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February 12th, 2010
11:00 AM ET

What's really happening in Iran?

It's been 31 years since Iran's Islamic Revolution when the country's Western-backed monarchy fell and Iran became an Islamic state.

Yesterday, we saw a huge pro-government rally in Tehran, but we're also seeing disturbing videos online of violent clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters.

What do these protests and this violence really mean for Iran's future?

We were joined Friday on American Morning by Jason Shams, a contributor for the Daily Beast who has lived in Iran for several years.

We also spoke with Maziar Bahari, a Newsweek correspondent who was jailed in Iran last year.

Complete coverage: Protests in Iran

Filed under: Iran
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Daniel

    What is happening in Iran is no more no less a bid by the United States,Great Britain and France to take over that country.They had a back room deal worked out with Mir Hussein Mosavi but he lost the election back in June so they went to plan B,that is,destabilize the government of Mahmoud Ahmedinajan by organizing violent demonstrations and having people killed to drum up resentment.It would do well not to put the killing of a 26 year old student known as Neda past the C.I.A.and the MI-6 as they will stop at nothing.Failing this,I expect to see an eventual war which would be plan C.

    February 20, 2010 at 4:58 am |
  2. Concerned Citizen

    Whats happening in Iran is pretty straight forward. Iran is calling Obama's bluff. Ahmadinejad knows the Obama administration
    is not well restected by world leaders and continues to do his will.
    Obama needs to give green light to Israel (surgical strikes) and show support for the majority of Iranians would want to taste freedom.
    Why / How can someone with absolutely no credentials be sitting in the Oval Office???

    February 15, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
  3. Richard

    How predictable, a perfect example of a deluded desire for the Mahdi to arrive and have this "pure one" serve justice to the whole world. Or check into a physco ward whichever comes first.

    February 15, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  4. ronvan

    WHO really has an answer? Seeing as how WE, the U.S. continually try to "pressure, influence & change" countries to copy our way of life then why don't we just take control? If they don't accept OUR beleifs then we could just bomb them into submission, showing those other's just how good we are. Heck just one or two "A" bombs could bring immediate acceptance that WE are the only answer! Now give me a break here. I know you think I must be crazy! However, why not? We have the experts talking that these countries are "bad" & need "our help" The bible thumpers screaming that their religion is wrong, politicians lining their pockets with all kinds of benefits, while all the time our military, civilians, are being killed & maimed. And of course we can all take a good look at our country to see why this is justified. Crooked CEO's, companies of all kinds that screw us over daily, racism, drugs, crime, gangs, corruption in all levels & jobs, starving people, homeless people, our country & every state in it bankrupt and begging for help. Yep, you can really see why the U.S. should always be the one "leading the world" in telling them why they should be like us!

    February 15, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  5. RG

    Why isn't Obama showing support for these demonstators? Is he sitting on the sidelines because he still wants to shake hands with this murderous regime? What's he going to do when Ahmadinejad and the mulas use their new nuke technology to usher in the Mahdi?

    February 13, 2010 at 12:33 pm |
  6. Mike

    Late Senator Ted Kennedy had no involvment in overthrowing the "Shah" of Iran. It was from islamic groups in the country that thought the government did not follow Islam. I don't know what to think about the violence, hasn't it been going on for at least 15 years or so, ever since that guy I can't remember his name becamse a mayor of Tehran or something? Interesting.

    February 13, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
  7. Blowgas Billy

    The deal here is that the US wants to sit on its ass and hands and do nothing to the country that is our biggest terror threat-Iran! Instead we waste time in Afghanistan doing nothing that the Russians didn't already attempt. US is really dumb...just as it sent astronauts to the moon in 1969, just to be first to get there, wasted a lot of money doing it, while Russia sat on the sidelines at that time and learned everything it needed to know about the moon from US dollars being spent on that expensive junket to nowhere. Then Russia invaded Afghanistan and spent their money on a venture that gained them nothing but at a much lesser cost $wise than our going to the moon cost the US. It seems as though this time, the US would have learned from Russia already that it could accomplish nothing by escalating a nonsense big skirmish yesterday into Afghanistan, but the US is proving to be its dumb big self yet another time! This latest Afghanistanian excursion will accomplish nothing but waste more US lives and dollars! And now we do not need to be wasting $$$!

    February 13, 2010 at 9:42 am |
  8. mike-sey

    I don't know what Mr. Kennedy is alleged to have done but I suppose one could have asked the same of the USA in the 60's and less dramatically repeat the question today. What on earth is going on in the USA?

    For a little context, recall the 60's saw massive street disturbances over civil rights and the Vietnam War, and brutal responses and police riots by the authorities (particularly in the South, but not confined to it.) Dogs set on school children, Kent State students gunned down by the National Guard, Lynchings, KKK beatings, church burnings which local authorities often ignored.

    Keep in mind that the USA sheltered the deposed Shah and refused to extradite him to Iran. Of course we know how the US responds to the sheltering of people deemed enemies of the American people- Drones, missiles, bombs and invasion. Since then of course Iran has been under threat .

    Clearly it is a divided society, as is the USA, but there is no reason to believe that the current regime is illegitimate and does not enjoy the support of 'the silent majority'. It probably didn't help with Iran's sense of security that for a long time Western, particularly US, media incited the belief that election results were fraudulent. They seem to be less sure now.
    Anyway , one should not be surprised that the current regime links the unrest to "outside agitators", and "pointy-headed intellectuals".
    No Ayotollah has yet denounced "Nabobs of Negativity" but don't be surprised if it comes. We've heard it before.

    February 13, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  9. a persian from IRAN

    Sorry, you dont live here . so plz dont say your personal opinion about IRAN . you are all wrong.
    I'm sorry to say that but "It is none of your buisiness"

    February 13, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  10. Ed

    First of all, it is the Shah of Iran, not Shaw. Secondly, there was no huge part played by any U.S. congressman to "oust" the Shah – rather they protected the corrupt leader after his fall. Every time the U.S. pays a country's strongman to "adjust" the country's policies to be more in line with our tastes the people revolt against that leader.

    This is much like our own Tea Party members who want to murder our President because they think he is too much like Stalin. (They say he is like Hitler but they obviously need a history lesson as he was Conservative and not liberal in any way.) As an aside, Russia, does NOT approve of the policies of the U.S. even as former Communists they have deep differences with the freedoms we take for granted – observe their "fair and balanced" elections where only their own candidates win (or allowed to live) office.

    February 12, 2010 at 11:44 pm |
  11. StevenR

    Mitchell: Huh?
    We are fighting Muslim fundamentalism all over the world that is a response to heavy-handed neo-con (or neo-colonial, same thing) policies of which the Shah is a perfect example. That people even think like that is something that scares me.

    You are in favor of murderous strongman dictators. Why do you hate America?

    February 12, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  12. Ian Misco

    The question should be why do we care? Do we really care about the people over in Iran or do we care about the possible economic repercussions that a nuclear-powered Iran would pose to the world? I don't care what is going on over there because I'm more concerned about what's going on in my own backyard. Fighting for something like freedom if that's what the opposition is really doing is going to take time, blood, sweat. and tears to accomplish. Americans should know this by now and support the movement, but honestly it's non on of our business what is going on over there.

    February 12, 2010 at 3:28 pm |
  13. JohnnyO

    If you want a real understanding of what's going on in Iran, Russia, the MidEast in general, and The 7th Roman Empire (also known as the European Market Countries), read Dr. David Jeremiah's book "What In The World Is Going On."

    February 12, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  14. arash

    hey , i do live in Tehran ,Iran. there is not bad situation as news said to world. in fact the Shaw or Islamic governments are not important . the most thing is we trying to be one of the PRO s . one of the developed country . with or without Shaw or Islam. about the rockets and nuclear and human rights we trying to be better .in this 31 yrs we have got better. and we will do that in future.we wont attack to any country 1st . our people just thinking of defense . so be relax. and just let we solve our problems with our culture . we really need to reform and correct it.

    February 12, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  15. Dan Nelson Lafayette,IN

    Whats happening in Iran? Murder in the streets and in their justice system! The people are standing up against a radical Islamic government that only cares for power not only over the people of Iran but also within the whole middle-east!

    February 12, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  16. Mitchell

    Why don't you give a history lesson as to why Edward Kennedy and others played a huge part in helping oust our only friend in the middle east the Shaw of Iran. Then they gladly issued in a Islamic government. Kennedy and others in congress are in large part responsible for the Iran of today and the danger it poses. Political correctness and social engeerning.

    February 12, 2010 at 11:15 am |