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June 23rd, 2009
10:12 AM ET

Fmr. prince: Security forces join protesters in the streets

Former Iranian Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi tells CNN there are reports some security forces have been joining protesters in the streets of Tehran.

Former Iranian Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi tells CNN there are reports some security forces have been joining protesters in the streets of Tehran.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be sworn in for a second term sometime between July 26 and August 19, state-run media reported Tuesday. Many Iranians who have disputed the official outcome of the June 12 vote have taken to the streets to protest the results.

Reza Pahlavi, the former crown prince of Iran, says there are reports some security forces have been joining protesters in the streets of Tehran. Pahlavi’s father was the shah of Iran who was deposed in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. He spoke to John Roberts on CNN’s “American Morning” Tuesday.

John Roberts: The Guardian Council has ruled that the election results will stand and if there were irregularities they are not enough to swing the outcome of the election. There will be no new elections. What do you expect the reaction on the ground will be?

Reza Pahlavi: As we have all monitored the evolution of the situation, the supreme leader who has always been the final decider has drawn pretty much the line in the sand last Friday. And as such, I think the campaign that we have seen is now moving towards the direction of defiance and is going to be a resistance that will have to be sustained if indeed there's any hope for democracy in my homeland one day.

Roberts: There's debate as well over how much support the United States should give the protesters and the reform movement there in Iran. The White House is worried that coming out too strong in support could do more harm than good. What do you think?

Pahlavi: Well John, this is beyond a camp or another. This is not a question of election results anymore. This has become a defiance against a regime that has denied every right to its citizenry. When the chants on the streets in Tehran and other major cities in Iran and across the country are turning to “Death to Khamenei,” I don't think it could get as clear as that back home. The regime is now under question. The legitimacy is lost. The legitimacy now stands with the people. But there are also matters of ethics and moral responsibility, if I may say also. Something that the regime is trying to create [is] confusion between what could be considered as interference as opposed to standing for human rights and justice.

Roberts: What do you think the White House should do? What should the White House be saying right now?

Pahlavi: I think my compatriots expect, especially from the President of the United States... I mean, after all, America has been perceived by many around the world as the flag bearer of freedom. And for its light to be the faintest in terms of advocating liberty would be a bit odd. My compatriots understand the sensitivity and the shrewdness of the president and the administration here in terms of not in fact giving an excuse to the regime. And we applaud that and we appreciate that.

However, as I said earlier, it is important for people to feel that nobody shies away when it comes to the matter of defending people's sovereign rights to self-determination and free speech. And I don't think on that account this regime has anything to say about that, not only vis-à-vis the U.S. president but any other person, who after all don’t only represent themselves but their respective nations. And I have never seen in the past 30 years as an Iranian so much solidarity from the average man and woman on the streets of so many countries around the world for our cause.

Roberts: The big question is how much solidarity there is in Iran and will there be a fracture in the security forces. You appeared yesterday at the National Press Club. You made an interesting claim about security forces in Iran. You said:

“We are already seeing signs of solidarity. We have already had stories upon stories of members of the security forces who after their shifts go back home, dress in civilian clothes, and rejoin the people on the street, while five hours ago they were there with their clubs. This is happening under our eyes.

Roberts: So Mr. Pahlavi, you're saying that the security forces are out there cracking people’s heads one moment but then they're going home, getting changed and joining the demonstrators? It's an extraordinary claim. Where's the proof of that?

Pahlavi: Well John, these are the reports that I have been receiving, not just last week alone, but this has been going on for quite a while. Understand one thing, it's not that complicated to understand. Most of the more senior members of the Revolutionary Guard, and I'm not talking about that section which is committed to the regime and benefit from it. I’m not saying everybody’s against the regime. Of course not. But a great number of these Revolutionary Guards – they were my age at the time of the revolution, okay? They went to the war front. They fought a war against an invading enemy in the case of the Iran-Iraq war.

They gave their lives to protect our homeland and our people. They believed in the message of the revolution as everybody was dreaming for betterment of the situation. But when it comes to a point where you treat your own people like this, there are many – there are many among the security forces that say this is not what we wanted. This is not what it was all about. We cannot stand for this anymore. So you can imagine that it becomes a choice between turning the guns on people who could be your own relatives as opposed to following instructions. It’s a matter of time before security forces of any regime that is totalitarian or repressive have a moment of conscience, which has already occurred.

Filed under: Iran
soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. JA

    I appreciate all your of your efforts for your people's rights.

    Given the chance, you would be a great leader for our country. For once, people should appreciate your efforts on their behalf and stop blaming your family. We all need to move forward and unite, not dig up the past.

    Your eloquence and intelligence is also greatly appreciated.

    June 23, 2009 at 8:59 pm |
  2. Sam New York

    Shah’s regime certainly benefited the upper middle class, which excluded majority of the population. Therefore, the nostalgia of upper middle class Iranians about Reza Pahlavi is understandable. Yet, it's hard to understand why some people need to be led by a "supreme leader"! I believe their blind loyalty to the Pahlavi monarchy will reproduce the negative experiences of Shah’s regime.

    Shah’s crimes against Iran are not merely based on how many people were killed during his reign. They were many, albeit not as many as the Mullahs’! His crimes included the destruction of Iranian economy, especially Iran's agriculture through enforcement of the destructive White Revolution, uncontested submission of Iran's oil industry to the West, high rate of illiteracy (78% during Shah's regime and one of the worst in Middle East), land corruption under his family's guidance (especially Ashraf ), extremely centralized power structure, etc. Also, the claims that things were so much better are very subjective, especially considering the state of Iran’s economy in the last decade of Shah’s regime. If we read Iran’s history, we’ll notice that due to extreme mismanagement of the economy, Iran was facing tremendous economical challenges. In 1977, inflation was at 40%. Due to incompetence and corruption, the regime was forced to dramatically increase tax revenues. Tax revenues grew from $2.2B in 1972, to $5.9B in 1977. In fact, in 1975, taxes were raised by 76%! In 1977, Shah’s government raised taxes on private companies by 85% over 1976 rates. In 1978, the government recalled 50% of the wage increases for government employees.

    There are many more instances of Pahlavi’s incompetence and corruption. Islamic government is clearly worst, but that does not mean Iran has to reproduce another form of tyrannical and incompetent government. Today, Iran is full of intelligent, dedicated, and caring Iranians, who are more than able to govern Iran. It can be argued that what has happened in Iran in the past 70-years indicates progressive and positive events. Iranians were able to move past the ineffective and corruption-prone monarchies, and now are about to once and for all transition past backward religion and its army of fanatics. The future of Iran can only be attained through democratic republic. The days of kings, queens, and Supreme Leaders should be over.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  3. minasaywhat

    Why does CNN’s chronology of events in Iran always start with the overthrow of the Shah, the Islamic Revolution, and hostage taking? Why not mention what led to these events and how the democratically elected PM Mossadegh was overthrown?

    During the Shah’s rule, the country’s oil wealth was limited to the elite (family, government contracts, bribes). The Shah sold cheap oil to the West in return for putting him in power, but the people of Iran were never the benefactors of their own country's natural resources. Khomenei used the anti-Shah/anti-US/UK involvement to gain political power. This fueled the Islamic revolution and left a regime that has plagued Iran for 30+ years.

    Obama is in a difficult spot and has acted in perfect reason – condemning the brutal actions of the regime while trying not to 'meddle'. Iranians want what we as Americans have, freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I hope the international community will put pressure on the Iranian government by imposing tougher sanctions than they already have.

    June 23, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  4. Qazu

    It clear that some on this forum believe that the return of the shah will herald a new age in Iran: I would love to see their faces when they find out that Iran will continue it current system of governance. Every person we have heard about in the media (A-Nejad, Mosavi, etc.) will tell you about the great things the revolution brought to Iran (and not America...). The economy has stagnated in past few quarters due to the worldwide financial crisis, but they won't tell you that many Iranians got out of poverty in the past decade. They also won't tell you that they and many other Iranian-Americans left Iran because of the revolution, because they had a financial stake in the shah, etc.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  5. Shaakir

    1. Doesn't every country have voting irregularity, even in the most technologically advanced and civilised nations?
    2. In any country when the protesters become destructive burning properties the government has to step in & stop them right or wrong?
    3. Interviewing Shah's son will discourage Mousavi from continuing on, because he will think is he fighting for Shah's son to return?
    4. Let's be fair, Obama is doing the right thing, his intention is peace of the world, that's why he avoids taking side, otherwise his future efforts of negotiating peace will lose it's value in the world's view.

    June 23, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  6. Sharon (I also change my name to fit into American Society)

    A TRUE FACT: Iranians got fool by dreaming on having a better life after the Revolution of 1979 by blaming the Shah. After 30 years they are realizing of their big mistake. Proof of their mistake they made is the presence of young generation screaming for freedom. These young generation is paying for their fathers' mistakes by risking their lifes on the streets of Teheran to fix the big mess the "revolutionaries" did. Old iranians should have a introspection and they shall find that they themselves are at fault and they have themselves given an opportunity to a set of people to rule over them PERIOD. Now, there is no other way to do it, their sons and grandsons should pay the price as they are not satisfied with the government "oops" REGIME which is quite different. They should sit and try to find out what wrongs they had committed while "electing" or giving chance to a set of people to rule over them for 30 years and then they should try to correct those mistakes and must make it sure that next time they shall not PICK UP such wrong persons to rule over them. LASTLY, OBAMA is doing the right thing by not interfiering on their business. And if he does he does not need to do it OPENLY AND LOUD.

    I am just an Iranian-American living very comfortable and watching the news in flat screen TVs, JUST CRITIZAZING and of course thinking how to get more money to impress my neighbors.

    June 23, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  7. RH

    By the way, I realize there are tremendous differences between an internal revolt/revolution and a war of independence. What the Iranians are undergoing is much different that the American Revolution. Perhaps it may degrade to civil war. But hopefully, the issues will be resolved less drastically.

    There are significant issues with the current government's legitimacy. Across the board, from secular to cleric, there are calls for major change. What the end result will be should reflect the will of the people. But what does the world need to do if the will of the people is supressed by superior firepower? Do you isolationists think we should just let it happen?

    June 23, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  8. skrekk

    I'm sure the Iranian protesters welcome the support of the son of a brutal dictator who tortured and murdered tens of thousands of Iranians.

    The fact that the country which overthrew Iran's democracy has given safe harbor for the past 30 years to the family of a tyrant, to whose throne his son aspires, could only inspire hope.

    June 23, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  9. Shahab

    It’s a shame that we, people of Iran cannot find one leader, who is respected by everybody. It’s obvious that Pahlavi won’t come back to power in Iran, but is it correct to criticize Mr. Reza Pahlavi, who is by far the most educated and open-minded person that can be an accepted leader of Iran, like this? His father did lots of mistakes along side he was doing lots of good works in the country, but Shah’s fault is not his.
    What is wrong with us, that we accept people like, Rafsanjani, Musavi, Karrubi, Hajjariyan, Khazali, … who have been founders and supporters of brutal Islamic regime, but we cannot accept hearing the voice of an educated prince. I’m not a supporter of Pahlavi’s monarchy. I’m for a free of religion, free of fear Iran, but I wish, Iran can find a well-deserved leader. And it won’t happen except we Iranian could recognize, who is (are) the real enemy, and who is friend.

    June 23, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  10. Major,

    People of Iran would like to have Reza Pahlavi as their king that can unit the country. He will bring laughter, music, colors, freedom, security, prosperity and respect to Iranian people.
    However, I don't know any other opposition leader being able to do that.

    June 23, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  11. the millionaire inside

    The Axis of Evil is starting to polarize.

    North Korea declaring act-of-war if anyone does anything in their waters to their ships. Ready or not, North Korea is ready to move.

    Iran will declare a state emergency and clamp down hard and condemn anyone who disagrees, ESPECIALLY the United States.

    Take note of what Russia and China are doing or better NOT doing.

    Both Iran and North Korea are puppets of their larger masters Russia and China respectively.

    The growing anti-american sentiment makes these situations much more dangerous than most americans are willing to admit.

    We move against North Korea and China will back them. We move against Iran and Russia will be there to assist Iran.

    Of the two, I believe Iran will be the starting point but North Korea won't be much later. China will let North Korea handle Japan and send their 200 million man army toward Tehran.

    The United States is the most powerful military force on earth and can easily handle ALL aggressions from any and all aggressors (Russia, Iran, China, North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, etc.) BUT the question is, what in biblical terms would that make the United States out to be?

    I would prefer there were no wars and death were only something we all naturally succumb to BUT to have peace you truly MUST prepare for war.

    We're already at war it just hasn't spread – YET.

    June 23, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  12. RH

    Henry Lukenge

    So the US should stay out of the world's affairs? This is what Sully said:

    "Obama is doing exactly what should have been done a century ago STAY OUT OF OTHER COUNTRY BUSINESS"

    I realize Sully does not have a strong grasp of the English language. Do you? Do you understand what the past 100 years has covered? Should we be speaking German? Should the Jews have been eradicated? Either you are a troll or you are an idiot. The same goes for Sully.

    And if either of you are not American citizens, feel free to return to your homelands – if they will take you back.

    The Iranians need to solve this issue themselves if possible. And like another poster said, freedom must be earned. But remember, the US would not have won against England without outside support. There may come a point when the US or other nations must help. Right now is not the time. But I am tired of people who have no concept of history demonizing the US for everything we have ever done.

    Oh, and if either Henry or Sully are American citizens, feel free to leave. You won't be missed.

    June 23, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  13. Lamon Davis IV

    i give every Iranian that is standing up for what they believe in their due props. its hard to take a side and go public for something you have strong beliefs about, especally if your own government and neighboring citizens are opposing and doing everything in its power to stop you. i want all of the protesters to know that they are not alone in their battle and just because the american government is sitting around twiddling their thumbs, and not doing anything to proect the innocent people who are taking beatings and facing death on a daily basis just to stand up for their rights as humans; that I and a majority of the american youth have your backs, so to speak, for we are here and thousands of miles away. if i could get a ticket to be out there and protest with you just so that your voice can be heard i would. its hard for the youth and those without influence, power or money to express ourselves in a manner of which we will be heard and respected on the matters that effect us and the rest of the world. so i am here on cnn, doing my best to let you know that you are not alone in your fight. what people need to realise is that we the youth will be the ones having to deal with the consequences of our elder's choices and mistakes made now. if the Iranian people feel that the american government and the rest of the western civilization turned our backs on them in a time of need when they asked us for help, then we the youth will suffer when its our turn to lead, for the iranian youth of today who are fighting for their life and rights will remember how we easily turned a blind a to what they went through and a strong american iranian relastionship will never be formed and secured. i was told by a wise man once that, "people will aways remember the ones who helped them in a time of need but will never forget the ones who turned their backs and let them struggle." so i as an american doing my best everyday to be a decent human being offer any service i can possibly give to any iranian, matter of fact to any human alive on this earth that is being oppressed or feels they need help. i hope that anyone reading this takes me as serious as i am right now, and that no one is too scared to ask for help. the choices we make now will come back to haunt us in the future, good or bad, whether it be 50 years from now or 17 months down the line, we will have to live with it. so why not make the best possible choices for everyone now?

    June 23, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  14. Jingo

    While it's true that in many cases an apple doesn't roll far from the tree, that doesn't hold true in every case. People comparing Pahlavi to his father (who was a dictator, I'm not denying that) is not faIr. Last time I checked, it was standard practice in America to assume innocence until guilt of something was PROVED BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  15. Jerry

    This guy (the crown prince) is no better than his father was or the current theocratic dictators. They may claim to be different than the other, but in fact are all the same...They want to rule with an iron fist and have no interest in our style of democracy. We are better off, as heartless as it may seem, to stay away and not give these people mired in 13th century ideology any excuse to blame the U.S or other western powers. When the educated masses of Iran will have had enough, they will rise up and revolt the only way they can against their miserable excuse for a government: in a violent and bloody way.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  16. Gary E Zajdel

    Contrary to anyone's personal opinion regarding the deposed Shah (Mohammed Reza Pahlavi) cannot truthfully be said that under his leadership, Iran enjoyed a period of vast improvements. Reconstructed infastructure, the rights of women, excellence in education...etc Since the Islamic revolution, the poor citizens of Iran have been slingshotted backwards beyond our (US) citizen's comprehension. Throughout this column there are many who called the late Shah a dictator...a thug??? It amazes me how selective and/or how short people's memories really are. The Shah was the US's anchor in the Mid East. At that time The Shah recognized Israel...and speaking of thugs.....Every American citizen from coast to coast...working/living home or abroad lived under the the rule of the closest thing to a dictator I ever wan't to experience! A man who signed more "DEATH WARRANTS" than anyone before him.....that was as governor mind you! The eight years to follow didn't require warrants. Just on a whim! On a whim!!!!!4000plus brave americans lost.

    The best thing that could happen in Iran would be another revolution. A secular one with Reza Shah Pahlavi II as an interm leader until a "true" election is held. The young Mr Pahlavi is hope for Iran!!! May God Bless and keep him.

    In closure, please let me state that I am an american citizen with German and Dutch ancestry. I feel for all oppressed people world wide!

    June 23, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  17. jc house

    The typical American will not read, instead, everything they know , is what they have heard thru the media... read Shah Pahlavis' bio on wiki sometime, and learn. the Carter administration thought that breaking up the middle east into small secterian sects was the ticket..we started in Iran. I believe it was Warren Bell, who was appointed to the trilateral commision by Carter, who in conjunction with Kissinger and Dr. Bryzenski, smuggled millions of dollars in suitcases to Iran. The Shah's own limo picked up the U.S. representative at the Tehran airport, hid under blankets with the suitcases of money, and delivered the same to the shahs estate. There, the money was used in hiring street protesters and such, to create public chaos, which was directed then against the prime minister, which the shah promptly arrested, which was the plan. We wanted, and suceeded in reinstalling the Ayatolla...the shah went into exile. Everything was done
    by the cia. Our problems in the middle east were created by US!!
    We need to stop the meddling in other peoples problems and overthrowing governments for our own good.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  18. pat

    Havent we learned that you cannot believe exiled leaders? This guy is trying to fuel our involvement by making things up. It would be great if there was an uprising but remember that his father killed and repressed his people as much as the present leadership. The only way to get democracy is by letting the people fight for it. Didnt we learn from Iraq? The Iranian government is already blaming us.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  19. Irani

    I would like to second another person's comment here about Shah's regime in Iran. It's true that he was a dictator and he did imprison pepole, but the current Islamic Regime has done more injustice to its people in ONE YEAR, than the entire regime of the Shah!

    I remember the Iran that I used to live in, trust me it was a MUCH more advanced, democratic, modern Iran than it has been for the last
    30 years! There was religeous tolarence for other religions such as Christians, which is is NOT the case right now! The same can be said about women rights and human rights in general!

    So although the people might not want Reza Pahlavi to go back, he is a very educated, informed and smart man and should be able to express his views. Also just because his dad was a dictator doesn't mean he would be the same. He has been living in the west for many many years and I'm sure appreciates and values democracy as much as any of you.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  20. Andrew Thorby

    Unfortunately history has shown that any totalitarian regime willing to turn the guns of it's military against it's own citizenry can remain in power almost indefinitely. That said, history has also shown that in order to maintain control the regime must also control the flow of information – not such an easy task in a world dominated by the Internet and Twitter.

    An important step for the outside world would be to prohibit the sale of digital switches that allow for deep packet monitoring to any repressive regime. As long as the information flows there is hope for the Iranian people.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  21. SS

    Yes, This is the Son of the of a ruthless dictator talking about freedom and democracy! But I dont think we should judge him for what his father did! Isn't CIA doing the same thing right now? The only difference is that we don't hear about it! Plz dont get me wrong I m not supporting the prince! And beside, I'm sure the people of Iran would not let him run the country like his father did! I hope a free Iran emerges with minimal bloodshed!
    God Bless this brave souls who are risking their lives and fighting for their freedom!

    June 23, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  22. bon basije

    I'm tired of politicians talking about freedom, liberty, etc. and not backing their public statements and beliefs with a determined stand on the issue at hand . This hot dog diplomacy may be suitable for domestic consumption but we're talking about the interests and dreams of Iranians whose basic rights are being trampled and shown on live TV every day. Our President's tepid response to the violence in Iraq could be interpreted as approval of the current situation.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  23. Hosein

    How does the son of the brutal Shah have any legitimacy on such an issue. His father and supporters have the Iranian people's blood all over their hands.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  24. F. A Cifist

    Give them more guns, more bombs, and more nukes. let's them obliterate themselves from the face of this earth. Lesser mouths to feed.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  25. Henry Lukenge

    Sully. No one has said it better and with more vigour than your self. Very Interesting

    June 23, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  26. frank

    Didn't the Iranians have a democratically elected government once? And who was it that backed the overthrow of this government to install a dictator? Church Lady says " Could it be (The Great ) Satan!" Yes we the US even in the 1950's were willing to trample the will of the people so our oil companies could make money. Why should Iran (our any other country) trust our motives? Obama should keep his mouth shut and let the Iranian people clean up this mess which we created. If he tries to show support for the protestors it will only hurt their cause.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  27. Rita Fellers

    The comments of the son of a deposed dictator who used a feared secret police and sadistic torture methods to control his people, at the behest of the US' CIA, don't have credibility regarding our being the "flag bearer of liberty". We in the US are on somewhat shaky ground as well. The Iranians must work this out. Pres. Obama has struck a very supportive tone expressing Americans' distress at seeing the free speech, free expression and fair election rights of Iranian citizens being forcefully suppressed. A multinational approach to engage the Iranian government on a variety of issues might be in order. Mr. Pahlavi deserves to reside in obscurity regarding this and any other issue regarding the governing of Iran.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  28. Jessica

    "As americans we can not stand still and watch inoccent people being beaten and killed"

    ..unlessss...they reside on the continent of Africa (see Darfur, See Rowanda, See any nation in Africa ripped by civil war).

    sorry charlie, but we often stand still and watch innocent people die...we only EVER step in when it suits us, and frankly, stepping in right NOW doesnt suit us.

    Once the Iranian people rise up and fight – themselves – only then maybe can we step in, but even then it's dangerous. If the side we support loses – the winner has more ammo against us (Evil United States tried to tear us apart). If the side we support wins – those who despise the victors will always harbor a belief that the victors only wone BECAUSE of us, the end it still falls back on US.

    and at the end of the day, WHEN things go badly (and they will) WE will be blamed.

    This is up to the youth in Iran to fight for their own one elses.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  29. Eric in NY

    Reporters in this country don't do research anymore. This and many other short sighted articles are the proof. All the majors are guilty. It is all about ratings and the facts/history are thrown to the wind in the pursuit.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  30. Stephan

    His strong support for Human Rights aside, his interview is pure fantasy and opportunism. He wants to be greeted back in Iran as what – the next ruler or the son of the guy who's military fired machine guns into protesters? I had relatives (non-Irania) living in Tehran during 1978/79 who remember vividly the way the Shah slaughtered demonstrators. He has no credibility with the people of Iran, domestically or abroad. The very notion he would be given any support by the United States would only further hurt the efforts of the movement in Iran. But if Cheney and gang was still in power they'de probably hoist him up as the next leader – just like they did in Iraq.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  31. Ed in Houston

    The Philippines threw out a dictator of many decades in 1986. Men, women and children on vigil on the streets + a coup de etat + christianity did the trick eventhough the country was broken up into thousands of islands. Go Iran, you can do it!

    June 23, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  32. habu

    The Republic of Texas stands behind the Iranian people.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  33. Marco

    "I really think the middle east needs a new parking lot. Too bad our president is too soft to do anything about it."

    Thats right, because us waving our guns around in everyone's face will solve every problem, not create more...

    I support the protesters, but the United States does not need to interfere in every other nation's history & affairs.

    I know I would not accept others meddling in our internal affairs, so why should they feel any different?

    June 23, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  34. Louise

    It is more important to do the right thing. The US should not let our concern for what people/dictators will think/do paralize us. Regardless of what the US does we and everything democracy stands for are still the "enemy" of the hardline extremist muslims. If we have a concience, we will publically support the Iranian's fight for their freedom.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  35. Shwe Moe

    President Obama is on the right track when it comes to Iran. We have been too gung -ho and shooting our mouths off without understanding the political climate of the particular country.

    The United States of America is not the world and the world is not the United States of America. I am not saying practice the Monroe Doctrine but I am saying don’t act the cowboy it does not hold water.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  36. Alex Bayagon

    The Shah of Iran was a progressive ruler who did so many wonderful things for Iran. He opened up the rights of women, made Iran an international player and was respected as a modernizer around the globe. In the end, he had the best intentions for Iran and unlike the mullahs he loved his country.

    Additionally, the Shah never sent his military to die for no cause, like Khoemeini and the mullahs did in the Iran-Iraq war.

    Khoemeini destroyed Iran and the mullahs today will do everything in their power to keep control. Very different from the Shah, the mullahs will crush any opposition that poses a threat to the Islamic Revolution.

    With that said, all kings, queens, presidents, heads of state make mistakes and surely the Shah was no exception. It is my firm belief that the Shah allowed sectors of the Iranian government to become to big and therefore it was difficult to control in the end. As we have seen in the last 8 years, the actual government, head of state may not always know what is going on deep in the intelligence, security force of the country.

    Surely the CIA has and will continue to do things that the president will not ever know about, and the same can be said for the Shah and SAVAK. They did many things within their own system and the agency became so big that multiple factions were controlling it.

    Did the Shah know everything they were doing? – No

    Did Savak let the Shah know "exactly" what they were doing? – I dont believe so.

    The Shah made his mistakes, as did Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan, Bush and certainly Obama will make his as well.

    Lets not take one aspect of a ruler's reign and judge every other aspect on it. The Shah was a man of courage who loved his people, at times he made mistakes, but he was a modernizer who in time will be remembered as a great leader. I just wish he would have worked with Mossadegh in 53, they could have been a powerful team.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  37. sman

    Another point of history. Many people believe that CIA removed a democratically elected Mossadegh to install their puppet Shah. That is not the whole story. Believe it or not, Mossadegh was holding on to power ILLEGALLY. According to the Iranian constitution of 1905, the Shah can appoint a person of his choosing as the prime minister when the Parliament is dissolved, pending new elections. In 1953, due to internal strife and agitations by the communists, Mossadegh dissolved the Parliament. The Shah was told by the US to install Gen. Zahedi as the prime minister in order to head off the communists. The Shah, exercising his legal right, appointed Zahedi and dismissed Mossadegh but Mossadegh refused the legal order of the Shah and arrested the officer delivering the order of dismissal. That started the events that led to the August 19, 1953 Coup. The Shah was weak to succumb to the US pressure but it was Mossadegh that started the nation on the road to tyranny.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  38. Jessica

    SING IT JANIS "Freedom's just another word for NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE, Nothing, I mean nothing honey if it ain't Free!"

    the Iranian people must truly feel like they have nothing left to lose if they are willing to die for their freedom!

    (so is the story across all of time, in all of history! THIS is for the Iranian people to fight for...not us)

    June 23, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  39. mike

    i cant beleive obama is kissing ass a terrorist regime of iran-

    June 23, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  40. Shwe Moe

    President Obama is in the right track when it comes to Iran. We have been too gung -ho and shooting our mouths off without understanding the political climate of the particular country.

    The United States of America is not the world and the world is not the United States of America. I am not saying practice the Monroe Doctrine but I am saying don’t act the cowboy it does not hold water in these present times.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  41. James Bona

    According to the Information Clearing House report, the CIA spent 400 million dollars in Iran just a month before the election to create chaos which is occurring right now. Mr. Mousavi got paid to do or say whatever has been ordered by the CIA.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  42. RH

    Sully and others:

    Maybe the US should stay out of the situation in Iran. But there is a point when anyone with any morals can no longer stand by and watch. Still, plenty of people will do nothing – cowardice is a significant trait for them.

    We should never have supported the dictatorial nations throughout the world during the Cold War. Iran was just one example. But that doesn't mean we should play coward in today's world. We should not just act simply to do something. But there have to be limits.

    The crap "we have our own problems at home and should stay out of other people's problems" is a poor excuse for a human to utter. We are all people. How can you stand by and watch atrocities take place? Are you who spew this bile even human?

    I am not saying we should do anything in Iran right now or ever. But there are limits. The stupid rhetoric should stop.

    And for the brainchild who said we should have been staying out of other people's problems for the last 100 years (Sully), that means we should have let Germany win WW2? Or are you another apoligist and somehow blame the US for that as well? Or maybe you simply do not know any history at all?

    June 23, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  43. Major,

    Well said Babak,
    I also experienced living in Iran before and after Shah.
    Today's modern Iran is the result of Pahlavi ruling in Iran.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  44. birgitta thomas

    When the US and Britain put the Shah in and ousted a democractic president there were facts that US paid and supported the protesters ? Same thing?

    June 23, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  45. markux

    I wish he would just go away for ever and ever. the were the last dictator. So I for one don't want to see, hear and listen to you anymore. get a job.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  46. Li

    "So a dictators son wants America to defend freedom in his homeland."

    Why not? The US put the Shah in power in the first place.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  47. Jeremy

    I guess the people who are saying "Stay out of Iranian business" haven't ever given anything up for their country other than their taxes. Bottom line that people seem to forget: "...that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their creator certain unalienable rights..."

    The Constitution of the United States is the doctrine that we derive just powers for -OUR- federal government. That we can create for ourselves the laws that are not infringing of the state's rights and states infringing on the rights that are beyond any one group or ideology with the Bill of Rights. Do not ever confuse the Constitution as our banner of encouraging and supporting freedom across the world.

    BUT, however, we have one document that expressidly outlines freedom and that it is the right of the people to ensure those freedoms, one that was before even The Confederate States of America (the very first one, in case people seem to forget that it took our country 13 years to actually form the United States of America), the Declaration of Independence. We are undoubtedly the strongest country in the world. We are undoubtedly one of the strongest militarys in the world. We also have one of the laziest, most sorry populations in the world. When people stand up and declare "this is wrong, we want something done" and they go and make sure it happens, that is patriotism. Never confuse patriotism for arrogance. Those that say "We're so much better than you, we already have that stuff, you figure it out cause you're not our country" are not patriots, they are arrogant pr!$&s. They are the ones that burnish the American image abroad. The patriots act. The patriots ensure freedom for all people, regardless of boundaries. Last time I checked, our Declaration of Independence never said "We in these thirteen colonies are given the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". I rather remember it states all men are created equal and equally are deserving of the rights given to all free and independent individuals.

    Don't smear someone of a past regime if they are speaking out against injustice. Let their voice be heard. I doubt the people of Iran would let him come back to power. If they do, THAT is their choice, but apparently we should back the people of Iran, and say to hell with what their leaders say. Our leader here in the US is spineless and wants all to love him. Sad to say, but I'd rather have an unpopular leader that always does the right thing than one that is constantly wrong but has a silver tongue.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  48. Mike

    Both life and liberty are the two topmost unalienable rights on the hierarchy of rights, both unalienable and granted. America, which touts itself as being a bastion of liberty should be promoting liberty both at home and abroad in the boldest possible terms. Unfortunatly, that will not be done. Why? Because both our government and the American people are opting for socialism, which all too often has been followed by totalitarianism. What is the evidence for such a claim? Barack Obama has done more in the last six months to move the U.S. toward socialism than all his predecssors combined and he was elected by the American people. Additionally, even one of his own liberal party members in congress admitted on camera that she wants socialism in America and wants the governemt to nationalize all the companies. For many of us, that is proof enough that the bloodshed, beatings and brutality against those in Iran who want their voices heard foretell what will come to the U.S. in the not so distant future.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  49. Reply Dreamer

    Dreamer, you are obviously smoking computer wires to write such abject idiocy!

    Reza Pahlavi was 14 years old when the revolution took place! Are you certain that he killed thousands of people?

    The late Shah, by his own admission, confessed with documents as to the actions and killings via the Savak. How can you equate that to this thuggery called a Regime? It is unfortunate that people like you use valuable oxygen.

    Please DO NOT procreate!

    June 23, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  50. sman

    Let's get something clear about the Shah: while he was a dictator, throughout his 37 years in power, he killed less than a third of what the Mullahs killed in their FIRST TWO YEARS. This is not me, this is the Islamic Republic saying that. They Islamic Republic confiscated all the Pahlavi property and tried to compensate the victims of the Pahlavi regime. They came up with a list of only 3164 people who were killed at the hands of the Pahlavi regime from 1962 to 1979 with about 2700 of them killed during the 1978-1979 revolution. Practically all of those who were executed were people who had actively taken up arms against the regime. Compared to that, the Islamic executed more than 10,000 people in its first two years. At one time in 1981, they were killing people at the rate of 300 a day and they were announcing the names on the radio along with their crimes. Most of the executed were called drug dealers (for men) and prostitutes (for women). Shah may have been a dictator but given what the mullahs have done and are doing, he was certainly NOT brutal.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  51. JoeinTexas

    Its funny to read comments like, "You interviewed the former Shah's son, what credibility does he have, etc."

    its funny to hear Americans speak like this....

    god forbid your father performs some horrific acts, and although you (as son or daughter) had no personal hand in it, you will be ostracized and berated for the mere blood line connection.....

    i guess its the same tactic "they" tried to use with Pres Obama during the US elections, guilty by association....ridiculous

    June 23, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  52. John Kobachi

    For Reza Pahlavi to have any legitimacy among Iranians and the world, he needs to first participate in an open discussion about Iran and explain his views of the situation in Iran during his father's (Mohammad Reza Pahlavi) rein. And I’m talking about straightforward discussions about freedom, corruption, and political killings.
    Until he does that his words are just as cheap as Khomeini’s promises of free election, freedom of speech, and freedom of political gatherings before he came to Iran.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  53. Sean Peddleton

    Christen, you SIMPLY do know history. According to Amnesty International, less than a 1,000 people were killed by Savak. Now try over 500,000 by the Islamic Regime moron!

    Live & learn. DO NOT regurgitate the nonsense that was fed to everyone by the current regime. Was the Shah perfect, HARDLY! Yet who is. At the very least he led by love of country. He made mistakes.

    Yet how people like you can equate the Shah, to a regime that has had it's hands in one manner or another in every atrocious terrorist massacre since 1978, I will never understand.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  54. Major,

    To khurram: Are you a basiji living in United State and enjoying the freedom in here that allows you to open your big mouth.

    Shame on you that you can freely have access to news and media see what these idiotic supporters of Khamenei and ahmadi nejad doing to your own people and still backing up this psychopath regime.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  55. RickM

    If you need any evidence that Obama's position is wrong consider who's a fervent backer: Ron Paul. Enough said?

    Obama will go down in history as the US Neville Chamberlin of foreign policy. Peace in our time indeed!

    June 23, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  56. Amitiss

    I wish that people who live in Iran could write their comment, because right now their opinion is more important us who live in other countries, then everyone could see how big majority of Iranian want Mr. Reza Pahlavi for Iran, Mr. Pahlavi made it very clear that right now it's about people in Iran wanting to be free and longing for a democracy and nothing else. I also heard from a student in Iran talking on CNN and they are asking for much more support from Mr, Obama so now it’s the time to help Iranian nation who doesn’t have anything in their hands but their own lives to get what’s the most basic right for every individual in the world which is freedom to speak. Please help them.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  57. Arash Parsi

    Reza Pahlavi is a true democrat. He is his own man. He realizes non-democratic rule of his father displeased many Iranians. But under his father Iranian had all civil freedom, a good economy and delevloment of infrastructure and industries at massive scale. There were almost zero unemployment. 1 million Afghanis were working due to lack of Iranian labor. Women were given equal rights. Today political freedom is worse that former Shah's, plus 35% unemployment, no personal freedom. Women are second class citizens. Iran an oil producing country imports 50% of its gasoline!, because mullahs don't invest Iranian huge oil income in Iran. they send it to their personal accounts, send it to Hamas and Hezbollah, and or buy radioactive material to build a nuclear bomb. Reza Pahlavi is the best hope for a democratic Iran. If iranians vote for a constitutional monarchy, the King will be not the ruler but a symbol to unite Iranians and safeguard Iranian future secular constitution. If Iranians vote for a secular republic, Reza pahlavi still be an asset for future democratic Iran.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  58. Dreamer

    This is just abject stupidity on CNN's part to interview the son of the Shah, a dictator and thug who killed and tortured thousands. Him talking about democracy and freedom really makes a mocery of everything. It is despicable that out of all people qualified to talk about freedom and democracy in Iran, you chose on who's only claim to fame is the brutality during his father's dictatorship in Iran. You are really making a mocary of all the people who are fighting and sacrificing for freedom in Iran right now.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  59. Babak Maine, USA

    Thank you for allowing us to share our opinions. I have two items:
    1- As an Iranian-American who is proud to live in the best country in the world, I think it's time to stop telling Obama he should do this and that. Yes, he needs to condemn the brutal actions of the oppresive regime, but Iranians need to start understanding that only they can solve their issues. Stand for what you believe and as folks in New Hampshire say: "Live Free or Die". We must use blood and go through a civil war to cleanse Persia of scum.
    2- I saw a note from a Riita who called the Shah a ruthless dictator. I was born and raised in Iran, so I had a chance to experience both the monarchy and this disgusting Islamic way. What you guys see on TV as a typical Middle Eastern country like Iraq full of sand, camels, etc. used to be Iran also. However the Shah brought modern living to Iran to include improvement for human rights and womens' rights. Iran is still the only major muslim country where women have been able to vote and drive and work for SEVERAL decades now.
    The Shah was not perfect but considering the times and the traditionalist muslims resistence, that was the best he could do. He is the architect of today's modern Iranian structure, not the mullahs.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  60. Sam New York

    Iran's history in the past 300-years has been dominated by corrupt monarchies and clergies. Reza Pahlavi belongs to that history. Iranians are done with monarchs and "Supreme Leaders". Besides, Shah's father (Reza Shah), Shah himself, and Khomeini are prefect examples of why Iranians will no longer accept having corrupt, incompetent, and puppet-like foreign-based characters insert themselves as their leaders. This is not a suggestion that Reza Pahlavi should be labeled as incompetent or a puppet. Throughout history, sons/daughters and grandsons/granddaughters of corrupt monarchs have shown that their family lineage doesn’t unequivocally predict governing style. The suggestion here is that monarchies and messiah-like regimes will no longer work in Iran. Contrary to the desires of nostalgic monarchist, Reza Pahlavi will never become a monarch in Iran again. When Iran becomes free, sooner than many think, he could run as a presidential candidate. Of course, without any foreign-based cash and media support.

    The only way Iranians can defeat the corrupt, incompetent, and criminal mullahs is through a nationwide strike. All government employees, especially oil industry and transportation employees should go on strike. Iranian citizens should stop paying their bills and try to minimize their fuel purchases. A 3-month strike will topple the regime. Gandhi used nationwide strikes and other economic-based tactics to break the British empire's back. These tactics included boycotting British products, refusing to work for British employers, pulling one’s children out of British schools, refusing to supply the British with services, and not paying taxes. Iranians need to replicate these tactics immediately.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  61. Major,

    Why Iran is the most educated and modern country in Middle East?
    It's because of Shah and his father. They built schools, universities, roads, factories, and so on ........while other Middle East countries were busy with their Islam.

    Our female population is the most educated in Middle East.
    If we didn't have shah and his father our country would be worse than Afghanistan.
    Be honest and put aside your bias that his father did such and such ...You know, he is the best choice for IRAN.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  62. TheTruth

    I don't know Reza Pahlavi as an individual, but because of his family's historical role in this process, he should refrain from public comment for fear of tainting the authenticity of this movement. Reza-joon, please, do us all a favor...go home, pour yourself a cup of tea and take a nap by the fireplace.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  63. shohreh

    at this moment i'm hoping that some how iranian army get involve and of course stand up against the regime gaured and support the people.
    from now on i'm going to name my self NEDA .........i heard from neda's fiance that after her death her family were looking for her body for a couple of days , when they recieved her body one of her leg was cut off and also her brain was taken out..............people your self judge the regime and feel the iranian pain.


    June 23, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  64. J.B.

    The majority of Iranians once shanted "Death to America" and similar sentiments and now they want us to bail them out? They need to deal with this on their own and no American blood should be shed in the Middle East again. We should have as little to do with that part of the world as possible. If all of them want to go back and live a thousand years into history, we ought to let them go and see what happens.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  65. rayne

    Shame on CNN for giving this son of a brutal dictator airtime. Maybe its not a great idea right now to be reminding the Iranian public about America's role in bringing this mans father to power.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  66. polandgi

    I am so interested in his father, the creator of Savak the secrect police who brutalized thousand of Iranians more than 30 years ago, and was fully backed by the U.S., that today no one wants to talk about in the media. Does U.S. the hostage crisis in 1979 come to mind.
    The pure hypocrisy of the U.S. is always evident. We want Iranian oil and care squat about its people. This Iranians need to understand.
    Not those who've betrayed their people following decadent American customs and culture living in the U.S. They'd like to forget their history.
    U.S. military bases surround Iran and are poised to attack Iran. Iranian leaders know this. The U.S. only respect a nation with a nuclear capability, none others. It's why they did not preemptively attack Russia when it invaded Osetia. Georgia, is a country the U.S. backs militarily and financially.
    To present the Shah's son is a pathetic move for CNN. To have him even show his face after what his father was know for is a national shame on Iranian history as well as U.S. history and foreign policy judgement.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  67. Betrayed#2

    I agree with "betrayed". Reza Pahlavi may not be his father but maybe he could get some balls and admit that his father's regime was filled with murderers and oppressors, and then give his two cents on freedom and what's he's learned. Irresponsibly using his presence on CNN to give the mullahs a reason to blame the US again for those freedom seekers in the streets of Tehran astonishes me.

    The US gov't is no better – having assisted in wiping out democracy in Iran in 1953 to insert puppet Pahlavi who was so removed from his own people, it was no wonder he got overthrown. And now look at the mess that's been created.

    The freedom seekers in Iran are more brave than anyone living in North America can even imagine – they are standing up to a very frightening regime – i wish them the best sucess.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  68. Billy J

    Every Iranian I have met here in the states or online thru some odd circumstance like a backgammon game on yahoo, has been an intelligent, free thinking, respectful person. The ones I meet online that are over there, are suspicious of the U.S. but that is all, just suspicous. Of all the muslims nations over there, Iran seems to have the most moderate, educated folks. I don't think there is a lot the U.S. can do, but the Iranian people deserve better than the Shah and this current group of power hungery loons.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  69. Mr. Mike

    You'd have to be dumb not to see that intervention is exactly what the God-Man and his minions in Iran are waiting for... it would offer legitimacy to their jacked little election (see 2000, 2004). The president is correct in doing what this country is seemingly incapable of doing... mind your own business...

    June 23, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  70. Neil

    Can anyone say Ahmed Chalbi? Why is CNN the only news organization carrying the PERSONAL OPINIONS and aspirations of the shah's son? Come on research the real facts, we have no evidence that the police are turning sides. We all want the people to succeed but lets not let the Neocons and dissidents inspire false hope.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  71. Rightwing Puppy Kickers are Clueless


    If this country got involved, then that would be an excuse for the Iranian Gov. they are just looking for an excuse to not take the protestors seriously.

    But the Rightwing Puppy Kickers and the media are just iching to use something, anything as a political football to make themselves look good!

    Obama is doing the right thing, by staying out of what I would call a civil matter. I ask this question: how would everyone feel if another country got involved in the 2000 election?

    People would feel insulted if another country got involve.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  72. Qazu

    How can anyone support the shah?
    The protesters that we see on T.V. are NOT protesting against the "regime"! They are protesting what they perceive to be election fraud. The vast majority of people of Iran are in support of the Shia Islamic system of governance that is in place today. Whoever thinks otherwise is kidding themselves. It is the media that is showing to be a struggle between clerics and the "people"... like in any protests, there are going to be police and others trying to suppress it.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  73. observer

    It's rediculous to put this guy, the son of the ruthless dictator shah of Iran, and allow him to speak in the name of the people and democracy. He must think that people have short memories. I think the Iranian people deserve a lot of good things, but the return of the Shah's son to any sort of power is not one of them. This is a joke. This guy should be so ashamed of the way his father ran that country that he should never speak publicly.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  74. Beverley Bond Potter

    Backing the Pahlavi family has caused trouble enough for the United States, and his opinion should be taken with the proverbial "grain of salt". The last time we chose a side in Iran was so devastating that we have never recovered credibility in the Middle East. The former crown prince knows no more truth about Iran at this moment than do the rest of us.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  75. Major,

    Hope Pahlavi dynasty will return to Iran and will save us from all these awkward groups such as, Islamist, Maoist Islamist, moderate Islamists, communists, extreme social Islamist you know... all this cr*p we've been putting up with for the last 30 years.

    Wake up Iranians, how long you want to sell yourself and your country to these strange ideologies.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  76. txkboy

    I hope the Iranian people decide their fate, in the push for a more democratic society and government. This would be a way to keep the Iranian foreign fighters from spilling over into Afghanistan and killing our troops. Did you ever see the Australian cartoon depicting Iran as a manhole cover with "terrorism" written on it, and the cockroaches coming out of it to blanket the middle east? It's a keeper.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  77. J Shami

    It made me laugh when The son of a Dictator talked about election and democracy. Does he think for a minute how Brutal a dictator his father was, how many he killed. Shame on this family and his followers.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  78. Dez

    Interesting that Mr. Reza Pahlavi fails to mention how his dad came to power in Iran. I'll refresh his memory, it was because of a U.S. backed coup called Operation Ajax. His father came to power because we assisted in overthrowing Iran's DEMOCRATICALLY elected government in the 50's. He also fails to mention the Islamic revolution came about because of the hatred the country had for his father and his relationship with the U.S.

    Obama is wise to keep quiet as our last intervention in Iran resulted in a nationwide backlash. If freedom is to truly exist in Iran it MUST be the result from the Iranian public's demand, not from the U.S. The last thing we want is another Middle Eastern leader handcuffed due to them being perceived as an American puppet.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  79. Brandon

    Q: “The White House is worried that coming out too strong in support could do more harm than good. What do you think?”

    A: Bunch of BS about how the people are legitimate that doesn’t answer the question.

    Q: What do you think the White House should do?

    A: Another non-answer.

    Who is this joker? Joe the plumber could have given more specifics than this guy. Does he have any ideas or opinions at all?
    Who is this guy? Just the son of the Iranian Shah, who was put in power by the United States following the 1953 anti-Mossidiqu coup. Jesus you moron, read a history book, or at least go to Wikipedia.

    The "non-answer" as you put it, depends on your ability to make a fine distinction in counter-intuitive logic, which obviously is beyond you (maybe Joe the Plumber can understand it lol). Here it is: the White House can do more damage to America's cause by pushing too strongly on the Iranian government. If they appear as too involved, the Iranian government can point to it as an indication that we are orchestrating the protests, eroding the grassroots nature of things. So we need to maintain a BALANCE, voicing our concern without going too far. You do realize that in any instance, you can go TOO FAR in either direction, right? That in and of itself is a fine distinction, and probably beyond you because of your dualistic thought-process. Something either is one thing or the opposite. It has to be that simple for your tiny little brain to comprehend. Unfortunately, reality is not so simple. But keep trying to make it fit to your worldview, instead of the other way around. Good job, GOP.

    Why do I even bother? Joe the Plumber, 2012! (I can't believe how stupid some Republicans still are.)

    June 23, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  80. ryan

    Why do we keep calling this pseudo prince guy anytime something goes on in Iran? We must not legitimize him. Just as we did not legitimize his father by refusing him acces to the US, when he was fleeing the consequences of his misdeeds. I remember 1979 very well and the years just before that when this guy's father had actually caused Iran to fall into the hands of the mullahs, ayatollahs etc. Now of course, if this prince was in the position he would have been in had his father prevailed at the time, he'd be the angel of angels. He would have given up his "ancestral rights", and turned Iran into an example of democracy. I'm suah!

    This prince is not his father, so we should not judge him on said father's actions? But then Mr. Prince's claim to anything is his relation to the thug that caused the Mullahs to be squeezing the life out of any hope of normalcy in that country.

    The mollahs and co. aren't doing anything this guy's father didn't do.

    The hypocrisy in all this is at least bothersome. I don't mind fessing up:
    in 1953 we made (one of our biggest) mistake(s) by intervening in that Mossadeg incident, which started the chain of events that led to the Shah's shameful abuse of his people and of his position. That led to the advent of the Mullahs. Who decided the best way to go is to reinvent the middle (read the dark) ages.

    Iranian people are, and are staying, the victims of all these thugs no matter what they call themselves, no matter how they legitimize themselves.

    I feel more sorry for Iranians now than I did in 79 and before, and that's saying a lot. Thanks to an extra 30 years of being strangled, suffocated and squeezed.

    Whether Iranians are starved to death because the shah banoo (I think that's what they call the ex she-shah, the ex-queen, i.e this guy's mother), needs to own and wear the most giantest diamonds ever seen, or whether they're being beat (or shot) to death in the street for wanting to choose their own attire, hair length etc.

    Iranians are an ancient people with an ancient civilization. They have so much to give the rest of us (caviar anyone?). I do hope I see the day were they live in the freedom they so deserve.

    As to the question this faux prince is dodging: we need to wait till they win. And then make it clear that we are 100% ready to welcome them to the big boys court: that of the countries who fought and prevailed against oppression. Besides being useless, doing anything official now would be patronizing at best, and I agree with Obama's stand: he still needs to deal with Iran regardless of the outcome of these events.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  81. Dare

    There isn't much he can do. Everybody knows there is a difference between what a man stands for and what he would say on a podium as a result of politics. This is a clear case of that. A man can stand in front of a crowd and shout at the top of his longs that he is a woman and support it with some historical data but everybody still knows his gender. I am not concerned about what Obama says now to the Iranian people/world about the uprising, I am more concerned about where he would draw his weapons of wisdom. We all saw that during the campaign. A wise man once said, "There is a lot of wisdom in quietness" This would make the iranian citizens who this magnanimous injustice have been done to see what kind of veil their leaders have cast on their eyes all these centuries. This is the fact that, only a few determine the destiny, life and death and all in all of their people. America staying out of this would make the Iranian govt want to look for somewhere to shift the blame and the people themselves who aren't dumb would reply, " Don't even say this is their fault, YOU ARE THE DEVIL, NOT THEM"

    June 23, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  82. Thebes

    NOW it all makes sense!!!

    The USA is installing the Shah's son as leader of Iran, just DAYS after Obama admits the US's hand in the 1953 revolution.

    The Shah was a murderous THUG.

    Why has CNN not covered the US shooting of Iraqi protesters with as much vigor as they gave Neda???

    This is not "democracy in the mid-east", is JUST ANOTHER DIRTY US BOUGHT COUP!

    June 23, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  83. John

    It will never happen. Iranians are cowards. It worked in the Soviet Union because their men are real men and will risk themselves for what they beleive in. Any society that treats women like they are second class citizens is a society with a less than masculine male population.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  84. Jenn C.

    The 500 lb gorilla is CHINA! CHINA has 99.9% control over Iran's exports. THINK about the outcome for the world should the outcome disrupt China's oil supply. You think gas prices are high now. You ain't seen NOTHING yet!

    June 23, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  85. Ron

    Our country should stay out of this matter. We have Iraq and Afganistan to tend to, and not forgetting to mention the potential for war with North Korea. Let us fix our own issues before we try to save the world. I support of President's decision

    June 23, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  86. chris

    i find it ironic that so many of you spout off at the mouth, acting like you have the highest education in international history, when the majority of you -and that is more than 50%, in case you did not know- can't 1) spell or 2) make a complete sentence.

    Why not double-check before you post, realize that no rulings or laws come straight from the President. That, it takes the entire group of politicians, collectively, to decide anything.

    Better yet, fly to Iran, yourself, and get in the streets with the rest of the protesters, since that is what you do best, spout off at the mouth.

    I support free Iran, too, but we have to pick-and-choose our battles in order to win the war. Geeeeez....take a deep breath and think before you speak. You sound ignorant.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  87. Obama fan NO MORE

    I am behing the people of Iran...Pres Obama, stand up for something, besides more spending and socialization. GHEESH!

    June 23, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  88. Irani

    Viva Pahlavi dynasty.

    People of Iran love Reza Pahlavi.
    He is not responsible for his father's action.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  89. No Illusion

    While nobody should dismiss the loss of any life, less than 20 people have been killed: 7 killed when they tried to storm what was essentially a military compound, and others probably killed by rogue actors within the Basij militia. Clearly, the government has NOT ordered the killing of people.

    The Shah killed, in less than one year alone during the Revolution, about 60,000 unarmed protestors and wounded 100,000. That's not counting the many thousands killed, disappeared, and tortured in the decades before.

    Clearly, there is an internal crisis within the highest ranks of the Iranian leadership and we will have to wait to see how it will be resolved. But no leader is fundamentally questioning the foundation of the Islamic Republic as of now.

    Regardless, the son of the Shah, from his perch in Maryland, has no following or legitimacy with either side of the factions within Iran.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  90. Carl

    This is disgusting that CNN would conduct such a kid glove interview with the son of a tyrant. This guy has no right to talk about democracy and freedom.

    Maybe CNN could dig up some more criminals to offer their opinions.
    Absolute ignorance on the part of CNN. Do us a favour and stop talking.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  91. Paige

    To any of you complaining about The President not doing enough: Our military and other resources are spread a little thin as it is, and before we send even more of our resources out into the world, The President has some work to do at home. I support the Iranian civilians whole-heartedly, but I am even more proud of them for recognizing that something is wrong and doing something about it themselves. I am in full support of what the US stands for and does for other countries, but sometimes when we get involved, there are some mixed feelings. When the civilians do this on their own, it becomes obvious what the civilians want and know they deserve. They get the credit for fixing their own country and it will become a stronger country because they did it, not the US. It is very sad that many people have been injured and killed for their beliefs and ideas but these people are going to make a mark on the history of their country and I think that what The President has said thus far is enough to clearly show our support for the protestors and our disappointment in their government. Keep your head up, Iran!

    June 23, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  92. khurram

    typical US propaganda

    wont help. all muslims are united in Iran and soon Moussavi will flee

    June 23, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  93. Bill

    What a joke. The liberal Democrats claimed they "swept" into power in this country because they are the only ones who protect human rights and freedom. And they railed against that terrible George Bush and Dick Cheney for "trampling" on our civil rights and freedoms.

    And now that there are millions of people fighting for their civil rights and freedom in Iran, who really have had their rights and freedoms "trampled" on, and are looking to our government for support in their fight, where are all these protectors of civil rights and freedoms in this country? No where to be found or heard.....the silence is deafening! What a disgrace!

    June 23, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  94. Marilyn

    Obama might as well go ahead and voice support for the opposition protesters.

    The situation now is that if he tries to talk to initiate talks in the future with the current Iranian administration, he will be validating that administration.

    It looks like the time is passed for any discussions. We should go go ahead and speak out for freedom and democracy.

    I support Obama, and wish this had turned out differently, but unfortunately, if did not.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  95. Bob Ramos

    I very much understand that we do not want a 3rd war here. We do have to walk a tight rope. But, surely, there are still steps we can take even now. What are these steps? One, convene an emergency meeting of the UN. Advocate non military steps such as non recognition of the election results. Two, every country (we do not have diplomatic relations with Iran) should refuse to accept the legitimacy of Iran's present government. Three, examine what economic steps can be taken.

    If we do this much, it sure beats poking holes in the air.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  96. vespid

    this guy is an idiot and a liar if anyone has not noticed.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  97. Templar

    Who is this joker? Joe the plumber could have given more specifics than this guy. Does he have any ideas or opinions at all?

    This "joker" is the former Crown Prince of Iran, and he has a vested interest in the outcome of this struggle even if he's not returned to power. If his answers are careful its because he is a guest of the U.S., additionally he needs to be careful in his words because the regime in Iran could misquote or distort them which could in turn muddy up the waters on the ground. As to his ideas and opinions...I think its a safe bet that he knows whats going on "on the ground" better than almost anyone on the outside.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  98. reality check

    The images of Iranians burning American flags and our leaders in effigy while chanting "Death to America" are all too vivid to this day. America needs to closely monitor the situation however, the obvious display of tyranny and facism exihibited, under the guise of Islam as demonstrated by the recent political events, can only be ended by concerted and methodical planning on the part of the people of Iran.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  99. Steve

    While it would be great to help out everyone in need, let's be realistic. Do people really understand what it would mean to go into supporting another "change of regime"? Imagine if we did this in every country where there is a corrupt election and the people didn't like it?

    How many times as a toppled regime been replaced by another one either less stable or just as ruthless?

    Realistically, there are so many factors at work, with not just the "democratic manifest destiny" that has so fueled our political agendas.

    How close is Iran to being a real nuclear threat?
    Would certain actions affect that one way or another?
    Is patience needed to allow Obama's respectful stance to gradually help remove the "anti-American meddlers" sentiment that extremists use as fuel?

    More questions than answers to make any conclusions here. I hope the people of Iran can work it out themselves, with support from the International community/US when needed, but yet not dominated by the them.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  100. Robert Pratt

    Why is he still referred to as 'Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi'? He has no legitimacy either as a royal leader or as any kind of leader of Iran. It would be more accurate to call him 'the General's son'.

    Richard hit the nail squarely:
    "Remember Muhamad Chalabi and his cronies? They lied to us and to the Bush administration for their own gains".

    The US has to be careful as well not to repeat the fiasco at the end of the first Gulf War, when unknown numbers of Marsh Arabs and other groups were murdered after the US indicated that it would support regime change in Iraq and then did nothing to actually help.

    I sincerely hope that Iran can manage something like what happened when the Iron Curtain fell. The armies and police of many countries simply refused to shoot at their own people, and the largest peaceful revolutions in history occurred as the people said 'no more'.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
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