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June 20th, 2009
05:21 PM ET

Iranian Civil Rights Movement

From writer/producer Elberta McKnight:

Millions of Iranians believe the government there rigged this month’s presidential election. Scores of citizens are so convinced that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory is fake, they put their lives on the line Saturday… demonstrating in the streets of Tehran.

For many, the suspicion has a discomforting familiarity: The anger and feelings of betrayal started decades ago.

Hamid Dabashi is the author of "Iran: A People Interrupted." He is Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York and a native of Iran. On Saturday, he spoke with our Betty Nguyen:

Join Betty Nguyen and TJ Holmes tomorrow morning in the CNN Newsroom, beginning 5am ET/2am PT.

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soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. supreme leader

    Because of Obama's speech in Cairo, and tone with the Arab and Muslim world, Lebanon and the Iranian people have unclenched their fist. There's no chance this happens If John McCain won.

    June 20, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  2. Sara Rainey

    Ahmadinejad should be impeached at least, for ordering the killings of his own people, all just to "incriminate" Mousavi.

    June 20, 2009 at 7:46 pm |
  3. Daniel Nelson

    I think that we as the most powerful nation of the free world should be doing all that we can to help the Iranian people who want the freedoms that we enjoy and because of our fight for independence we should know firsthand what it takes to become a nation that is concerned for all the peoples rights to freedoms of speech and religious beliefs! Freedom does not come easy to a country whose ruling government would do everything they can to retain power! We have 150 thousand troops next door and many naval and air force in the Persian gulf that would be enough to help those in Iran who have no weapons to fight the revolutionary guard and the militias that are trying to quell the protesters who want an end to the religious fanatics power that supports terrorism around the world and is trying to build a nuclear weapon so that they would be the most powerful Islamic nation in the middle east! Obama believes that strong diplomacy and tough sanctions would be able to change the hearts and minds of these religious fanatics to stop their quest for a nuclear bomb and their support for terrorism! He is totally wrong! It will take strong military action to force a change in Iran’s policies! Unlike what has happened in Iraq to bring about freedom and democracy there the people of Iran would be grateful for the change that only the US can do! Lets get it done for the people around the world who would then live in a more peaceful world!

    June 20, 2009 at 7:54 pm |
  4. Nassrin

    Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Does president Obama still want to have a dialogue with the murderers of Iranians?

    June 20, 2009 at 7:54 pm |
  5. Nassrin

    The world is watching Iranians and Iranians are watching the world – the defeating silence of the people around the world is very disturbing.

    June 20, 2009 at 7:56 pm |
  6. Mohammad

    A supreme leader must be supreme for everyone; not to side with anyone before the Council of Guardians reveal their findings. (Decision made before the truth is the role of a dictator).

    June 20, 2009 at 8:11 pm |
  7. tony

    can anybody tell me why the mujahedeen has not gone back to iran to fight.

    June 20, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  8. sean

    Dear CNN.
    I remember in 9/11 thousands of Iranians inside Iran gathered in many locations and light candles to show their sympathy with all innocent American who were killed in Sept 11.
    Today innocent people inside Iran, are fighting against a corrupted president who was one of the former hostage taker (American hostages in Iran).
    We as Iranian American, expecting Lovely American people show their sympathy by lighting a candle for the innocent people who has been killed these day.
    Please help innocent people
    Sean P , M.D.

    June 20, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  9. Nasser

    We must understand that neither side will bring tremendous change to the people of Iran. Mousavi is a pawn of the Ayatollahs as well. The conflict is past the point of a desire for a re-count. The people just want their last remaining right heard, their voice. All they have left is democracy, and they will not allow the government to take that away from them as well.

    June 20, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  10. Diane

    Isn't it amazing that we can chronicle the events going on in Iran all day long while similar events are occuring elsewhere? Where are reports from the Congo & like nations?

    June 20, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  11. Tari custard

    All of this violence is unjust but is also good as it shows that the iranian people will not standby and let there govt take contol.

    June 20, 2009 at 11:35 pm |
  12. hasmik

    This is great! we were wating for this moment for a long time ! the Iranian protestors have to use tactics to confront the police intervention in order to sustain less injuries and death treats, for example wearing thick cloths and coats, wearing thick head bands and hard hats carry backpacks in order to have less exposure to the bullets and batons. In another way of saying, guys! be creative in self defenseing.

    June 21, 2009 at 1:20 am |
  13. farhad

    Tehran streets are full - the Lebanese police and guards are all over the street, beating people. There are no Iranian police, all are from Hazbollah- few Spanish speaking guards were noticed. People all ages are on the roof saying Allah-o- Akbar or God is great...

    June 21, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  14. Janet W.

    Thank you, CNN for your outstanding coverage of the riveting struggle for freedom and liberty in Iran.

    LIFE, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS to the freedom-longing people of Iran! You deserve a Bill of Rights to limit your government - to change your government into a protector of your rights as individual countrymen and women.

    Iranians want to find their place in the modern world. You have millions of freedom-loving global citizens in moral support for you! You have "Neda"!

    June 21, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  15. Brian Greene

    I can't believe the audacity of Elizabeth Cohen on her high horse with her great compensation and insurance plan calling for physicians to "step up" "and suffer, at least in some small way". Physicians, particularly primary care physicians have been suffering at the hands of the insurance companies for years. It is getting so bad that their lowered compensation is making it difficult to pay for their 12 years of school. Do we want to keep doctors in the United States? It seems that Elizabeth wants to deter people from entering the long and unsure track that leads to a relatively thankless career as a primary care physician in the U.S. Elizabeth's irresponsible comments contribute to the public's flawed opinion that physicians' compensations are undeservedly generous. Did I mention that physicians attend a minimum of 12 years of school, 8 of them completely uncompensated, then work like dogs in the system to receive the honor to care for their fellow man. Elizabeth owes an apology to the medical profession and struggling primary care physicians in particular. Irresponsible journalism like this doesn't help anyone, and the public will suffer ultimately from this attitude as doctors leave the profession in droves.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  16. jabir green

    Dear Iranians, what kind of govt do you think you will get if you topple the mullahs... The west is pushing the shahs son in our face here. Is that what you want , a return of the shah? Under the shah there were no elections sham or not. Please do not allow yourselves to be manipulated by the secret arm of the western intelligence services. They want your natural resources and will do anything to get them.

    June 22, 2009 at 9:18 pm |
  17. Carroll Reynolds

    A poll of the American people will show that the overwhelming majority support President Obama's measured response to the Iranian domestic situation. How about reporting THATamidst all the unverified tweets and re-tweets pleading for American intervention.

    Those messages/phone calls could be coming from anywhere, including from those in the Middle East and their American echoes who also propagandized the American people into deposing Saddam Hussein.

    Remember that half the Iranians think their leadership is just fine – do they not count?

    June 24, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  18. Riley Degenfelder

    January 28, 2021 at 9:56 pm |
  19. Leigh Laurenzano

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    March 4, 2021 at 10:18 am |

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