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Iranian Dissent, Global Crackdown
Pro-reform Iranian students march during a protest at the Tehran University campus in Tehran, Iran, in a Dec. 7, 2009 file photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran. (AP)

Pro-reform Iranian students march during a protest at the Tehran University campus in Tehran, Iran, in a Dec. 7, 2009 file photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran. (AP)

Iran ups the nuclear ante and cracks down on dissent, worldwide. We’ll open our phone lines to the voices of Iran.


Farnaz Fassihi, Beirut bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal.

Karim Sadjadpour, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He has written widely on Iranian state and society, Iran’s nuclear program, Iran-Arab relations, and U.S.-Iran relations. Former Iran analyst for the International Crisis Group, based in Tehran and Washington DC.

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  • Michael

    I don’t quite understand, Iran has election that the dissenters say were stolen and many republicans and people in the U.S. wish to try and support such dissenters, Yet Afghanistan has a election and even proven to be rigged and stolen and the guy that question that got fired from the U.N. yet it was hailed as a great triumph of democracy by our president and the U.N. folks overseeing Afghanistan election. AS well to note The country of Georgia had a election a year ago who also declared Martial law and attacked peaceful protesters yet the focus was on russia.

    Georgia in regards to Afghanistan had voter fraud, intimidation,attacks of opposition and likes but we heard nothing about this or Honduras election which the democratically election president was ousted, and the election heard under a military Coup yet we didnt hear anything about how a election should not be heard under such circumstances.

    Whats with the Double standards here in the reporting? is it cause the Afghan Pres is our puppet? The Georgian Pres is our puppet(who also by the way spent 800k on McCain run for president, remember “We are all Georgians”, oddly not reported)?or the Folks that performed the Coup in Honduras are more friendly than the President of Honduras?

    It surprises me that U.S. journalist don’t see these double standards or even point them out, We talk about Iran possibly obtaining Nukes and it would start a Arms race in the middle east yet, the fact that Iran is following the IAEA unlike israel, does israel not count as part of this arms race in the middle east? Is this a taboo subject your not allowed to talk about?

    If being a Puppet to the U.S. allows them to break the law, break international laws, Not hold fair elections than say it. Instead of acting as if we treat friend or foe equally or fairly. As for protest have you seen what the cops did to the G20 protesters? The Copenhagen protesters? The Protesters in the UK? Protesters at the RNC convention? Oakland T-station where a black man was handcuffed on the ground while a cop shot him? Didn’t the U.S. use to beat blacks in the South 50 years ago for far less? Just be honesty that if a group is on our side it doesn’t really matter what they do to there people or minority groups.Yet we cry about iran not having fair trials but than we ourselves can’t even try people in Gitmo or have fair trials ourselves.

    It seems Otherwise it’s only to be propaganda, misinformation, promoted and supported by the media which is supposed to be objective and independent.

  • Putney Swope

    Michael it’s politics. As you pointed out it’s very hypocritical and has nothing to do with transparency or a supporting democracy, it’s about the US’s interests.

  • Ellen Dibble

    American hypocrisy aside, I’ve heard from the journalist/filmer who had been imprisoned that the Iranian police virtually own the country, sort of like the Police Union owns it. They own the Tweeter regulator for the country by now, I believe I heard. And certainly they own the presidency (my impression). So what is likely to happen is they will take over and be overthrown. (Oh, bad; oh, good.)
    Theocracy in Iran, he says, has lost its credibility completely.
    I watched a Rick Steves travelogue about Iran on PBS recently. I think it’s his second on the subject, and introduced us to his “minder,” his limits, and yet far and wide, all the Iranians had big smiles to the American, Americans in general, and America. This is SO different from 1979. How did we get so popular?

  • Ellen Dibble

    I hear gradualism being offered as the road for Iran, not revolution but conversion of the current government. That seems so unlikely, so impossible.
    A guest just said the United States needs to show more solidarity with the Iranian people, less focus on the nuclear show-down.

  • Ellen Dibble

    You know what is huge evidence in the matter of what’s happening to communication from the Iranian diaspora? This Comments site. Zilch. Nada.
    There is an organization (Boston Iranians Coalion) posting in the sidebar “Call for Iranian Voices,” up there on the right, but I am drawing a certain conclusion about “freezing” of voices.

  • Terri

    What if Ahmedinejad won the elections FAIR AND SQUARE?

  • Terri

    We just got back from Iran. Interviewed 22 people from the most conservative to the most green punks in Tehran University.

    We aske people questions about what they think, if Iran was attacked from outside, becasue of nuclear issues, etc.
    The older religious people say everything will fine at the end and God will make everybody live in peace inshallah.

    But the younger kids in Tehran, claim that they will take up arms and fight to defend Iran until the last drop of blood in their bodies, including girls. The said, the world will see the mother of all suicide missions if they ever touch Iran.

  • KIAN

    Michael,WELL SAID.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Question: if sanctions are fixed (pending compliance on nuclear issues) so that they hurt the Iranian people, by the UN or whatever coalition, will Iranians blame the USA?

    Question: if nuclear facilities are attacked by non-American (Israeli?) forces, I assume the USA will be blamed. I assume Clinton and Obama and Secretary Gates are doing everything in their power to prevent that from happening. It seems to me that a nation of friendly people would turn into just the reverse in a flash. The nuclear issue is the one “card” the Iranian government has to play to keep its people “on board” at present. Right?

  • kian

    Iran has seen its struggles for democracy crushed by the west too many times . the shah STARTED AS A US puppet ,became a nationalist and patriot and once he was not serving US interest any more , HE was over thrown by CIA and mi6 . replaced by The ayatollahs, in hopes that Communism(biggest threat to US 30 YEARS AGO) would not spread to a ultra religious regime (ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN).
    Now the Iranians and the world have to deal with the Islamic republic’s repressive policies.US past history and predatory policies towards Iran makes it hard for Iranians to trust the US . There are over 300000 us soldier all around Iran, Israel is threatening to bomb IRAN .DAILY BOMBINGS IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN . why are Iranians pushing their green agenda now.Green movement should happen when the security and sovereignty of Iran is not at risk.
    In regards to IranThe best way to isolate the fanatics is to have fair policies towards Iran,and Palestine.why Palestine? Because the dire situation in Palestine is used as a rallying point for the fanatics to galvanize their base and rest of the population behind them

  • Cory

    It’s simple really. If Iran or anyone else attacks us, defend ourselves and counterattack vigorously. If they don’t, leave them the hell alone! Not liking us or having criminals within their borders doesn’t legitimize military intervention/occupation or attempts at political destabilization. Let others have self determination and defend ourselves against violence. It is simple and honest. If you know someone who doesn’t like you, you don’t slug him or burn down his house to preclude the possibility that he might someday slug you.

    And as far as nuclear (or newkyaler if you are conservative) proliferation goes, the cat is out of the bag (N Korea, et al). How do we hope to halt the inexorable march forward of science around the world? Pakistan can have nukes but Iran can’t? That is a tough sell logically.

  • millard-fillmore

    Michael, but this kind of hypocrisy is not limited to any one ideological side – both the left and the right indulge in it and both have their own unique taboo subjects.

    For example, criticizing US foreign policy for not supporting democracies or undermining democracies, and then keeping quiet and not supporting the dissidents rallying for greater democracy in Iran.

    Taking Burma/Myanmar and China to task for human rights violations, but keeping quiet regarding those same human rights violations in Cuba or Saudi Arabia. Check out Amnesty and Human Rights Watch’s reports on these two countries.

    So, the US shouldn’t interfere in internal matters of certain countries (like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Cuba), but it’s fair game when it comes to Burma/Myanmar and China. If that’s not hypocrisy, then I don’t know what is.

    Both the left and the right are but two sides of the same coin, and the ideologues simply indulge in the same knee-jerk hanky-panky and repeat ideological platitudes, while taking the higher moral ground.

  • Michael


    is that not what journalism and objective reporting is for? reporting the news, my comment is if our news sources are going to be biased, leave out important facts, misinform people than they need to say it in there reporting, or not all things are equal in reporting as well so journalist can state such facts, like we allow x to break the law but not y.

    Objective reporting and fact base reporting maybe dull but it gives americans and the world the information to be somewhat informed on things and than come to there conclusion but this is not the case.

    The BBC does a far better job than our U.S. news, maybe cause its not beholden to a corporate interest.

  • Louise

    What I want to know is why Obama is not doing more to support the brave protestors who are risking a lot to bring true democracy to Iran. After all, Obama was a “community organizer”, you think he would side with the protestors, instead Obama has decided to silently support the mullahs who rule Iran with an iron fist. Dictators always stick together. Iran has their dictator, Ahmadinejad, we have Obama.

  • Brett

    What I want to know is how someone who has supposedly been in the military can not know what a dictator is? Do you really think Obama is a dictator?

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