American Morning

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June 22nd, 2009
09:45 AM ET

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. James Seattle, WA


    June 22, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  2. Bryan D

    I see many who say that Iranians have hated Americans, burned US flags, etc so we should ignore their pleas of those who say they are repressed. I certainly do not advocate getting involved in a war as we are strained as it is and who can say it is our right to do so. However, we must realize that those who have proclaimed hate for America may be a smaller percentage than we realized. In addition, the current Iranian regime would love us and even their own people to believe we are hated by them as it gives them validation for their actions. There are also always new generations and new ways of thinking. If the majority feel as Mohammed does here then I think that we have to provide support in any way we can for their better interest and for ours.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  3. Jose

    My prayers go out to the iranian people and particularly the coraugeous young men and women that are risking their lives for freedom and change. God bless you all. Mohamed's thoughts represent the real Iran that wants change and equal rights for men and women and be part of the international community. Let's support them and do whatever we can to help them if we really are a nation that stands for freedom and human rights.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  4. john

    As a reminder the US and Briish governments can take credit for the 1953 coup that ousted Iran's then democratically elected government and placing the Shah in power, which started the whole mess in the first place. Why were they overthrown? Because Iran wanted to nationalize their oil industry instead of having most of the profit sent to US and Great Britain. Very few Americans are aware of this history, but ask most Iranians and they'll tell you all about it. Sure, there are always two sides to a story, but some of us may want to think about our government's past role before we start complaining about things such as flag burning and the price a country must pay for democracy.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  5. JHL

    Yes we should support them as we did the Hungarian Freedom Fighters, the Bay of Pigs, the Iraqi uprising post Bush 41, and every other minor internal show of discontent that we think is going our way. And once shots are fired, we're on the sidelines wringing our hands in angst.

    Let's let them do what they have to do to throw over a 30 year dictatorship. It isn't likley to happen this round, ut the regime has been exposed for what it is. Why get the West led by the US actively involved in Iranian affairs? This will only give credence to the now patently false - and which no one believes - charges that the Iranian dissidents are pawns of Western powers.

    If the West gets involved in any of the hare-brain interventionist schemes floating on this board and others, after the massacre of the dissidents as Western lackies, these same interventionist folks will recede into the woodwork thinking they'd done something noble for the Cause of Freedom, just like Wolfowitz, Feith, Rumsfeld and the like.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  6. Iranian

    This is not us burning your flag! They are the plain cloth militia, people from the body of the dictator regime! not people. Our slogan was "Mousavi, A new greeting to the world". Iranians want to be a part of the international community , we never burn a nation's flag!

    June 22, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  7. Cindy

    Tom in Albuquerque...Shame on you. The repression and oppression of these people is everyones business. Obama is not just standing by and letting this happen...believe me he is not jumping into the dog fight but rather picking his venue but don't think that he will just sit by and allow this injustice. You are probably someone who voted for Bush and McCain right? Figures!

    June 22, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  8. Christine Happy

    it is sad that you American Media are failing to rely on your conscience
    You don't care Irannians, you care one thing, to destroy Iranians as you destroyed many contries in the world, ie, Iraq, Somalia, Afganistan, Serbia, Russia, Palestine, Campodia, Viatnam, Cuba, Chechnia, etc
    You happend to be a proxy for only one country who has power over you.
    There wasn't and will never be a one brave man/woman from USA, to stand truth, you can't and will never
    YOu will always be a puppet for Israel, and if you don't kiss the ass of Israel you will never be elected in any office in US Governemnt
    The world sees the truth about you , but do you dare to
    Your kids been destroyed by Meida with disgusted programs, your parents were left in Nursing Homes, your brave men and women are helpless and jobless, certain people benefitting your resources
    Your weapons been used to destroy innocent children, women and elderly people , do you dare to say anything,

    Christine Happy

    June 22, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  9. Faraz

    If US was a real democracy, and American people were as free as they think they are, they would have been WAY more informed about their own history of crimes against Iranian people. They would have known what US has done to Iran and Iranian people. They would have understood why Iranians were (and many still are) angry with US. But the media here in US is shamefully manipulative. And American schools don't teach kids about the CIA arranged coup de tats around the world that hurts millions and millions of people sometimes for centuries to come.

    People like JackieQ- are the kind of American 5 year olds who will NEVER grow up and never learn anything, ever. Brainwashed and uneducated people of America can't help anybody. Please mind your own business.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  10. Rachael SA Arizona

    Hilary- read my post. It is Motakki that is blaming the west. Britain called him on the carpet for what he said. IRI wants to propagandize against the west. This is a very classic stance by the IRI. Blaming the west for all Iran's troubles. As I said, the Islamic Republic killed my family after torturing them. The call for freedom is a call for a separation of church and state-ie the destruction of the very underpinnings of the Islamic Republic. The Persian nation's foundations were built upon human freedom to choose their religion or worship-not to have it imposed upon them. Read about Darius and his bill of rights. It's translated into English in the Bible and in Homer.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  11. Deandre

    Before the election I talked to a student just like this in Iran online. He said pretty much the same thing, short of how to sabotage the regime.

    Just about everyone 30 and under doesn't like the situation their in prior to the election. He spent our first conversation apologizing for any rhetoric that has been fed to our outlets via Iranian government editing.

    Such a shameless stolen election.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  12. Kelsey

    easier said than done...

    The US and the world needs that oil as much as Iran needs to export it. We can't just boycott oil.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  13. the southern progressive

    how does the old saying go.. dont judge a book by its cover.. it can also be said, dont judge a people by their leaders.. even in our own country we are not all a bunch of bush loving foreigner hating cowboys..

    it is time to realize that iran has depth, well beyond the ayatollah and sharia law.. now i am not saying military action should be taken by the united states.. but to not accept that their may be millions of iranians who do not fit the american hating stereotype is just ignorant.. they are millions of individual people who are each unique. some are more hardline, others want change, the iranian people have depth and to dismiss them otherwise is disgracefull

    dont be ignorant,
    dont be disgraceful,
    have compassion,
    accept reality.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  14. 1775

    The people burning the American flag are the ones who are beating and killing their own people in Iran now. In America we are all too familiar with the awful power of stereotyping. Should we punish the greater part of Iran for the actions of a few? Never should freedom "hold on", never should it bow, never should it judge guilty those who are innocent. Humanity deserves better. And the American in me wants to help those who are beaten and repressed find a way to rise above their situation.

    Iranians are not asking for guns and tanks. They're not asking for soldiers. They're asking for support, condemnation of a condemning regime, and looking for effective sanctions. It may be soon coming time for the free world to step up on this one and collectively take a step closer to world peace. As a moderate conservative, I have backed and supported Obama's careful wording over the past week. Unfortunately, his words are being twisted and used as motivation for his party regardless. Ahmadinejad has already said we will certainly not be up for friendship should this movement turn out for the worst. I'm anxious to see how the Obama administration progresses with Ahmadinejad's most recent speech.

    To those Iranian protesters: we hear your cries, we see your fight, and we feel your pain. Let the light of Liberty keep your spirit, courage, and hope lit. The free world is in your corner, and the world's freedom is yours to claim.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  15. Skippy

    Tom, Albuquerque wrote: Also I believe the Iranian Government is doing the right thing to quell these demonstrations.

    May I ask, how can you sleep at night?

    How utterly repulsive of you to say you support state murder and repression of men, women and children.

    There but for the grace of God...

    June 22, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  16. Mark

    alot of Americans splashing around judgments here. yeah...some iranians have been burning our flag for several decades. fact is we deserve it. WE OVERTHREW THEIR DEMOCRACY and INSTALLED A DICTATOR. OF COURSE they burned our flag. maybe all you sanctimonious social critics should get out to vote more often HERE when lunatics like Reagan and Bush appear on our ballots instead of labelling Iranians for reacting to the things they do once they are voted into power.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  17. J Lani

    This quote from Mohammad is painful because it's just like us – frequently the diversity of opinion and quite possibly the majority opinion is never represented by it's leaders. Just as Iran may have a usurper, we had one too. Vote fraud and shenanigans and crazy talk from our leaders. If only we could speak and hear directly without need for the idiot leaders. I hope you the Iranians prevail.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  18. Rik

    The countries that have tested germ weapons on their own populace:


    That's one club most Canadians are glad NOT to be a part of!

    June 22, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  19. Dale

    Welcome to The Second Cold War. Iran teetering on the brink of regime and revolution, with the potential for trigger-finger leaders obtaining nuclear weapons. North Korea vowing to attack the United States if provoked, and planning a long range test that could strike Hawaii... On our Independence Day. The stakes are high. It seems like too often, individuals with a laptop and internet connection make the claim to be International Affairs experts. Not a single person here that is inflammatory towards the conditions in Iran has any real grasp of the situation there, nor the intelligence that President Obama has regarding that situation and others around the globe. If you want to help, write your representatives, rather than rant anonymously on a CNN page. If you want to spew hate rhetoric, look up your local Republican charter. I'm sure they'd love to hear about your problems.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  20. Leslie

    Hamas and Hezbollah who are called basijis are the one beating up Iranian peaceful demonstrators. They are ARABS, they speak Arabic NOT Farsi. Members of basijis are Palestinians and Lebanese. The Middle East are silent due to the fact those leaders in the Middle East are afraid if the people of Iran succeed in ousting their ayatollah, they too who belong to the royal family leading their country will be ousted by their OWN people. The only country in the Middle East supporting Iran reformist right now is ISRAEL.

    United Nation Security Council is silent about this, where is the WORLD COMMUNITY? UN IS USELESS!!!!!!

    June 22, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  21. Hillary

    I Hate Spam –

    These people do have spine – more than you ever will. THese people are standing up for what they believe in. THey are withstanding brutal beatings and killings just becuase their opinions are against what the regime holds as true.

    all you are doing is sitting here belittling their efforts. Open your eyes, do your research before you speak.

    Just like a few radical iranians have made their nation look bad in your eyes. So will a few moronic americans who are too thick headed to listen will make our nation look bad in their eyes.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  22. Jabli Izvesti

    Barack Obama is absolutely right in ruling out any kind of intervention in Iran.The same demonstrators in Tehran,who now seek American intervention,could very well turn around and accuse the Great Satan of all kinds of high crimes.The anti-war groups in America should make it clear that America is no longer the world's policeman.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  23. FreedomForAll

    IHateSpam June 22nd, 2009 12:34 pm ET

    Sure now you want our help…. It seemed like yesterday you were burning our flag and chanting death to America… death to Bush… Why don’t you people get some spine. Freedom and liberty don’t come cheap.

    The people protesting are not the islamic extremist that call for the death and destruction of America. The point of the protests is to speak out against that regime and to stand up and fight for their freedom. It's easy as American's to sit back and feel bad for whats going on in another country, while we sit in our comphy homes, and drive in our nice cars, and shop at our department stores and malls. We can protest on our streets, in front of our capitals and our White House without fear of being shot at, or beaten, or killed. Feeling bad for them is not enough, we need to stand up and tell our own leaders that the people of the world will not stand by silently while a government beats and tortures innocent people. This isn't about Iranian rights. This isnt about the United States vs the Middle East. This is about trying to help innocent Human beings who just want what we as Americans have. Freedom and Democracy. We went into Iraq for lesser reasons. We have a responsibility to help these people, as one of the worlds super-powers.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  24. Waterdogg

    Student: Where were you when Iran burned our flags, when Palestinians danced in the streets and cheered when planes flown by Arabs bombed our country; where were you when we fought for OUR freedoms ; where have Muslims been while Americans have been threatened, beheaded, and tortured? We have died for you. Fight the good fight and you will help yourselves by winning your freedom.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  25. Tom, AlBUQUERQUE, N

    The USA should not intervene in this matter. This is not our fight. Pres. Obama is doing the right thing, non-intervention is our best angle.
    Also I believe the Iranian Government is doing the right thing to quell these demonstrations. I hope Mr Obama is not suckered into this fight. Anyway in any election someone will lose...stay out of this.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  26. Florence

    To those who say they burned our flag…. Who are they?... they are bunch of uneducated, religious freaks and tugs. They don’t represent the whole Iranian population. They are paid to go to demonstration and Friday prayers and given orders to do what the mullah regime is telling them to do. So please don’t reminisce the past.
    To President Obama, these students were encouraged by you. Don’t leave them alone now. Please help them.
    To all the leaders of the free world, please impose strict sanction on Iranian government.
    To the People of the world, please help people in Iran. Boycott countries such as china, Russia, and Cuba who are supporting this mullah regime in Iran. Write letters to your government and representative and ask them to cut ties with governments who are repressing their people. Help this movement. If we don’t help them there would be lots of killing of these young lives. Government has their pictures. They will hunt them down one by one. They will arrest them, torture them and kill them. Please help.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  27. Next Stop..."REFORM"

    ok...put your flags down American people, sit on your own nationalistic ego, DO NOT claim you have understood how iraq worked/works, DO NOT claim iranian politics now makes sense to you, DO NOT say you '"magically understand' how north korean is in fact fitting the axis of evil rhetoric....
    LOOK! your view, unless there on ground is moderated by mediums through which few people, few groups have control. STATE RUN media means just that...moussolini, hitler, marcos, saddam...many great powers from different generations over time fight to retain control of how people thought by controlling what the saw and heard...
    OPINIONS count, but not when they're ill or mis-informed...when so your opinion is relegated to just an excuse of fluffy proportions, a contrived and convenient way to NOT get involved, to NOT search for the TRUTH.
    flag burning pictures were scenes on television, yes. but do you know WHOM set those flags burning? NO! like those held in guantanamo bay...they are specific people held for unspecific crimes.
    ONE CANNOT HOLD "the iranians" as a specific group for some nebulous, unspecific crime.
    this group of people need from other groups of people...specific help.
    for argument purposes..i am neda, i am "divine voice"...and so are you the moment you speak from secured knowledge and NOT rabble rousing rhetoric.
    jeez...enough is enough of that kind of DOESN'T work

    June 22, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  28. Respect

    Big Bri – that is the most intellectual post I've seen today. This was Mr. Bush's plan from the beginning to reform the Middle East. If Obama starts meddling, it will throw off the plan greatly. Great job President Bush & Great Job President Obama. That is what we do best as a nation, divide and conquer.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  29. Carlos

    Those of you who would withhold any assistance to these people ... SHAME ON YOU. What he is asking for is quite feasible. Burying our heads in the sand will not make our problems with Iran's government go away. Negotiations with a fundamentalist mentality will not bear long lasting fruit. A new government in Iran is the way to the solution. Even if Mousavi is cut from the same cloth, he can only be better than Ahmadinejad. Besides, it's not about him. It's about the educated people in Iran. If they win now, they will not be silenced again. AND THAT IS GOOD FOR THE WORLD.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  30. Lena

    I ache to see the violence and suffering. I hope desperately that it will end soon and end well, and that the lives lost will not be lost in vain.

    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.

    It's happened, many times.

    The protestant reformation was bloody. Explore it a little. You'll find things like:
    The Peasants War of 1524-25. Scores of Catholics were slaughtered by protestants/peasants angry at the Catholic heirarchy.

    Roughly around the same time, Henry VIII was reforming in England. There are several well-known instances of violence and persecution associated with religion at this time. Thomas More was burned at the stake. Robert Aske was hanged in chains as a leader of The Pilgrimage of Grace. About 200 people were put to death because of the Pilgrimage; several were nobles, many were clergy.

    And the Pope has, in the past, ordered the mass murder of non-Catholics. One time is referred to as "The Crusades", another as "The Inquisition".

    These are just a few examples I can think of straightaway, but there are many, many more throughout human history.

    I do not think that the West should go into Iran with the military in any way. I did not believe that we should go into Iraq or Afghanistan, either. I believe we should look for nonviolent ways to solve problems (yes, even violent ones) and that violence should be used only as a last resort. Nobody ever 'wins' when things are violent.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  31. Pete

    alex, get your facts straight, they did prove it...

    June 22, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  32. Skippy

    I can't believe some of the selfish, self-righteous, ignorant and, I have to say, typically American (as seen by the rest of the world) comments here.

    Some of you people disgust me.

    And to think these poor people in Iran are appealing to YOU.

    You should hang your heads in shame.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  33. Cindy

    Fariba Radfar and Reza don't worry. Those individuals like IHateSpam and Alex and JackieQ represent the same type of narrow-minded minority similar to that of Iran accused of past insults to the US and other Western nations. The majority of people following the growing defiance of tyranny in Iran stand behind the efforts of those many who protest in the streets daily and who face sniper bullets and police batons for their bravery. Freedom doesn't come cheap but it is also take for granted by some in free countries. I apologize on behalf of decent Americans for comments made above by those Americans taking their freedom for granted. The US, UK, France and other world powers should work with the UN to pressure the current Iranian Government, that has no right to be in power, by way of sanctions and trade embargos, etc. I would hate to cause strife to the people of Iran but without these types of measures, the international pressure on such a regime would be non-existant.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  34. Jordan

    Anyone who thinks Obama would help in this matter is blind. He supports those in power that propagate the "death to America" mindset.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  35. jason

    some of you people are so ignorant.. are all americans like you and bush?

    June 22, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  36. Ferri

    Like now that in Media of Iran you can see no demonstarations but in fact there are many of them in cities of Iran.
    Never trust The liar government of Iran and its hirelings they want you to see

    June 22, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  37. Pete

    wow you americans are very very naive.... If you see pictures of iranians burning flags, do you not understand that it does not mean every iranian is anti- US? a very large majority of iranians are pro-west and anti-regime..

    do you not remember the Iraqis burning american flags? that didnt stop you from attacking them....

    so before posting your pro-american rants, get the facts straight...

    June 22, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  38. D. Tadenev

    I think US should not send troops to Iran. But we need to help any other possible way. We do not have to stay aside and keep silence. Ahmadinejad got blood on his hands do Obama will talk to mass killer?

    June 22, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  39. Lynda

    Chris in NH says CNN didn't cover our revolution. I'm sorry but I had to laugh.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  40. Brad

    This is a great story!
    I hope it is all true, and this is how people really feel in Iran. The fall of the Iranian system of goverment would be like the fall of the Berlin Wall in the cold war.
    How brave these people are to be standing up to their religous clerics, and asserting that they are not leading the country properly.
    Obama....Needs to get off the sidelines and endorseing whom ever turns out to be the winner in this battle. The fall of Iran by it's own people would be a devastateing blow to our enemies in the war against Terror.
    Stand up Obama, make one of your great speeches and inspire Iranian people!

    June 22, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  41. BIG AL

    People can be so judgemental and ignorant... THOSE BURNING FLAGS ON TV ARE NOT THE MAJORITY... THESE SAME PEOPLE ARE KILLING/KIDNAPPING OUR YOUNG! The same young that are dying (AGAIN) for their country's freedom! We are the sons and daughters of CYRUS THE GREAT! Eventhough my people have been ruled for 30 years by the blood thirsty Mullahs... our people's spirit still endures!

    June 22, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  42. Zarija Clabatti

    From the Netherlands, this is the moment to support freedom. Then you'll find God automatically. Fight for it, Freedom is fantastic.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  43. Syed

    Who would want their own country to be sanctioned as Mohammed does in this staged interview.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  44. John

    This is a response to Noel and Christian

    How naive and stupid are you. Educate yourself before open your mouth. These people are not the same as those supported 1979 revolution. Most of these people were not even born at that time. The population of Iran has doubled since revolution. These never chanted anything bad about anyone and they are not minority either.

    They will prevail eventually.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  45. Pete

    jackie... 'they' burned your flags? so you say that every iranian has burned a yankee flag? first of all that is just stupid, secondly, who cares....

    June 22, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  46. Esco

    I can't understand why the governement is hurting their own people. They are obviously hiding something, and are killing innocent people to keep whatever secret they have. I can understand why Obama has decided to wait a little longer. Its not that he doesn't want to do anything, but we cannot afford to start another war right now, especailly because of an election in Iran.

    I feel your pain Iran, and i wish there was more we could do. Right now, we will pray for you. But if the U.S. is forced to step in and help the people, then so be it. I will only stand by God's decision in this matter.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  47. Ferri

    Iranian people have never wanted to Burn American Flag. Even though with little communication with out side and the propagandas that have shown the US an enemy of Iran.
    Those who burned the flag of US, are now killing Iranian People, they are Government supported groups like Basij Militia.
    If you go among Iranian people you'll Undestand how much they hate Hamas, Hezbollah and such groups supported by government. You always see waht Iran's government want you to see not the true Iranian folk. The Government don't pay any attention to People desire as you can see now. Burning the flag is the govenrment action with it's militia not the peaceful Iranian people.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  48. sharon kitchen

    "Neda", "Neda".............she is the rally cry for all who want to have freedom and human rights. Her rights were stopped.......but her name will live on.......all Nations of Peoples have their own "Neda"........the Native American community understand only to well.........the silence brought on by a bullett.....from someone who thinks they are in power.
    Then.......reality.......they are not in power for long............the "Neda"s of the world show us this.
    You who are fighting for freedom and human rights you have many,many people praying for you.........we wait your next request.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  49. wayne

    Sorry, Iran. We couldn't help you because we are BROKE. Bush ran up our debts into nowhere to be recovered. Sorry, Iran, your on own.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  50. Syed

    Sounds like someone paid by someone to say what war mongers want to hear so we can start a war in Iran.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  51. Henrik Sørensen

    IHateSpam :

    Actually I supported the death to Bush part, well I didn't want him death just rolled in tar and feathers, since he and his people made a coup by cheating in the elections. Bush was the most stupid American president ever. The fact that he stayed for 8 years a testament to stupidity in America as well. just my 2 cents.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  52. Vanessa

    Using the excuse "you used to burn our flag" doesn't make sense. How do you know that these protesters were even a part of that? Don't blame something that a few Iranians did on the entire country.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  53. Respect

    If we assist Iran in the name of freedom, where will we get the money from? Won't this add to the debt of our children?

    Next election if my person doesn't win I won't to start the march organization up now so we can shut down American cities because the election is rigged. Come on join me (idiots) Americans for the revolution...or should we just wait 4 years like we did with Bush and be denied and then wait another 4 years to finally get rid of Mr. Bush and elect somone else. Come on republicans revolt against Obama. You feel like you were cheated right? Come on break the law and raise up in protest. Why don't we do that as Americans? Because we are respectful of our country.

    This is the former president of Iran, therefore the country is not a dictatorship. The new president was elected or rigged into office but another election will come and they should prepare for that time like respectful citizens. Why didn't the former Iran president inact all the reforms during his first term?

    June 22, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  54. Bahareh

    Please get the spelling of the names right. MohammEd is the arabic way, and MohammAd is the Iranian spelling. One letter may not mean much to you but makes a lot of difference to Iranians.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  55. Fozia

    We should let go of the past and support these people in their attempt NOW to be a free people. By we I mean the US, the EU, Asia, and the Arab countries. If we all come together to help them then the dictatorship there will not be able to resist.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  56. Ken

    If Mousavi, not a student, asks for U.S. help, then we should provide it.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  57. Frank S

    The critics of Obama's policy because they feel he is not "doing enough" about Iran, whatever that means, evidently do not remember what happened with the Shiites in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, way before the Iraq war. They were emboldened by US ya-ya encouraging "the people" to rise up against Hussein at that time. As I recall, the Shiites mistakenly thought the US would support them with concrete assistance when they laid their lives on the line for "democracy." Hussein proceeded to slaughter them, including use of chemical agents to put down that "revolution."
    Unless we are prepared to go in militarily and use force, and I don't think anyone is seriously considering that at this time, Obama seems to be striking the right tone on this issue.
    Demonstrators need to build a clandestine network and stockpile weapons on the QT, until they have a realistic shot rather than confront the security forces directly to get mowed down.

    Frank S

    June 22, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  58. Ben


    "Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace — but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! ... Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" – Patrick Henry

    June 22, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  59. Beverly

    I do not believe all people in Iran hate us. I believe that the videos have been propoganda and they may have been forced to chant they hate us. There are good and bad in all but I believe the Iranian people or more good than bad. Pray for them.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  60. heidi

    I have been praying for Iran for more than 12 years. These people are not our enemies. They are victims of a government that rules by intimidation, torturing and imprisoning dissidents, Christians and Bahais and any who impose its policies with any degree of openess. May the leaders of the United States and other free nations see the handwriting on the wall and be able to interpret it correctly. May they speak out unequivocally, condemning the brutality, on behalf of the freedom loving Iranians. Iran will be free!.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  61. Nikkobo

    The younger generation of Iran are not the part of those terrorists that took over Iran 30 years ago. Even Back then, Iranian wanted unconditional freedom and were tired of tyranny. It was unfortunate that they end up with Mullahs and Ayottallahs. We should help the people of Iran to acheive freedom finally(after centuries of dictorship).
    My heart goes to young Iranian who are ready to die rather than living under mullah's rule. Keep fighting guys.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  62. Pelos

    Why USA has to be the only one to help, why you people do not ask this help to the European Union who is the one to sell things and services to Iran regimen. What about Rusia and China

    June 22, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  63. Shawn

    Majority of Iranians love the west, specially America. The Iranian public have been repressed and bullied to say anti-american slogans for ove 30 years. Ever wondered why there are so many iranians that live in all over the world and not Iran? It's because they hate that regime. The ones who had money and were fortunate left a long time ago. Now it's time to help the unfortunate ones who are stuck in Iran. They need help to overthrough this regime of dictatorship. This regime have been commiting crimes against human rights for years. Now it has gone far enough and it's time to change. The world needs to support them. Open your minds and look at the big picture.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  64. che

    Interesting interview but it seems to me that those students are not mainstream Iranians. Most Iranians don't give a rat's ass about Israel.

    I think this is a lost cause because I think Iran overall is a deeply conservative society.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  65. Bruce

    Obama is doing what needs to be done. Silence. He is removing the age old crutch that Iran's government has used time and time again. It is the West's fault. The West did this. Blame them not us. We are just a poor Islamic country being attacked by the West once again, pity us. This time around their bluff is being called and they are going to look like the cowards they are.

    Iran's government is now forced to make accusations that it cannot back up. Hopefully this turns the tide and starts shifting the people in the middle and even some on the governments side.

    From what I have read and have seen the Iranian people are a educated people and progressive. They want to open up to the world and welcome in outsiders to show off their heritage and country. They want freedom. I hope they get it.

    P.S. Anyone hinting at military assistance is just plain dumb. That is the last restort and I would probably hold back on that even if the country was in a full fledged civil war.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  66. Respect

    We drop bombs on Iraq and kill innocent people in the name of freedom. They fight back and they are insurgents. They get tortured and killed, but no one in America will hollar out for them to be free and America to not kill them. O right, we are bring democracy...

    June 22, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  67. Amin

    Jacki-Q -Brie:

    It was not ordinary people like Mohammed or those fighting on the streets for liberty that used to burn your flags. Those who burnt your flags are the same thugs connected to the government who are beating and killing innocent Iranians on the street and preventing them from basic human rights and democracy.
    Please be aware of this fact.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  68. hh

    Bob Kole said: "We are the ONLY country in the WORLD that has free speech"
    You probably are a hillbilly who believe all want the American TV said and you have never leave your neighborhood because your afraid.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  69. Cindy

    Who ever it was that said to Impeach Obama must of voted Republican. The reason that I say that is because Bush would of jumped right in and sent american soldiers right on over there to die trying to make someone else's life more comfortable. I support Obama's decision to sit back and watch what is going on. We are fighting 2 foreign battles, and a battle of economics on our own soil. I think that if we are going to get involved, it should be a general concensus of the whole world.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  70. Peggy

    We support the fight for freedom in Iran – we were students ourselves in 1979 when the Iranians took to the streets and burned our flag – we did not like that – but the people of Iran who are demonstrating today are young, educated, and want to move on from the past – we have witnessed the tyranny of the current Iranian government – we as the United States of America must be a beacon of light for other countries in the world who want freedom and the right to determine their own destiny – Obama is not doing enough – he must do more as the leader of the free world – he must take actions to show that the USA supports freedom and democratic elections for the people of Iran. Our country is based on freedom for its people – the USA (and the world) should not turn its back on the people of Iran for wanting freedom.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:42 pm |

    oh ! that trip is fine .. .sorry i thought this is a subject about trips in france
    sorry ! lol

    June 22, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  72. Aras

    It is very interesting that many of the people that are commenting here do not feel our government has a responsibility towards Iranians, which is why I feel I need to give a short recap of history.

    The tyrannical Islamic regime ruling Iran today is there in part because of US actions during the past 50 years. In 1953, the CIA orchestrated a coup that overthrew the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister, Mohammad Mosadeq, and reinstalled the Shah and his dictatorial power. The Shah, backed by the US, then ruled with ruthless authority and suppressed political freedom, which led to popular uprising. Although many political parties (Islamic, Nationalist, Communist) were contesting the Shah, the US (ironically) backed the Islamic party because it mainly feared a Communist takeover in Iran. After the 1979 revolution in Iran, the US supported Saddam Hussein after he invaded Iran in 1980 throughout the 8 year Iran-Iraq war. This war allowed the Islamic party to solidify their power by uniting people against a common external enemy while simultaneously exterminating all of the opposing party leaders.

    If you see state sponsored propaganda of US flag burning, please remember that it is not all unwarranted. The hostage crisis was in direct response of the US giving the exiled Shah asylum, even though the people were asking for him to be returned to Iran and face trial. During the Iran-Iraq war, the US supplied Saddam with Chemical weapons, which he used on Iranian civilians in Kurdistan. The US even shot down an Iranian civilian plane in 1988 (Iran Air Flight 655), which killed 300 innocent men, women, and children.

    I am not saying that we should send US troops to Iran or spend a dollar of US taxpayer money. I do think however, that we should be more considerate and sympathetic to the situation and understand what our role was in the fate of this poor country. Any direct US intervention would be counterproductive, it would give ammunition to the Iranian establishment to frame the opposition uprising as a US-backed effort to overthrow the regime, which will in turn legitimize their brutal suppression. A productive measure would be international institutions, such as the UN, to increase their pressure on the government of Iran to stop suppressing their people. And of course we all know that the US has powerful presence in the UN and can make this happen.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  73. mondi

    We can't sit and watch Iranian young and brave people are dying on the streets of Iran. This is not an action movie... what we are seeing is people are dying on the street over there for the basic human right. we should stand up by them all around the world.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  74. New Era

    This may open a door to take care of that Power Plant, You know what i mean.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  75. adioman00

    Its sad to see so many comments spreading hate and disgust for the Iranian people. We saw pictures of a few radicals burning the American flag and we dare say that that must be the general consesus of that country?! Let us not forget the last 8 years we had under a suppresive regime that the rest of the world thought we supported! Let us NOT become hypocrites and forget our own history so easily!

    Iran is run by the extremely conservative, extremely poor class. The people who support that government are not only ignorant, but are brain washed into believing whatever nonsensical rhetoric the Ayatollah spout. They are, however, less than half of the population! To say the entire country supports the radical right is like saying the entire population of the United States supported Bush. I know I did not support Bush for one second, yet I have been lambasted for living in a country where he was a leader. I would never do that to anyone else, especially those crying for help!

    The Iranian people are loving, intelligent, sophisticated and beautiful. We could all learn a few things from them if we stop, listen, and support those who are fighting, tooth and nail, with only their voices and the internet! Support our fellow human beings!

    June 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  76. Beyr

    NEDA !!!!

    June 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  77. Respect

    Wow so you break the law and attack police – idiots in America want to support them.

    Reminds me of Darfur – didn't hear support for them. LA riots fighting the injustice of police brutality, heard them called animals by so many. Saw so many get beaten down by the thug police but no sympathy for them. They didn't even show this on tv. That was in the name of freedom and injustice to those who rioted.

    This movement represents a small minority in Iran. I guess when Bush's daddy and Cheney had lunch with the supreme court members to help cheat in 2000 we should have marched and stopped all traffic in the business districts for weeks. I wonder if America would have allowed that to happen? I don't think so...

    Thousands of minorities in America feel repressed by the government, maybe we should reach out to other countries. Yes, I'm allowed to demonstrate but when the police tell me to disperse and I refused, I will be arrested. If I resist, they will brutalize me and throw me in jail. Many young men die by the hands of our law enforcement each year.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  78. John

    To those suggesting US and the rest of world intervene with covert force etc.

    Remember it was the US and Europe that put the Shah on the throne, that looked to many to be nothing more than a puppet ruler, that ultimately led to the revolution in the first place.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  79. Andrea

    I hope that that America and the other international communities can do something to help them. Whatever happened in the past if the majority wants peace and this government than everyone should do something to help.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  80. Reza

    to Jackie Q,

    Those who burn flags are a minority. THose people are brought in with buses from the rural areas to make the demonstrations look strong. Also 75% of Iran population wasn't even alive the last time there was a revolution.

    You live in the bay area? go see how many Iranians are grad students at stanford and cal. Go see how many hi level Iranian tech people live in the silicon valley. None of them ever burnt the US flag

    June 22, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  81. Rebecca York

    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.........whatever one would call it could really help this situation.

    Why not have a 5 minute time period or so, to meditate, pray, hope, send peace and love, be still ........all in support of the Iranians that are trying to have their human rights met? and for all humans around the world, as well.

    Like a certain time when the entire world can participate. Say on Friday which is their prayer day? Or Wednesday? Or as soon as it can be organized. This could work. We just have to believe it and it seems the conscious shift of humans these days, can make it happen.

    CNN – how about it??

    June 22, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  82. Rebecca York

    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.........whatever one would call it could really help this situation.

    Why not have a 5 minute time period or so, to meditate, pray, hope, send peace and love, be still ........all in support of the Iranians that are trying to have their human rights met?

    Like a certain time when the entire world can participate. Say on Friday which is their prayer day? Or Wednesday? Or as soon as it can be organized. This could work. We just have to believe it and it seems the conscious shift of humans these days, can make it happen.

    CNN – how about it??

    June 22, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  83. PA4Liberty

    "Peace, Commerce and Honest Friendship with all nations. Entangling alliances with none." Thomas Jefferson

    The internal affairs of another country are none of our business. Meddling will only bring us trouble. Look at what we did to Iran in the 50's when our CIA overthrew their elected leader that we didn't like.


    June 22, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  84. Henry

    I support the Iranian people.

    Never before would you have heard me say those words. These are truly historical times for that country.

    I'm glad Obama hasn't intervened. We as the United States don't always have to intervene at every conflict. Aside from that, Obama has stated he wanted to open dialogue with the Iranians. If he were to condemn these elections and no change of leadership takes place, I guarantee the U.S. will continue to have a strained relationship with the current Iranian government. Let's take a wait and see approach.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  85. IHateSpam

    Sure now you want our help.... It seemed like yesterday you were burning our flag and chanting death to America... death to Bush... Why don't you people get some spine. Freedom and liberty don't come cheap.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  86. G

    If only Americans were as intelligently informed about their government as the Iranians, we might do the same thing..

    Throw the bums out.. ALL OF EM! Trash K street; don't let any of the same people back in.

    Trade $,1 one vote, for 1 person one vote! Force the (new) Congress to write laws in english, not legalese and start from scratch with the Consitution of the United States of America and the Bill of Rights.. that's it!

    June 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  87. Bianca

    In response to the last comment on the burning of American flags, lets not forget the many unspeakable inhumane acts that our country has also comitted against our fellow human beings. When are we going to really get that we are all interconnected, that what we do for another we are doing for ourselves. I am sending my prayers to Tehran and the many people whose lives are being shattered, some for the whole world to view. I pray not only for them but for the entire world. Its surreal to be typing away on my laptop, safe in my home, my family safe and as I go about my day there are people dealing with great stress and loss. Burn the flag or not, we as Americans can walk down the streets of our cities and be certain that there are not snipers hired by our government aiming at us as we go by !

    June 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  88. Fariba Radfar

    How can you say something so untrue. These people never burned American Flag!! These Iranians are not what you have been seeing in the News for the last 20 years. These burning flags and Terrorism acts are doings of the Dictator Government of Iran. They donot even care for their own people. They are not even called Iranians. They rule Iran for their own pockets!! This Government and the revelotuionary Guards are what you have been seeing in the news for the last 20 years. Iranians are not like that.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  89. Jamie D

    The posters here who asked why we should help the refromists because some in Iran have chanted "death to America", are unknowing tools of the repressive Iranian regime. Those rallies in which they shout that are government sponsored and organized. In case any of you are blind AND deaf (one wonders how you post online), they were shouting that Friday, at the speech by the Ayatollah. These young people in Iran are fighting AGAINST that, they want to be part of the civilized world, and we have a DUTY as Americans to support them 100%.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  90. Christian

    All of you, i mean all of you do make good arguments toward the cause. I can see everyone's opinion. I understand how hard it is to start to embrace a Muslim country when all we have heard from them is "Death to Israel" and "Death to the U.S". You can say all you want to about the people who say those things and burn our flags, but they are a small minority. Yet the people that are asking for help are also a very small group as well. In the end, they will use American support for there own efforts and in the end we have yet another nasty regime on our hands. I am sry to put it that way, but it is what America would even do if it were in Iranian shoes. If the students of Iran want our support, if they want us to save them from a dictator, then they need to really emphasis it. Okay yea you have had a few rallies, some people got killed, and all of the sudden you want to recognize Israeli rights? This is hilarious! Listen students of Iran. You think all the Arab countries around you are going to respect you for turning to us for help! Everyone preaches our destruction and you will stand out from all to embrace American support. If your so serious about all this, you need to start protesting against your ruthless Jiahd boys. Start speaking out against all this stupid death to America stuff. Stop supporting the killers you have sent into Iraq.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  91. pro-Iran

    This story is so fabricated, all this masquerade in Iran is western product.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  92. Alex

    I would like to remind that NOBODY proved that the Iranian elections had been rigged. Suppose that around 60% of the Iranian voters do like Mr. Ahmadinejad – what then? 1n 1968, students in Paris mutinied to overthrow the government but were not supported by the country and thus lost. An instructive lesson.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  93. jetson43

    I think we have to help the Iranians in every way we can and if it means stop trading including Oil.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  94. Ruben Vasquez

    I just want to ask to those who are very duch in this area WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME To INTERVENE? IS now Or Never!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  95. Joel

    Unfortunately, for this young man, his views are even more extreme then his leader Mousavi. I don't think Mousavi is willing to overthrow the Guardian Council at all. If the majority of the young people of Iran share this man's views, Mousavi may well be a disappointment for them. We here in America have already forgotten the birthing pains that gave rise to our nation. Iran's Islamic regime is not ready to fall, the Revolutionary Guard and Basiji have millions under arms and have rallied against them. The only way the revolution will succeed is if the military defects and joins the people. I just don't see this happening.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  96. jean

    one commenter said that we have never seen our streets turned into a war zone. actually we have. during the vietnam war a lot of warring went on in the streets. check out the 1968 democratic convention in chicago.

    before that was the civil rights war-in-the-streets. we now have an african american first family. behind that are firehoses, tear-gas and, yes, shooting.

    nobody living now can remember the civil war. that was war in the streets, war in the woods, war in the swamps, war in the farms. go to gettysburg. check-it-out.

    seems like freedom may be a right but it's not a "given." something we've had to fight for even in the usa all thru the years.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  97. art

    America and the West shouldn't interfere. It'll actually do more harm than good. Civil rights and Human Rights should intervene. The UN should monitor the situation closely. Iran is a sovereign country. Any fight that the people have against the government should be taken up from within the country, not from without. If women and children are attacked, the world body should issue warnings, but i doubt that a dictator regime would notice. God help you, my heart bleeds for Iran. I saw Neda dying. I wonder how many such people died in Iraq. Only prayer can change things, not violence.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  98. vespid

    Liberty has to be earned.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  99. Shervin

    I feel that the US does need to intervene in order to clean up the mess they started 30 years ago. Ous families have been torn apart for decades because of this regime and it is inhumane. I for one was raised without my family for practically my entire life and I am sick and tired of the Iranian people not being heard. We are the Doctors, the lawyers, the builders the engineers the scientists that serve in the US as excellent citizens! But now our families in Iran need help. One single death is too much! Stop this Violence from spreading any more. Give Iran the jump start it needs WORLD!

    June 22, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  100. Bill

    Someone please have the guts to save the Iranians!
    Let's invade and overthrow that regime. It's time for another shock and awe! but this time, don't linger...

    June 22, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
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