On air: Iran protests

Iranian police have clashed with opposition supporters in the latest sign that the fall-out from the election continues. We’ll do our best to speak to all sides to find out what they’ve seen, and what they want. (Though I’ll admit that finding an English-speaking Iranian policeman who’s prepared to speak to us may be beyond even our producers.) If you have any questions as well as comments, please post them here.

31 Responses to “On air: Iran protests”

  1. 1 Ronald Almeida
    December 7, 2009 at 14:18

    Why don’t you find interpreters, since you do so for a lot of unnecessary subjects that serve your purpose? In any case you don’t need to interview policemen since they are just following orders as any where in the west. Interview those who are responsible for their orders. You are the BBC not they.

    • 2 Panteha
      December 8, 2009 at 08:54

      Well said Ronald, the BBC is just so off sometimes. The Students are so courageous and risking their lives organizing these rallies… why don’t we cover what they are going through and interview them? Nearly all the students speak English! Today was a decisive day for the students as thousands of them gathered and showed up at all the major universities across Iran. We want to know how things went and if there were any casualties, I could care less what an illiterate policeman think! To all the students in Iran, I hope you will keep these movements to see change in your once glorious country. Your dedication will pay off one day. We admire you!

  2. 3 Roberto
    December 7, 2009 at 14:26

    RE “” If you have any questions as well as comments, “”

    ————- Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Egypt, all in the front line for the Islamic based civil wars that have been smoldering and ready to burst forth in sweeping fires of anarchy.

    I’d like to know how much support these Tehran student based demonstrations have with the rural citizens of Iran? I suspect support for these dustups dissipates with distance from the capital.

    • 4 Laila
      December 8, 2009 at 03:24

      I’m sorry, but that’s an unbelievably ignorant statement to make. For a while there was a narrative that it was only the rich, educated students in Tehran who dislike the regime. That is blatantly false.

      Firstly, Iranians have always been pretty progressive themselves. This is even so in the rural regions. For example, in the 1997 presidential election, the reformist Khatami won by a huge landslide- he campaigned on more freedom and rights for women. Turnout was also high that year. Khatami would go on to be re-elected in 2001, winning an almost 80% landslide. Basically, the pattern is that high turnout has usually favoured reformists.

      There was a huge boycott by reformists in the election Ahmadinejad won. Even then, he didn’t win in the first round, and only garnered a majority in the second round run-off. Many in the rural regions may be social conservatives but they feel Ahmadinejad’s economic policies have been disastrous for them- the Iranian economy is in bad shape and only got worse under him.

  3. 5 crispo, Uganda
    December 7, 2009 at 15:01

    I wonder how long democracy will be kept at the sidelines of society. Don’t people have a right to express their views? This is serious. I hope we as a world are heading in the right place.

  4. 6 Ibrahim in UK
    December 7, 2009 at 15:43

    Student Day in Iran marks the day in 1953 when students who were protesting against the US were shot dead by Iranian police. Does the Iranian regime see the paralells between those protests and these?
    Is the atmosphere and resentment to the current regime similar to the atmosphere and resentment to the US-installed dictatorship in 1953?
    If the Iranian people are not happy with your system of government as directed by Khameini or any other supreme leader, how can they change it?

    • 7 Tori
      December 7, 2009 at 16:59

      Great point Ibrahim. If you are not allowed to express your opinions by voting, demonstrating, writing, or sharing information, that significantly diminishes the opportunity for dialog. When the regime chooses to arrest the leaders of student movements, women’s movements, and reform movements instead of entering into a dialog with them, it loses the chance for peaceful change.

      I am afraid that the opposition in Iran will get more and more radicalized as the regime shuts down the voices of reason and moderation.

  5. 8 Dan
    December 7, 2009 at 16:25

    Certainly the present Islamic regime is more brutal than Savaak ever was. Today they have arrested the MOTHERS of those killed by the Revolutionary Guard and police.
    The moral and religious vacancy of Iranian Ayatollahs showing itself.
    The situation is devolving and Islam is losing its mandate to rule as one can only see aremed insurrection and a violent overthrow of the Ayatollahs and the illigitimate baboon in power.
    Throughout the world police share a common bond and respect despite different political syatems. The Iranian police seem to have set themselves on a different path as the law is irrelevant to them. Why should anyone have any respect for them?

  6. December 7, 2009 at 16:30

    It is up to the people to revolt WITHOUT any foreign help. A revolt does not begin in blood, but in intelligence warfare. It is true by most accounts that the closer to the big cities, the more you will find opposition and the more rural you will find more conservative traditionalists. This is the same the world over. Those near or in big cities MUST do their part to show the more rural folks what is really going on. The opposition forces must first wage a campaign, albeit sub rosa, to “change” the hearts and minds of their more hardliner peers.

  7. 10 Mathusalem
    December 7, 2009 at 16:45

    It’s amazing how the International community is very reluctant to impose sanctions on Iran. African countries like Zimbabwe which are not threat to other states were sanctioned immediately…

  8. 12 Lindsay
    December 7, 2009 at 16:50

    Are you going to have students involved in the protests as well? I don’t see the point in having a conversation with a policeman when you don’t have the point of view of the students present. Though, I do understand the the Iranian government has severely reduced internet and cell phone access.

    I hope the students prevail in getting their government to change.

  9. December 7, 2009 at 16:53

    Student protest/people protest,it means someone is not happy.Irans president comes across,to me,as a spoilt ten year old.Caught out with his hidden nuclear plant,he now yells to the world the he will build another ten.Not only that,he also accuses the west of killing Neda Agha Soltan.(I wonder when he’ll run away from home?) But just to make absolutely sure that all is fair and square,he bans foreign journalists from reporting,on his democratic republic!

  10. 14 Nathan Coombs
    December 7, 2009 at 16:56

    Mir Hossein Mousavi, who supported the sending of tens of thousands of ‘martyrs’ unnecessarily over the trenches in the war against Iraq, and who tacitly supported the mass murder of tens of thousands of political dissidents in 1988 is now going to lead the masses against the regime is he?

    More likely he will play his cards well to gain more power and wealth while his supporters get rounded up and dumped in Evin prison.

    No movement against the Islamic Republic can be based on support for Mousavi. The man is a principleless, regime insider with blood on his hands. The green movement is going nowhere.

  11. 15 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    December 7, 2009 at 17:05

    @ Ibrahim; Right on!

    The Iranian demonstrators should know that all people in the world who care about fairness and human rights are rooting and praying for them.

  12. 16 steve/oregon
    December 7, 2009 at 17:05

    Are these protests going to gain any actual momentum or are they like the ones after the election and just “much ado about nothing”?

  13. 17 vijay
    December 7, 2009 at 17:47

    Well US agent provocateurs and Iranian royalists stirring things up again. A stable Iran is needed to deal with afghanistan and russia and a government with a legitimate mandate is required to negotiate nuclear deals.

  14. 18 Tony from Singapura
    December 7, 2009 at 17:49

    I think that power is corrupting the current leaders.

    The Islamic aspect of the government of Iran is less a controlling influence on the leaders than was originally intended.

    Now the real islamic Ayatollahs are being sidelined for the purpose of sustaining those that are in power.

    The State of Iran is on the slippery slope to failure.

    There will be a great gnashing of teeth.

  15. 19 Peter_scliu
    December 7, 2009 at 18:11

    What concerns the west is a nuclear armed Iran . The pro democrasy Iranians are lambs to be korban ( sacrifice ) for the cause of the west. If there is any rewards the west and zionist will reap.

  16. 20 Tom K in Mpls
    December 7, 2009 at 18:32

    All I have to say is I hope when it is over, there will be a leader we can negotiate with. As it is, you can’t negotiate with a president with no say or a supreme leader that will not talk. When this changes, they will no longer be a political balckhole. Other than that, I don’t care what happens. It is their future to decide.

  17. 21 Venkat in North carolina
    December 7, 2009 at 18:42

    With so much resentment against the current Government inside Iran, I think this is a great oppurtunity to orchestrate a coup D’Etat and overthrow this regime. They do not have the nukes yet, drag your feet on this and you’ll have another North Korea in your hands.

  18. 22 Shannon in Ohio
    December 7, 2009 at 19:39

    I have read quite a bit lately about another move on the part of the Iranian government to shut down applications like twitter. How is this affecting the current protests.

  19. 23 What do they want?
    December 7, 2009 at 20:06

    They have not even ONE political message. Besides Moussavi being a bad looser. IMHO the Iranian gouvernements reaction is still VERY calm. If the street can decide elections we dont have reason to be happy.

  20. 24 Adam
    December 7, 2009 at 20:45

    Iran has done nothing wrong with regard to building nuclear facilities. They have followed international law, and since they are under NO obligation to following international law, as a sovereign nation, then Iran has done the west a favor. We should return the favor and withdraw the CIA, MI6, and Non-Governmental Organizations presently working in Iran. Let Iran smooth out it’s own political issues peacefully! Why do we (Americans) feel the need to threaten other countries with violence because we’re not pleased with their political leaders. This has nothing to do with nuclear weapons and everything to do with total control over the Caspian Basin oil reserves in the 21st century. The western think-tanks have admitted to this on paper.

    George Soros, Kissinger, Blair, Gordan, Bush, and Obama are all the same! Wake up! They’re all playing for the same team, and they mean to destroy what’s left of our freedom.

  21. 25 crissie in brighton uk
    December 7, 2009 at 21:20

    Iran students are at the head of these demonstrations but the population as a whole is fed up with the Islamic republic. they want democracy! a proper democracy like we enjoy in the West. Coup D’Etat would take the backing of the military and unfortunately all military is in the hands of this evil regime.People power will over throw this regrim and hopefully peace will be restore to this beautiful Persian country.

  22. 26 Nathan Xu in Adelaide Australia
    December 8, 2009 at 03:02

    I think Iranians know the meaning of free speech. They are always on the street to protest against what they feel of injustice in the election process. At least the they are speaking out with such action. Let’s not forget even some of the world’s biggest country don’t have a democratic government. I hope Iranian police will give Iranian opposition bit more freedom to express themselves.

  23. 27 T
    December 8, 2009 at 04:33

    Does anybody see the irony here? In Iran, people take things like protest very seriously. Despite the enormous odds against them they take to the streets.

    Now imagine if you saw the same thing all over the States. The MSM can only censor it for so long before it becomes “a story.” THEN what do you do?

  24. December 8, 2009 at 07:42

    I am a nigerian in Abuja.I think that the iranian authorities does not have the feeling of breeding a generation that will have the freedom to associate with their fellow from other parts of the world.Please tell them to leave the youth alone.

  25. December 8, 2009 at 11:24

    am a Kenyan. i do believe Iranian and we Kenyans are facing similar problems. but i know that tolerance always pays. the margin between today and next election is not forever hence they should not continue risking their live for nothing. the problem is not the people in power instead it is the system itself . we have only 3 years to see our president off from power and we will be able to sort out things. you Iranian wait .

  26. 30 mat hendriks
    December 9, 2009 at 07:37

    What is the reason of protest?

  27. 31 Musa Dutti
    December 9, 2009 at 14:59

    People do protest 4 many reasons.The protest in Iran started as an expression of disagreement with election results that gave d incumbent president,Ahmadinejad a landslide victory. But covertly d intention is 2 dethrone d government of d Islamic Republic of Iran n replace it with a western form of government that suit d life styles of d aristocrats against d wishes of d majority of d Iranian people.
    Therefore,d protest in Iran is not a call 4 legal redress or reform within d existing legal frame work.But a total rejection of d basic law of d society.

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