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June 21st, 2009
12:06 AM ET

Terror in Tehran

TV depends largely on visual images. But sometimes a video shot in darkness is more compelling - especially when you hear the terrifying audio. This video was sent to CNN by a trusted source inside Tehran. You can judge for yourself what it reveals.


Filed under: Don Lemon
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. MJ from AZ

    Just got off the phone with my mother and sister in tehran. My attempt for the past few hours to contact my family back home finally paid off. My sister's voice is gone from shouting during the demonstration yesterday but she said tens of thousands of people flooded the major streets and squares of tehran. the sound of gunshot eccoed thoughout tehran through most of the late afternoon and early evening. Major blood has been shed.

    June 21, 2009 at 12:17 am |
  2. lynn

    I am absolutely shocked at your treatment of Kouross Esmaeli and your refusal to allow him the freedom to speak his mind. You used him for his documentary but insulted him when he was not "permitted" to give his educated opinion.

    You have bought into the CNN fabricated storyline of the socalled "critics" who are using this horrendous tragedy in Iran for political gain and with CNN for trying to milk ratings by ignoring the dozens and dozens of Iranian EXPERTS, Iranian people Republicans and pundits who agree with the stance President Obama has taken.

    You may be helping your :career" but you are destroying your credibility as a journalist.

    June 21, 2009 at 12:24 am |
  3. Gene Garman

    Iran: another illustration as to the value of the American constitutional principle of separation between religion and government.

    June 21, 2009 at 1:03 am |
  4. Beth_Albany_OR

    re-post

    Transfixed on my TV tuned to CNN, I have been on the Net to try to distract myself from the horror I see on the screen. While surfing I found the following:

    IRAN’S NATIONAL ANTHEM LYRICS

    English Translation

    Upwards on the horizon rises the Eastern Sun,
    The sight of the true Religion.
    Bahman – the brilliance of our Faith.
    Your message, O Imam, of independence and freedom
    is imprinted on our souls.
    O Martyrs! The time of your cries of pain rings in our ears.
    Enduring, continuing, eternal,
    The Islamic Republic of Iran.

    There is not much I can say after sharing this with you all.

    June 21, 2009 at 1:11 am |
  5. Fishnlawyr

    One of the protestors just said that the opposition leader is the man to lead the Islamic Revolution. Somehow the word "revolution" keeps popping up... Are we ignoring their message simply because the opposition isn't Ahmadinejad

    June 21, 2009 at 1:48 am |
  6. ugo

    seriously these republicans should back off on the presidents' position on Iran. The world is changing,and president Obama is not a bully,they shouldn't force him into being one,the presidents position is simply put,the right one. I like the fact that Iranians have risen up against their stifiling rule. Sometimes getting the job done may require doing it from the inside out. We are witnessing a shift in consciousness,a change in uderstanding,and Obama foriegn policy approach has created a new awakening which is already yeilding a results,people have actully started reasoning.This is only the begining that we are witnessing.

    June 21, 2009 at 2:05 am |
  7. An Iraninan American Woman

    As an Iranian American woman who lived through revolution and war in Iran from 1972 to 2001, I am deeply saddened by the recent events in Iran. I am troubled that President Obama has not spoken out more strongly against the Iranian government for its brutality. Why has not President Obama condemned China and Russia for supporting Iran's government? Why is not UN demanding Iran's parties to come to a resolution to respect the human rights of Iranians? Is it too much to request for Iranian People to have rights to free elections and free speech? For the security of my family in Iran I had to use general name.

    June 21, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  8. barry johnson

    im still waiting to hear about obamas tax plan about people makeing 50.000 and under income not hafting to pay federal tax like he said in huis campain for office as presadent of united states . i want cnn to confront him on this he promissed he would do this when he was elected . im very serious about this . i want it to happen no more lies to get elected

    June 21, 2009 at 7:59 pm |
  9. nazanin

    Don thanks so much for covering the news. PLEASE PLEASE stop interviewing with CIA agents. Iranian government will take advantage of this and say that this movement is related to CIA. its destructive.

    Also please when showing Los Angeles protests, don't show pro shah flags. This will also be destructive on our MOVEMENT. They have agenda. They want the regime to fall completely. This is not what the movement is for right now. PLEASE PLEASE. we don't want senators of US telling what Obama should do. Obama is a wise man and his position is wise.

    June 21, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  10. Marie

    I am astounded that the UN, which we would normally believe is in place to protect our human rights worldwide, can stand by idly without taking any action in the situation happening in Iran. I can understand president Obama's stance on the situation, but surely the UN should take action. It seems to me now that the UN is useless in emergency situations! They should really DO SOMETHING! THIS IS REAL LIFE, NOT A MOVIE!
    -M

    June 21, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  11. Cyrus Koresh Manavi

    This is the time for the West to stand behind the Iranian people, The Freedom Fighters, those who are challenging the brutal regime of Iran. They have opened a new front on the war on terrorism, on oppression and Talebanism. It is the duty of the world to stand behind them and help them to topple this stronghold of terrorism. This is the turning point in the Middle East everyone has been looking for. The brave Iranian men and women have opened the new front and U.S needs to support them. The West should refuse recognizing the Iranian government, freeze their assets, cut commercial ties and close the lifelines of the regime. These will make the regime fall. LONG LIVE IRAN. LONG LIVE FREEDOM, LONG LIVE DEMOCRACY.

    June 21, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  12. Howard Edmond

    Questions:

    What are average Iranians who voted for status quo think of the protests and the violence?

    To what extent do Iranians feel that either of the following had an impact on recent events – Obama's Speech in Cairo. Elections in Irag?

    To what extent, if any, are protesting Iranians looking to the West (especially the U.S.) for support?

    I have not seen any of t this addressed.

    June 21, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  13. Mehry H.

    I would like to ask CNN newsgroup to share with all the viewers that it is time for United Nations to send its troops to Iran to help the very courageous people of Iran who have put their lives on line to seek justice, freedom. The Iranians have taken the major step, to go out with empty hands and fight with these facshistic regim. With no help from UNited Nations, I am afraid this movement is going to die. Who knows when again, Iranian people can gain enough strength to make the move again. This is a very crucial moment. Help the movement before it dies.Please ask UN to send its troops and help. Please ask UN to bombard the homes of the so called leaders of this brutal regim.
    Thank YOu.

    June 21, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  14. Kath Udell

    Thank you, Don and CNN for bringing the moment to moment events in Iran to those of us watching and praying for the people in Iran. This is such a massive, historical event which needs to be told to all of the world. You are the only network meeting this challenge and I am grateful for your efforts. This is incredible, heart wrenching information but so utterly important for all to hear and understand.
    Please continue to let the Iranian people know that many of us in the U.S. condemn this injustice to them and support their belief in and fight for freedom.
    Thank you and please keep up your round the clock coverage for those of us watching and praying.

    June 21, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  15. confidential

    Iranian people making another big mistakes. They are acting very emotionally and do not think a few steps further. In my opinion there is little difference between AhmadiNejad and Mosavi. If Mosavi take over he will do the same path as Ahmadi with little changes. Iran worst problem is economy. Amoung those four candidates there was one with a PH.D degree in economy others have degree ion religios study (Karoubi), constraction and road (AhmadiNejad) and an Architect (Mosavi). The best candidate was Dr. Rezaiee with true ability to soilve Iran economic problems.

    This is true that election and people votes was stolen but this was happening in last 30 years. I am happy I did not vote because I beleive my vote wont count.

    By they way protestors attached a police station and set it on fire. What you expect from them? What American police will do to you if you point finger at them?

    I am against violence but both side, protestors and police, should respect that. I have seem some people set police car on fire. This is not a civilized way to get your right. At the end I hope Ahmadinejad resign or force to leave this position.

    June 21, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  16. TONY088

    When Russia became the Soviet Union, they had revolutions every 12 years: Hungarian Uprising in 1956, Prague Spring in 1968, Polish Solidarity in 1980 while fighting the Afghanistan War and it was the econcomic situation that helped bring about the end of the Soviet Union. Iran is having just about the same problem and once again, econmoics is helping to bring about the hopeful end of another distasteful regime. I wonder if the people in North Korea are paying attention, that this is how you the people help to change your government. Long live the people of Iran!

    June 21, 2009 at 10:53 pm |
  17. AH

    Please continue broadcasting this brutal crackdown on the innocent Iranian people. This is History in the making, I as an Iranian am heartbroken at seeing young people murdered. We cannot ignore this.

    June 21, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  18. Sharon

    The People of Iran are asking the World for support. Lets show it with Green Ribbons on our Trees, or Cars, or any creative way we can. Thank You for CNN's Coverage!

    June 21, 2009 at 11:11 pm |
  19. CAROL

    Don:
    Many Americans do not realize that IRANIANS ARE NOT ARABS, but are Persians who follow the faith of Islam. Thus, religion is their only shared commonality.

    June 21, 2009 at 11:15 pm |
  20. CAROL

    Don:
    Many Americans do not realize that IRANIANS ARE NOT ARABS, but are Persians who follow the faith of Islam. Thus, religion is their only shared commonality.

    June 21, 2009 at 11:16 pm |
  21. oldstimer

    Hi Don, I watch CNN daily and I am amazed at the criticism of President Obama by his opponents who did not want him to be president of the United States, while others more knowledgeable of the Iranian country warn against President Obama saying anything because whatever he says will be ammunition for the Iranian President against his people and the U.S..
    I deeply emphasize with the Iranian people and pray for the people being mistreated. But with such a great out cry from menbers of our government offices for President Obama to get tough with the Iranian government, I cannot help but question, where was their voices when Blacks were beaten, killed, and jailed for non-violent protest of violation of their HUMAN rights?
    I think Obama should carefully monitor the situation and only intervene when the situation becomes a threat to American lives. We cannot try to control how other contries treat their citizens' when we in the U.S. fail to care and protect our own.
    Oldstimer

    June 21, 2009 at 11:23 pm |
  22. Pam

    I don't quite understand why United States is not taking a tougher stand to stop all this nonsense in Iran? How long can we sit here and watch these innocent people getting killed? It's really disturbing to think that we can't do anything to stop this massacre. one has to remember that in the eyes of Iranian government U.S has always been the greatest enemy (great satan), so why not get in there and help the poor people :(((((((

    June 21, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
  23. Mitra

    Dear President Obama,

    You see worse thsan Darfur in Iran, and you do not care !

    All the Neda's from Iran

    June 22, 2009 at 12:04 am |
  24. Mina

    Dear Don Lemon and rest of CNN news cast:

    It is horrifying to see that you are sensationalizing what is going on in Iran, by minutes to minutes broadcasting, unedited version of what people sending you. I was watching last night, I could not believe that segment about home invasion, you call that reporting? Continue this format and CNN will lose it's credibility as an news media outlet. Reporting and giving wordy news, takes time and effort. Do your job, go through the video clips pick some that are clear and report it as is, do not try to put your version. I also encourage you to get in touch with people in Iran that are in other side and get their side of the story too. I should say Christian Amanpoor's report is more objective and news wordy. Hope to see the change.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:15 am |
  25. commenturn

    Let us be extremely cautious about weighing in on the Iranian mess unless we know which one of the two bad guys is the worst. The hint will come when the emerging "victor" proclaims his disdain for the West, announces which country is to be wiped out and asserts Iran's right to continue with its nuclear development. Sadly in the meantime there's nothing we can do there to stoke the democratic fires.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  26. Jenna

    The Iranian protestors are our sisters and brothers. They are fighting for their freedom. The young daughters and sons are our daughters and sons. This is a momentous historical event and we are watching your courage and bravery. This is a pivotal moment: do not give up your efforts. Do not give up on your universal asperation for freedom and to exercise your own voice. Your American friends are praying for you.

    In order to prevail, your leadership needs to communicate clearly to your people. You need to be united, standing together, silently with non-resistance. Request that your leaders come forward to help you organize your efforts. You will be safer. You can do anything–you can accomplish your goals. All members of your society, including the young, old, business owners need to stand firm with you. Together you can do this. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandmothers, grandfather's join your children in solidarity. If you are truly all united, you will be safer.

    We will keep praying for you all. God bless you and be with you.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  27. kenny

    president Obama is doing the rigth thing about not saying much about what is going on in Iran. American's we have our own issue. we appointed Pres. Obama to fix our broken economy. so he still has a lot to do.

    June 23, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  28. MEW

    I happen to channel surf over lunch to CNN and the report was talking about Iran and how the "government" run media there was not reporting on the protests and violence today but rather reporting soccer scores, weather etc....I found this rather strange as we all watch our "government" essentially and slowly take control of "our" (American) media. Perfect example is the ABC/Obama network which will be televising the so-called "Heathcare Crisis" in America infommercial that will air this week during prime time (BTW, I will not watch). Especially concerning is the fact that they will not have the opposing viewpoint with opposing experts. If that's not "government" run media, I don't know what is.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  29. Emma

    I viewed the death of the Iranian girl Dena on your broadcast. It was, and is deeply unsettling to watch a life pass in front of you like that. I know many have passed in similar and/or worse conditions. We are all becoming too numb to this, thank you CNN. May the power(s) that be have mercy on us all.

    June 23, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  30. Ash

    I just talked to my cousin from Iran online and she said that this protesting will not stop soon that's for sure.

    June 23, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  31. Cyrus

    Toaday break news on CNN put a total stop on news from IRAN. This create a serious danger to the lives of millions of people inside IRAN. CNN please Resume news from IRAN now, tommorro is late, Remember Rewanda and all the killing against humanity that took place. CNN is playing a big roll here, please do not turns your back to the millions of people

    June 26, 2009 at 5:57 am |

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