This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

December 28, 2009
Iranian government enforces crackdown on opposition

A day after political violence swept across Iran, authorities have announced a major crackdown on opposition leaders.

Large-scale political violence has returned to the streets of Tehran, but foreign media have been banned by the Iranian government from covering the protests.

Post-election protests are now in their sixth month, and demonstrators are now frequently attacking Basiji security forces.

For more on the situation in Iran, Martin Savidge interviews Ervand Abrahamian, an Iranian-American who is a distinguished professor of history at the City University of New York.

And Rosalind Jordan of Al Jazeera English reports on the latest developments

Should the Obama administration do something to encourage the opposition movement in Iran?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please be respectful and on-point. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted, and repeat offenders will be banned.

For more, view our Voices of Iran extended coverage page and listen to our online radio show on Baha’i faith and modern Iran.

bookmark    print

Comments

37 comments

#37

Allow Israel to take care of them.

#36

On thinking about the Iranian people and their struggle for a decent goverment over the dictator they now have – yes we should intervene – there is lots of things the US and Western Europe could do, economic and trade sanctions, covert political action both internally and externally and military covert operations at all of their various branches Army, Airforce and Naval we need to help the iranian people who are giving their lifes to oust this evil man in power in Iran – he’s a sick puppy to say the least. Outspoken

#35

The US must take a moral stand in Iran. We should not have supported the Shah! We should not support the Iranian government by sitting on the fence and not calling their repression a crime against all of human society.

#34

The good news is that counter-revolution is short lived. The bad news is that these so-called pious leaders and fighters of the government have no where to go and will put up a fight.

I hope there are few deaths and my respect and best wish wishes to the beautiful people of Iran.

#33

Let’s stop interfering in other countries’ businesses. Historically, we back too many of the wrong people. Let them decide for themselves.

#32

To be straight-forward about this I think this is to complicated or they are to naive for the Obama W. H. Gang to get a hold -on-it.What is the politlal fallout ? To what side of history will Obama side with ? The fear-less Iranian People who seek justice and a Govt. who deceved them. or will Obama side with the Islamic Regime or the Islamic Theocratic who are most tyrannical & illegitmate Govt. WHAT more .. PROOF does Obama need to see that AHMADINEJAD…is UNWILLING TO UNCLENCH HIS ..FIST’S weather it be the U.S. or his own ..PEOPLE !…..ONE GENERATION DREAMS REVOLUTION….IS THE NEXT’S GENERATION’S.. NIGHT-MARE ? !

#31

Normally I would no we should not get involved. But with a movement now apparently underway to oust the dictator they have there – we should facilitate the effort and stand by the Iranian people. I do agree with most of the writers on this though. Particularly # 1 Gevais N. Jefferson when the viewer states we’re spread too thin and our infrastructure is crumbling around our necks, people still have no jobs and Wall Street Bankers and Investment houses are taking the American people to the cleaners. What the Wall Street Bankers did was black mail the American Tax Payers into bailing out their corruption by telling us that we would have a depression if we the tax payers did not bail them out. Obama needs to direct his attention at home as well as abroad – we’re the ones that put him in office not foreign governments or did they through campaign contributions – I’m not sure. JW @ USA

#30

WE SHOULD KEEP OUR NOSES OUT OF OTHER COUNTRIES BUSINESS, IT ONLY TURNS THEM AGAINST US, AND OBAMA IS STARTING TO SOUND JUST LIKE BUSH.

#29

Too much restriction leads to resistance; too much allowance leads to corruption. If the Iranian government wants to remain intact, it must, to some extent, loosen its hold on civil liberties. The United States, however, has been too lenient over many decades, and has lost a lot of its original distinction. We have baffling problems of our own, and are not in the best position to advise others.

#28

The Obama administration needs to concentrate on rebuilding America, not sticking it’s nose in another country’s affairs. Speak for peace if they must, but nothing more. It is their country. The Iranian people are an intelligent, gracious, and beautiful people whom will get tired and raise against the current cruel regime. Peace.

#27

No, let this country self emplode, it well self correct with us and it’s naighbors and all well
be more right in the region.

#26

I do not think that the Obama administration should get involved because the Theocracy will only use it as propaganda an an excuse to brutally crack down on their own people. They did not need our help when they overthrew the Shah.

#25

We must all consider the fact that we are all a part of the same (whole) globe. If you are diagnosed with a malignant tumor on your smallest toe and are advised to cut it off or it will spread to the point of your death… What would you do? Eradicate that part of the whole or allow for the contaminated negative condition to eventually spread? You cannot negotiate with what is evil.. the only choice is to wipe it out. All form/s of bondage hold back the ability to prosper with no limitations.

#24

Pres. Obama (i.e. our gov’t)should say and do nothing. Any interference will give the regime reason to blame the U.S. for the violence, and just as in Iraq after the first Gulf War, the rioters may interpret the support that the U.S. would promise aid if the situation turns to revolution, again tainting our image abroad when no aid is forthcoming.

#23

Encouraging the opposition movement in Iran might be a much better idea than penalizing millions of innocent Iranians who do not approve of their own government by imposing economic sanctions on the entire country.

#22

President Obama should do or say SOMETHING! The administration has been sitting around while this unstable and dangerous Islamic Republic has threatened the destruction of Israel, given arms and support to terrorists, intruded into Iraq to sieze an oil refinery and has lied about it’s nuclear intentions. When is the President going to step up to the plate and really do something.

#21

The best thing the Obama administration can do, aside from the few words of support offered by the President today, is to Chill out!
The People of Iran are fed up as it is, they don’t need any help from the White House to continue the unfinished business of the so-called “Islamic Revolution”!!
To quote Ayatollah Kadivar (a visiting scholar in the US): “…There hasn’t been a Revolution in Iran yet.”
It’s very likely, that we are all witnessing the first “Real Revolution” ever, in this Ancient Land…..

Peace, Love & Respect.

#20

Life was never meant to be complex,it was always based on the binary system of logically split-rationale,….on/off,…light/darkness,…life/death,…belief/denial,…faith/reality,…war/peace,…love/hatred,…alpha/omega,…heads/tails,and the beat goes on in a circle,from beginning to end,and end to beginning, forever. You pick your poison,… rightousness versus evil,…God or Satan,only mankind could complicate simplicity. everything is fixed, and no one earth, or in the afterlife can change what has to be ,be?

#19

[…] WorldFocus (video): For more on the situation in Iran, Martin Savidge interviews Ervand Abrahamian, an Iranian-American who is a distinguished professor of history at the City University of New York. […]

#18

Please don’t insult my intelligence by asking for a response to a complex issue, based upon a very superficial (though appreciated) coverage of the issue. Don’t treat me as an idiot that will react as a talk radio host. You insult your viewers by asking such stupid questions. The answer is not simple, and few of us are prepared to give ANY RATIONAL ANSWER. What does the opinion of an uninformed fool have to do with what SHOULD be done, as judged by skilled people who deal with such issues every day?

#17

Considering our history with over throwing regimes via proxy i.e. (Central America); President Obama should remain neutral and not instigate the situation. Moreover, the relative deprivation experienced by the Iranian society coupled with the predominantly young demographics of Iran will manage to secure their overall objectives by themselves.

#16

It is obvious that the Iranian government is close to being overthrown. The Iranian people have reached the breaking point with a government who kills it’s own citizens, conducts fraudulent elections, and places it’s country in great pearl with lies about their nuclear objectives,(bombs), which could ultimately lead to the destruction of Iran. I doubt there is anything President Obama could say or do but let the people of Iran change the direction of their country future.

#15

The United States is likely already involved in a covert manner in facilitating these protests in Iran. Stop and think for a moment. Who stands to gain the most from a destabilization and possible eventual overthrow of the Khamenei/Ahmadinejad Govt? Who then would be the primary beneficiary of the elimination of Iran’s nuclear programme? There is little doubt the answer(s) to these two questions is the United States and Israel and perhaps to a lesser extent the present Govt’s of Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

#14

Protesters have already made it clear to president Obama in their chantings “Obama you are either with us or with THEM”. Presdient Obama cannot claim be on the side of freedom fighters and at the same considering sitting at the negotiation table with a brutal regim which is killing its own people.

#13

The united States and Iran are currently caught up in the middle of intense negotiations with respect to the controversial nuclear program of Iran. Negotiations, which so far, have not produce any signs of progress. Therefore, interfering with Iran domestic affairs will toughen any attempts to normalize US-Iran relations. I strongly discourage the West of any sort of reach out.

#12

I agree with Victor Krottner, that what President Obama is doing is perfectly correct. Obama made a speech today saying that he hoped that the end result would be according to the will of the people of Iran. President Obama by speaking out on human rights in Iran will give the necessary support to the opposition. Anything more would be meddling in Iranian affairs and would neither help the US nor the opposition.

#11

What President Obama is doing is perfectly correct. He made a speech today saying in affect that he hoped that end result would be according to the will of the people. Anything more than that would unify Muslims against America and shift the focus onto us and away from the social reasons of the fraud election.

President Obama is doing exactly the right thing.

#10

The Iranian people that oppose the Irianian government are doing a fine job all on their own in the opposition of their government. Those opposed to the Iranian government will topple it. We should let them do it and stay out of it.

#9

Nuke ’em. If we don’t nuke them first, they will nuke us.

#8

Obama and the US Government should stay out of Iran’s internal affairs.

#7

Everything we ever do is wrong!
Why should Obama join the ranks of the illustrious.

#6

NOTHING!!! We need to mind our own business. If we are seen to interfere, it will come back to bite us.

#5

I agree with Gevais, its not right for America to interfere with another country’s politics at this time. I would take it a step further to say that America has no business sticking its nose into every country it wants to. America is not the world government or world police. America should respect other countries national sovereignty and deal with its own internal problems.

#4

Should we meddle (cut the camel’s nose off before he horns-in the tent?),on the contrary,..nay! I have three quotes of indifference: #1 James Reston: This is the devilish thing about foreign affairs; they are foreign,and will not always conform to our whim. #2 Graham Greene: Despair is the price one pays for setting oneself an impossible aim. ie.)Any victim demands allegiance. #3 Stanley Baldwin: * I think it is well also for the man in the street to realize that there is no power on earth that can protect him from being bombed. Whatever people may tell him,the bomber will always get through. The only defense is in offence,which means that you have to kill more women and children more quickly than the enemy if you want to save yourselves.*,… it is only appropriate to finish with this thought,…WWl,and WWll were started by much smaller indifferences,but alas, the consequences of WWlll could be “Forever”!

#3

The US government has offered open, verbal support to the Iranian protesters, but not much more should be done. This is a fight for the Iranian people. They must win their own freedom as we have ours. Let’s not forget that many of these people that are on the streets today were chanting “Death to America” only a few years ago (whether their heart was in it or not). Now we are obligated to help them? I think verbal and moral support is the best we can offer and the right thing to do. I personally support anyone striving for freedom from oppression, but if a US hand is seen in this movement in Iran, it will only backfire.

#2

It’s misleading to think that foreign leaders have much influence over events such as these; they will either succeed or not, depending on what people in Iran choose. Any attempts to get involved may simply backfire.

#1

Absolutely not! The President and the US government are already spread too thin and as a consequence the American infrastructure is crumbling, people are still without jobs, affordable health-care is still ages away and Wall Street is still getting away with robbing this country blind! So, no.

Facebook Twitter YouTube

Produced by Creative News Group LLC     ©2018 WNET.ORG     All rights reserved

Distributed by American Public Television