You reported and we get it. Now you are percieved as meddling..the last thing we need to do as a country,who they hate, is meddle in their affairs.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  79. julie

    What we are seeing is a military coup d' etat in Iran. The "official" election results are fraudulent. See videos of men filling out multiple Islamic Republic of Iran presidential ballots, using other people's social security numbers at http://jigsawnovich.blogspot.com

    June 22, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  80. Drider

    All the dishonesty coming from people in response to a plea from an Iranian guy who simply wants some assistance in not recognizing an illegitimate government via sanctions and no trade has somehow turned into a MOVEON.ORG fest.

    The difference Bush and Obama in this current state of affairs is this.

    Obama will no way in Hell send in troops.
    Bush would have no way in Hell sent in troops.

    Obama congradulated the rulers for "robust debate" in their win, while at the same time the same rulers we're murdering Iranians in the street.
    Bush would have stood along side of those seeking freedom, he would have led the way in this regard as opposed to following Europe.

    At least Iranians who have the capability of reading these posts can judge who the kooks are and people who genuinely wishes them well being their success can change our future for the better as well.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  81. Chris

    JackieQ- Brea -Ca June 22nd, 2009 9:48 am ET

    But you use to burn our flags on television. Remember?

    ---

    @JackieQ.....fellow Brea dweller are you kidding me? We see pictures of Iranians burning the American flag because their news is FILTERED dont you get it? The whole reason these people are speaking out now is because thier voices cannot be stopped. Sure there is a large portion of Anti American Iran but you are seeing the Minority rising up against the Majority and thus changing roles. What do you mean 'We support you by staying out of your way? Is that an appropriate response you would like if I was watching you get your @ss handed to you while I was watching? wow sir or madam...unbelievable comment there. Any NO i do not suggest the only alternative is invading either. Its not that black and white yet either.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  82. khurram

    sorry
    thats the voice of someone paid by CNN. No muslim wants US involvement after what the americans have done in Iraq. Even minor boys were raped by female US soldiers in abu gharib prison. Americans , stay in US . we dont want you .also Moussavis` supporters are mostly KURDS and not iranians. His main supporter is US. obviously , US wants iran`s oil and Moussavi is the gateway for that resource

    June 22, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  83. Charles Eragon

    @ JackieQ- Brea -Ca

    You cannot blamed all the iranians for the actions of very few...
    It is unfair to point your finger and said what you said about burning the flag....

    Usually people who do things like burning flags are the most ignorant and poor and also the nosiest....

    June 22, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  84. Debashish

    @JackieQ- Brea -Ca please read your history and you will understand why people hate America .... they hate the American Government not the people.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  85. Sid

    Young people in Iran did not ask for help from US.

    It's the Republicans who want to take advantage of the current situation and get their dirty hands on Iran resources...we don't forget 1953 !!!

    Freedom for Iran, by the people of Iran!!!!!

    Down with the Mullahs and Islam...

    June 22, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  86. Al D.

    For those of you who say the Iranians burnt the American flag, I say to you that we have Americans burning our flag. The Iranians that did so were few just like the Americans that did the same. The common Iranians want peace with the world. Let's not forget them. Let's make sure they get their peace and freedom as well.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  87. Matt Colver

    The U.S. can't do anything. We're broke.
    However I do believe our leader could be more vocal in his support of democracy.
    I think the reason is he's silent, is that he's not all that fond of democracy himself.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  88. brooklynbl

    No way! US stay out. These people need to fight for themselves if they want peace and democracy. No more intervention. when they get control and through out the supreme leader we can help but until then it's their fight. we cannot do this again, invade another country where people openly hate us.
    we need to keep out until these people decide what they want to fight for and do it themselves.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  89. Dan

    Iran is changing. I admit that I've hated Iran, but it's clear my hatred has been based on the voice and actions of an individual that no longer truely represents the Iranian people. I'm looking at Iran in a whole new light, and I wish them well. I understand that there probably won't be a regime change in the near future, but change is coming, and it's in the best interest of all of us. Good luck to the people of Iran in finally achieving a true democracy.

    As for the US getting involved, I think we need to stay out of this unless it gets much more serious. It's up to the Iranians to defend their own freedoms from their own country, they're very capable.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  90. FreeIran (Long live freedom)

    My American friends. I am an Iranian and been lived in Denmark in the past 23 years.. A real Iranian never hate America. In 50 years until Jimmy Carter, Iran & US had great relationship. The shah (former King) was a dictator too (But Not like this regime), and people started the revolution in IRAN by Ayatollah Khomeini, I can describe him as a psychopath and genius in Politic and less an Islamist (at the beginning anyway ), In 2 years everything was fine and a new dictator was born. We trusted the Ayatollah Khomeini to give us the democracy. But he stole it from us. In order to survive he began to create enemies and US and Israel was the best candidates because they were the best friend of Shah and were since then, Not for us Iraninan but for those brainwashed, analphabets, which Iran unfortunately has 6% of those who also has all the guns and ammunitions. You saw it yourself in the Internet what they did to Neda,. But what you have seen nothing. They are going to kill more if you hear 5 died it means 50. Bushes Biggest mistake was he should have attack Iran instead of Irak. And believe me People would open the gates for you and no American soldier would be dead by road bombs and they did not have to stay so long because All we want is to get rid of this regime, who has no mercy for thier own people. So let all pray together. Back in 9/11 we all became American, I think now we should all become Iranian to get rid of these Islamists and “Ahmadi Nejad” the chimp. I pray for that day to see your flag close to ours in Iran. So I hope Obama send a smart bomb to Ahamadi Nejads and Ayatollas home and free 65 Mill people. We will send the rest (the 5 mill Ahmadi nejad followers) back to their villages to grow carrots.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  91. Steve

    Bush tied Obama's hands with respect to Iran. Because his designation of Iran as part of an "Axis of Evil," nothing ANY American President says carries any weight. Obama cannot do much, otherwise it would be perceived as being "American meddling" in Iran's affairs. Mir Hossein Mousavi, at least last week, did not want American assistance because the reformist movement did not wanted to be perceived by Iranians as being "run by Westerners."

    June 22, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  92. Nathan

    Jake from LA

    If you're so educated, why are you so quick to pass wide reaching judgment? I agree with you that Tom is wrong about the matter, but why do you suggest that all Bush supporters feel the same way? I'm educated, voted for Bush, but I also believe in human rights and pray for the Iranians and hope that the US, currently led by a democrat, does something.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  93. Amy

    Should we, as Americans, fight every fight in the name of democracy?

    It’s true that the Iranian people protesting this election are not the same who created this mess in 1979, but if there are that many people who are dissatisfied with their current government, they can unite and fight their own fight.

    Supposedly, as portrayed by our own media, there are plenty of people who want a change. I believe these people should OWN their decisions and be responsible for their implementation. By looking for others to facilitate the change, the door is opened for accusations of corruption and the possibility of expecting favors to be returned; which then can undermine the new government’s legitimacy.

    Yes, the election results seem skewed, but can we be sure that Moussavi won and will actually be supported in the long term? I don't see Moussavi leading, but rather covertly sending his supporters to bleed on the streets in the name of reform. Can we be sure he's willing to step up, govern and implement change if the coup happens? Can he stabilize a torn nation and be the uniting force to heal Iran? Before we even think of assisting a coup, we should be assured of its future success. After all, it’s not just the initial help we need to finance but the seemingly endless stabilization that comes after. In Iraq, we helped and it seems to me it's been a money pit and a millstone around our necks.

    So, no, I don’t believe we need to spread democracy whenever the opportunity arises. Not only will we fall even further into bankruptcy, but the legitimacy of the new administration and its success will be compromised by the very help that would bring it into existence.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  94. JayinMA

    Has the UN even made a statement. This is why the percecuted around the world don't call on the UN. I say we stop sending in our UN dues and divert those funds to help the young people of Iran.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  95. Aditya

    @Susan:
    and further, many Arab countries don't have elections - so it would be hypocritical for them anyway to say that people deserve to be represented properly...that would pretty much cause a backlash among the liberal populations back home.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  96. Henrik Sørensen

    Anyone that will not step up for the universal right for Freedom don't deserve it themselves.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  97. Mullah Shahin

    I am very surprised that America declare the crusade against Sunnis but they are forgiving Shia. America bombed Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Over throw Nwaj Sherif and replace him by Dictator Musaraf. Remove Saddam and replace him by Shia. Now why they can not bombed this evil shia empire.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  98. Cameron

    To all of those that mistake the actions of the paid demonstrators of the regime in Iran over the years such slogans against the U.S. and burning flags etc., Isn't it time that instead of accepting that regime's propaganda you start seeing the real people on the streets of Iran fighting for the cause of democracy and freedom? Now you see on your TVs, and internet the atrocities of this regime in real-time, but people of Iran have been living through this for three decades. That government has never been of the people, by the people and for the people. Change of this regime in Iran will bring back the stability and peace to the Middle East and the world.
    CNN please stop having interviews with supporters of the regime like the filmmaker that was portraying the basijis as nice people on Saturday. Or Ms. Amanpours interviews with her University of Tehran student that was a speaker for the regime.
    Please listen to the people of Iran.
    An Iranian-American

    June 22, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  99. Mehdi

    SANCTION is not the solution, it is not going to affect the leaders of Iran, it will only target you and me the people of this country.
    The government won’t care if we are poor and hungry, the will remain in power; it is much easier to rule a poor Iran.
    If we didn't have the money to provide computer and internet to Iranian civilian, imagine how much easier it would have been for the government to suppress this people.
    Please don't say that, we need to target the people who are in charge in Iran, not the structure of the government itself.
    SANCTION IS NOT A SOLOUTION, IT HELPS THE GOVERNMENT TO SURVIVE AND SUPPRESS MORE.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
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