Why no Iranian Spring?
Defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi waves to the crowd during a massive demonstration in Tehran in June 2009. Protests in Iran were not able to produce the rapid changes that were in seen countries such as Egypt and Tunisia. (Getty Images)
August 1st, 2011
11:00 AM ET

Why no Iranian Spring?

A wave of protests have toppled, reformed or at least shaken governments all across the Arab world.  But the winds of change seem to come to an abrupt stop outside Iran. Why? Here are 7 reasons:

1. Iranians rose up in 2009

In the summer of 2009, millions of Iranians rose up to protest the contested election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. To this day, thousands of protesters and activists remain imprisoned. Indeed, Wael Ghonim, the internationally renowned Egyptian activist and Google executive said Egyptians learned from the Iranian people.

2. Fear of revolutions

Maziar Bahari, a journalist for Newsweek who was arrested during the post-election protests in 2009 (check out his recent interview with Fareed Zakaria) believes that, “Iranians experienced the sudden change of revolution 32 years ago. So they approach any sudden change with caution. They do not want another revolution.”

“Iranians have come to this conclusion that radical change might lead to unintended and irreversible consequences,” said Omid Memarian, an Iranian journalist who was arrested in Tehran in 2004 .

Akbar Ganji, a prominent dissident and journalist who was imprisoned for six years, in an extensive article on an Iranian reformist website, wrote that Iranians wanted to use reforms rather than revolutions to create change.

3. Western-backed dictators are easier to topple

“Iran was more like 1989 China than 2011 Egypt or Tunisia,” said Farideh Farhi, a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center. “The regime was able to maintain its unified will to defend itself against what it considered to be an existential threat.”

She along with Mr. Ganji believe that Iran’s decades of confrontations with the West, particularly the United States, made it difficult for protesters to gain the same amount of leverage and pressure in Iran as they did elsewhere.

4. Power is more dispersed in Iran

According to Ganji, dictators tend to enforce laws through strict hierarchies. Orders come from the top and can be traced to one power source.

Iran, on the other hand, has the Revolutionary Guards and numerous intelligence agencies that control and survey many aspects of Iranian society. With such a large and complicated system, it’s hard to know who is giving the orders to repress the population.

5. Religious propaganda

“The Iranian government has a giant propaganda machine that is capable of framing a message and making it dominant for a large portion of the population,” said Memarian in an e-mail to CNN.  He believes that the opposition and the West have underestimated the power of Iranian propaganda.

6. Oil money

Unlike Tunisia and Egypt, whose economies are heavily based on tourism, Iran’s is mostly based on oil and gas. As such, protests that heavily disrupted the economies of Tunisia and Egypt would not have the same effect on Iran’s, says Ganji.

Also Iran’s economy is mostly in the hands of the government whereas Tunisia’s is more in the hands of private citizens. Furthermore, Tunisia has had a history of unions and organizations, whereas civil society organizations in Iran are scarce.

 7. The Supreme Leader

During the protests of 2009, calls for a revolution were noticeably absent. Instead, slogans ranged from “Ahmadi, bye bye!” to “Where’s my Vote?” This subtlety is important to note.

Opposition leaders in Iran have called for reforms mostly because they decided from the start that they were not going to get rid of the Iranian Constitution. This, according to Ganji, is problematic and created a paradox for them.

Since the opposition wants to make changes within the framework of the constitution, they can’t get rid of the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. So they picked their fight with Ahmadinejad. The opposition hoped that Khamenei would side with them, but when he said questioning the election results was a crime, they became trapped within their own framework.

Will the regime tear itself apart?

It’s hard to remain hopeful with the above list of obstacles and problems but there are signs of cracking within the regime.

Professor Hamid Dabashi from Columbia University believes Iran just has to wait its turn.

“Every country in the Arab Spring joins this chorus of revolutionary dissent with a particular tonality, playing a different instrument, as it were.  No two countries are exactly identical.  The revolutions are playing out differently in each country.  It is orchestral—each musician playing a different instrument, with a slightly different tempo, but collectively they all make a harmonious melody. One should not expect things unfold in Syria so swiftly as they did in Egypt, or in Yemen as easily as it happened in Tunisia…So Iran too has its own tempo.”

Dabashi explained that the demise of Western backed dictators has caused Iran to lose Egypt and Tunisia as enemies. “Le Monde reports that the Islamic Republic is in fact helping Gadhafi forces to prolong the U.S. and NATO involvement in what they hope will be a quagmire,” he wrote in an e-mail to CNN.

They are losing their allies as well, which signals even more trouble for the Islamic Republic.

“Hamas has decoupled from the Islamic Republic and joined the PA [Palestinian Authority].  Hezbollah is deeply in trouble in the region because of its support for Syria.  Syria is in the deepest crisis in the history of the Assad dynasty.”

Recently, traditional allies of Khamenei are admitting that there was cheating in last year's election - probably to weaken Ahmadinejad’s position.

Though the streets of Iran may be calm, the leadership is rife with deepening conflicts. Supporters of the Supreme Leader have begun arresting members of President Ahmadinejad’s inner circle.

Muhammad Sahimi a columnist for PBS’s Tehran Bureau believes anything is possible thanks to “Ahmadinejad’s erratic decision-making process."

Perhaps patience is the best strategy for the opposition right now.

As Sahimi writes, “The Green Movement may benefit if it patiently watches, and lets the two camps destroy each other."

Topics: Iran • Middle East • Revolution

soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. Ali

    This would have been a timely report last March,,,Did CNN get this from their Archive?

    August 1, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • Agreed

      I agree Ali. Also, the amount of grammatical errors in the article not to mention the poor construction of it all makes me cringe. What I want to know is who Michelle and her proofreaders/editors are sleeping with for the job, because this type of writing is unacceptable. My friend's three year old can construct a better sentence than this dimwit. CNN is easily become the worst source of news. What a joke!

      August 2, 2011 at 9:49 am | Reply
      • Anthony Court

        The pot calling the kettle black:

        "Agreed
        I agree Ali. Also, the amount of grammatical errors in the article not to mention the poor construction of it all makes me cringe. What I want to know is who Michelle and her proofreaders/editors are sleeping with for the job, because this type of writing is unacceptable. My friend's three year old can construct a better sentence than this dimwit. CNN is easily become the worst source of news. What a joke!
        August 2, 2011 at 9:49 am".

        My friend['s] [sic: friends] [a] three year old [could] construct a better sentence than this dimwit. CNN [has] easily become... .
        If you are going to take issue with grammar, then use it.

        August 6, 2011 at 10:13 am |
      • Daddy

        This message is in response to your illegitimate comments made about Michelle. Everything that you say is completely subjective. And the mere fact that you are pointing towards grammatical issues is a clear indicator that your priorities obviously are in the wrong place. Nobody gives a damn about who can spell better than the other. The point is getting the message appointed for high resoning and resolve for better understanding and comprehension. LOL, incredible how you try to introduce yourself as so 'gramatically' correct and intellectually inclined while not providing a single piece of evidence proving such. You fool, go back to grade school and learn your ABCs.

        August 14, 2011 at 1:07 am |
      • jerry

        You are absolutely right about the iranian propaganda. Just read through some of the responses...
        Time to stop buying iranian oil and stop doing business with country buying it. Of crouse, that's mostly China... another propaganda machine.

        August 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Right

      They had to. The attention span of twitter users isn't long enough for Arab Spring to continue into Iranian Summer.

      August 2, 2011 at 11:14 am | Reply
    • Hugh Webber

      The most basic and powerful reasons why Iran is not involved in the Arab Spring are the ones which the writer hasn't given i.e. the Iranians are not Arabs, they have a different language, different culture, different history and also they are Shiite Moslems not Sunni Moslems that form the majority of Arabs.
      Is she not aware of this?

      August 3, 2011 at 1:42 am | Reply
      • ali

        that's totally right

        August 3, 2011 at 6:34 am |
      • ILoveCoffee

        You are right. The people, well most of the people, from Arab countries are Arab, while most of the Iranians are considered Persians. Here, we have both who have moved here- some Arab or mixed race, and then there are some from Iran. Then we have some who moved here from Jordan and those areas.

        August 14, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
  2. Onesmallvoice

    The answer to the above question is simple enough. The reason that there is no so-called "Iranian Spring" is the fact that Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is still popular with the majority of the Iranian people despite the efforts of the right-wing news media to play that down. Even with all the efforts of the C.I.A. and the British MI-6 to instigate an open revolt over there, the Iranians still refuse to join the West in their quest to take over that country and that eats the right-wing thugs in Washinton, London and Paris!!!

    August 1, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Reply
    • JohnBoston

      wow I didn't know people like you actually existed.....

      August 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Reply
      • jfool

        A lot more than you think.

        August 2, 2011 at 3:12 am |
      • myvoice

        Truth may be held in minority, but there still are people can not be fooled by "revolution sellers". If you understand another language rather than just English, you will find how they brain-washed you for years!

        August 2, 2011 at 9:24 am |
    • gt

      Ha Ha Ha! Laughing Out Loud!

      August 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Reply
    • dirtystone

      Actually, the real answer is that the Iranian government will ruthlessly torture and kill the family members of those who oppose them. It keeps trouble to a minimum. I'll bet most of the protesters that took to the streets are either sorry they did it by now, or praying that they don't get caught up with.

      August 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Reply
      • Onesmallvoice

        Just take a look at what's happening in Yemen, for example. Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen is far more brutal than the President of Iran but yet the Yemenis keep protesting his bloody rule even with U.S. military intervention on his side!!!

        August 1, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
      • Reader

        DirtyStone is right on! It IS the brutal torture that suppressed the uprising. This brutality only works short term. History has showed us that brutal regimes will get destroyed.

        August 2, 2011 at 1:11 am |
      • astutemind

        @DirtyStone: WRONG!! That's not the real answer. That's the the western propaganda answer that is parroted by people like you and Reader. OneSmallVoice just demonstrated to you that Tunisia is far worse in terms of torture and it still isn't a deterrent. The FACT is that a majority of Iranian voters (who comprise the poor and those living outside the capital) did vote for Ahmadinejad. Many news organizations admitted as much.
        A chorus of propaganda parroting doesn't change that fact.

        August 2, 2011 at 8:57 am |
    • Jim

      Persians may yet free themselves from the oppressive yoke of the Muslim death cult. Zarathustra is their man, not the pedophile false prophet.

      August 1, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Reply
      • BVN

        Jim = Right

        August 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
      • Sam A.

        "Islam Death Cult"

        Take that cross out of your a$$ Jim. Its skewing your world view.

        Want actual evidence of that? Step up to any Persian Muslim living in the U.S. today and repeat those same exact words to their face. Let me know what the response pans out to be. Should be interesting.

        August 1, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
      • urmutha

        Touch S HIT SAM A. And while you're at hop on that quran and sit n spin....

        August 1, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
      • ron

        You are correct.

        August 1, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
      • Quinterius

        Zarathustra blew up in ashes. You are delusional if you think anyone will take him seriously in today's world.

        August 2, 2011 at 1:12 am |
      • FRANK OLIVER

        In Zorastism people will worship the fire irrationaly in a building even if whole building burns instead of escaping!

        August 2, 2011 at 6:05 am |
      • ali

        We have every intention of getting rid of Islam when we have the power in Iran.
        As to the person who claims our ancestors worshiped fire, it is an absolute lie invented by invading Arab barbarians. Fire is no more worshiped than the cross you might wear. It is merely a symbol; "a vehicle " god's presence in the material world, Ahura Mazda is the Lord of wisdom and creator of good and light in eternal struggle against darkness and decay. This is what they believed.

        August 3, 2011 at 12:51 am |
    • j. von hettlingen

      An "Iranian Spring" would only make sense if it was accompanied by an armed insurrection! I am afraid it wouldn't be easy as the apparatchik – the Revolutionary Guards and other intelligence forces – are brutally powerful. I understand the Iranians are more cautious to start another revolution, after having learnt their lesson in 1979. Now they hope to benefit from the "Cain and Abel" drama taking place between Ahmadinejad and Khamenei.

      August 1, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Reply
      • Reader

        jvh is correct. The people themselves have no means to protect themselves. The revolutionary guard and plain clothed agents/spies of the regime are all armed, brutal and dangerous. It is as if a whole nation has been taken hostage by this brutal regime.

        August 2, 2011 at 1:13 am |
      • astutemind

        Your are absolutely correct and any intelligent reader here know that, but many of them are reduced to scenarios of wishfully thinking aloud here on these blogs and post all kinds of convoluted irrational reasons to try to explain the simply obvious.

        August 2, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • Plexie

      Wow, that hurts, as a right wing thug in Berlin I feel left out.

      August 1, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Reply
    • spocksbrain

      Wrong. The reason the Arab spring didn't succeed in Iran was because of the iron handed tactics employed by the Basij militia thugs, the Revolutionary "guard" thugs, the Mullah thugs, and the morality police thugs. Resistance of any kind comes at a high price in Iran whether you are an accidental hiker, arrested journalist, or opposition party supporter. Fear is a powerful weapon. Hate is a powerful diversion. The Iranian regime are masters of both.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Reply
      • Reader

        spocksbrain = right on!

        August 2, 2011 at 1:14 am |
      • astutemind

        What's an accidental hiker? Someone who hikes by accident? Or do you mean a spy? Even the neo cons and their sheeple (the Iran haters) in the south don't believe these hikers were just innocently hiking in a country we're at war with near the border of an enemy country. Only soldiers or CIA do that – just like in Afghanistan. If there are Americans lollygagging around in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border they're either soldiers or CIA. As far as Iran keeping their populace repressed just like the US installed shah I have no doubt that Iran practices in some amount brutal techniques but that doesn't change the fact that the MAJORITY of Iranians support their government. That's the reason why the attempted 2nd revolution did not work.

        August 2, 2011 at 9:29 am |
    • spocksbrain

      Wrong. The reason the Arab spring didn't succeed in Iran was because of the iron handed tactics employed by the Basij militia thugs, the Revolutionary "guard" thugs, the Mullah thugs, and the morality police thugs. Resistance of any kind comes at a high price in Iran whether you are an accidental hiker, arrested journalist, or opposition party supporter. Fear is a powerful weapon. Hate is a powerful diversion. The Iranian regime are masters of both.

      August 1, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Reply
    • Quinterius

      Onesmallvoice: You are absolutely right. Ahadinejad actually won the 2009 presidential election. A number of polls both before and after the election showed that he had about 60% popularity.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:14 am | Reply
    • kevin

      Onesmallvoice, your ignorance about Iranian culture, politics, and history is about on par with your understanding of the USG, the CIA, and our sphere of influence. Stop listening to Alex Jones.

      And save yourself the conspiracy rants, I know all about what happened in 1953.

      August 2, 2011 at 7:02 am | Reply
    • simple01

      You are a pure moron......I'm sure you are one of the Hezbollah or Basiji (Islamic militia).
      I don't think you are even an Iranian. In Persian we call people like you "mozdoor".

      August 2, 2011 at 11:11 am | Reply
    • darkroomguide

      Fact is, like it or not, the people DID VOTE FOR AHMADINEJAD. Poll after poll has shown that. Western polls. Get over it.

      August 2, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  3. Big Al

    Dont forget that America is afraid of Iran. Iran has killed more Americans than Saddam ever did yet we invaded Iraq. Gaddafi was responsible for downing Pan Am over Scotland, yet we never did anything.

    My message to Iran. Go ahead with your nuclear program, nobody will touch you. Also, Congratulations, you always out do the Americans.

    August 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
    • Krish

      I'm from India and over here, saying "Iran out-does America" would make people laugh. The fact is, Iran is nothing but a disgrace to humanity. We, as well, laugh at the idiocy of Iran.

      August 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Reply
      • Petercha

        "ran is nothing but a disgrace to humanity." Amen, Krish. Let's hope that the PEOPLE of Iran rise up and overthrow their illegitimate government.

        August 1, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
      • Star Sign

        Krish is not from India. He is either an Israeli or a US right wing troll.

        August 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
      • The Prophet

        Krish;
        You moron. You better laugh at the fact that an Italian runs India, the democracy where electoral lists are stolen, destroyed ... to have the rulling elite rule, where every Indian male is a puppet to Sonia. It was British Raj, became Italian Raj and now American Raj. Will you ever be free from colonialism. Not without being free from Colonial brain washing.

        August 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
      • Sam A.

        Don't know where you're from Krish, and I couldn't care less. The point isn't what you think about Iran or Iranians, the point is do you have the stones to actually face one down and make a point like that or are you just an internet warrior who sh!ts his pants at the first sign of any real confrontation.

        Hmm... I'm guessing the latter.

        August 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
      • Sam A.

        I doubt you're from India though. I know plenty of Indians, and not a single one sounds as pathetic as you.

        August 1, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
      • OtherGuy

        Krish, Idiots are those who worship cows and have their pees and poops! Complete disgrace to humanity.

        August 1, 2011 at 9:38 pm |
      • PERSIAN

        IS ALL GAME PLAY WITH USA HAND IRAN GOVERMENT PAYING OFF AMERICAN TO STAY IN POER AMERICA NEDDIRAN AND DIRTY OIL MONEY , I HOPE ONE DAY EVERY ONE LIVE IN PEACE AND AMERICA AND GOVERMENT OF IRAN GET SMARTER

        August 2, 2011 at 7:05 am |
      • astutemind

        Krish is from India the same way Ford motor cars is from India. He's full of BS.

        August 2, 2011 at 9:33 am |
      • IndiaRocks

        @TheProphet: It's ridiculous that you describe Sonia Gandhi, the wife of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, as an Italian colonist. Perhaps it's you stupid American racism speaking. Sonia Gandhi has long embraced Indian culture and is perfectly fluent in Hindi. She's is devoted to India's success and development. So keep your obnoxious American closed-mindedness to yourself.

        August 2, 2011 at 9:39 am |
      • IndiaRocks

        @Otherguy: I'm Hindu and I don't worship cows. But I don't eat beef and I despise all who do. It's beef-eaters like you Americans that are a "disgrace to humanity".

        August 2, 2011 at 9:45 am |
      • Camilee

        Yo, Krish, me and my homie eating your God, aka the cow, and tell you what, it's deliciosoooo!!!

        August 5, 2011 at 4:07 am |
      • Bilfar

        Right on Krish! May the strong bond between the United States and India continue to grow. Thank God for you and your countrymens astute sensabilities and moral courage. The idiotic iranian Goverment make the Nazi's look like a bunch of amatuers and it's to my countrys disgrace that we did not come to the Iranian peoples aid in their desperate time of need.

        August 14, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • Petercha

      Unpatriotic much, Al?

      August 1, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Reply
      • Kraznodar

        Ever hear of sarcasm Pete?

        August 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • JPX

      To Big Al, are you retarded? You must have problems with your genes!

      August 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      Oh yes, afraid of Iran...can you feel me shaking in my boots?

      August 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      @Star Sign...I think you the troll!

      August 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Reply
    • Plexie

      And you have powerful friends in the world like H Chavez and Castro. The rest of the world clearly is in trouble.

      August 1, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Reply
    • alex

      BIG Al,we know all the facts about ,what you say,we will catch up with the world somehow. we are a young history,unlike iran.

      August 3, 2011 at 1:32 am | Reply
      • jpx

        alex, like Big Al, you are retarded with defective genes!

        August 4, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  4. JoeCool

    Iran has also had the infmaous Revolutionary Guard since the revolution in the 1970's. This military style group of "morality police" are well trained to squash protests and rebellions, especially from groups of un-armed Iranian protesters. If the people of Iran (i.e most of the younger generations and folks into their 40's) truly want change, they need large member and ARMED militias who are willing to take on the mullahs and Rev Guard.

    August 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Reply
    • Reader

      This is correct.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:17 am | Reply
  5. Hoente

    To Krish: the Indian class system (like the untouchables) is a "disgrace to humanity". Iran’s fundamental government will go one day (like so many other fundamental governments) and they will return to the right human rights standards. However, your country's culture will be hard to fix, since the people think backwards.

     
    To BigAl: What are you talking about? Who the hell cares if US is scared of Iran or not? The people of Iran suffering and that’s all that matters. And in fact you are right; Iran shouldn’t worry about the US, but, it should worry about its own people.

    to Onesmallvoice: The fact that you think majority of people support Ahmadinejad is pretty naive. The fact is that majority of Iran's population directly depend to government support (especially rural area). So they are more reluctant to demand a revolution, but as the economy deteriorates, it will be the rural people who will bring Ahmadinejad down and not "right-wing thugs in Washinton" or "C.I.A. and the British MI-6". Also when you don't have basic human rights, you don't instigation from the Western media to revolt...remember that...If everything was fine, they wouldn’t care about the instigation.

    P.S.  nice article...

    August 1, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Reply
    • Sam A.

      Krish is most likely not Indian. Its a troll.

      August 1, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  6. Arjan

    Krish, I don't know why you are trying to create hostility between Iran and India when there really is none.

    Go bow to Obama

    August 1, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Reply
    • Star Sign

      Because Krish is not from India. He is either an Israeli or a US right wing troll.

      August 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Reply
      • astutemind

        People like the poster who calls himself Krish assume readers are dumb enough not to see through his deceit and BS.

        August 2, 2011 at 9:36 am |
  7. outawork

    Thanks President Carter.

    August 1, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  8. shiro khorshid

    I was born in Iran and moved to north America when i was 15. I think Al was being sarcastic by saying that but hey I see the point he is trying to make. Why did America went to Iraq when the real problem was and still is Iran?
    sadam was a threat to these mullah and U.S got rid of him for them. I know there is lot of politics involved that ordinary citizens such as myself are not aware of but one thing is so obvious and was obvious to me even back in 2003, was that toppling sadam regim was not as necessary as it is toppling these mullah in Iran.

    August 1, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  9. Bill D,

    In a perfect world, all the innocent people and moderates of Iran could be sheltered temporarily – and then the government and hard liners liquidated. And then some semblance of peace and stability start to return to the Middle East.

    August 1, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  10. mytchyb

    WHY DON'T THEY TAKE THIS ENTIRE GODFORESAKEN COUNRTY WITH ALL ITS RESIDENT TOWELHEADS AND PRESIDENT IMINADINNERJACKET, LOAD THEM ALL INTO A GIANT ROCKET AND FIRE IT AT THE SUN. THEN MAKE IT THE 51ST STATE! PROBLEM SOLVED!!!

    August 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Reply
    • Jim

      Charlie Sheen?

      August 1, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • urmutha

      Here's one to chew on, they estimate the muslim population will double in the US by 2030. So apparently every mop top allah chanting dou chebag who thinks were the evil satan will continue moving in, brood in tow. I'm sure they'll take every advantage of our little tax perks, medicaid, food stamps etc while shooting their mouths off about our unjust system..

      August 1, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Reply
      • Jim

        No, reaction occurs when the Muslim population reaches approximately 4% of the host country. Then things get messy. This is now a worldwide phenomenon with Russia pushing back from the North; China pushing back from the East; India pushing back from the South and Europe (soon now) pushing back from the West. And don't forget Israel. The Israelis will do what they feel they must to survive. Hold on, it's going to be a bumpy ride!

        August 1, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  11. jbm

    Where is the flotilla in Iran? Syria? Libya? Sudan? ect... There are thousands of People are being systematically killed , executed, arrested, tortured, in those lands, and not a peep from the so-called peace activists. They hide their hatred of Jews by calling themselves peace activists. What a Joke. At least with ther arabs what you see is what you get, they have no qualms about hiding their hatred.

    August 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Reply
    • NonZionist

      Poor Helpless Defenseless Little Israel. Born Without Sin. Never Responsible for ANYTHING.

      Yet everybody hates it. For no reason at all.

      It has kept millions under occupation and bombardment for the last 44 years, and it does 95% of the killing in the Occupied Territories. But why should that be a problem? After all, Palestinians aren't really human.

      So why would anyone want to help these subhumans? Why would anyone want this 63-year-long holocaust to end? There's only one possible explanation: Anti-Semantics!

      August 2, 2011 at 10:25 am | Reply
      • Zionist

        Who is "everybody"? the voices in your head perhaps? 63 year old Holocaust? strange, I don't remember gas chambers, or millions of palestinians dying there. Oh shoot.. I forgot... the Gas chambers are a myth, right?

        August 2, 2011 at 10:31 am |
  12. Dan

    Hah, why no Iranian Spring? Because "The "Leader" of The Free World" decided to throw democracy under the bus right at the very time it was trying to rise up, its hand outstretched...

    He's just about as supportive of the people's will here at home! Time to vote yet?!?!?!?!?

    August 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  13. Dan

    Any why did we go to Iraq first? Because of those 17 UN resolutions that the inept world body would not enforce!

    How do you think things would have progressed if the Hate Bush party never started, the world got on board with enforcing resolutions that "the world body" creates...?

    No, Iran saw no stomach for action from anyone aside from the coalition of parties willing to actually back up their words!

    August 1, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  14. Robert Johnson

    #8. The Iranian theocratic regime went to great lengths, right from the start, to build an elaborate and redundant network of supervision, censorship, suppression and internal intelligence mechanisms to ensure it could impose on its citizens. They also set up a paramilitary organization, the Basij, to operate under the regime, but outside the formal laws so that they could impose control when "legal" means failed. The Basij is also a component of the internal spying and informing network. Finally, the real decision-makers are hidden behind the "official" government, allowing them to pretend to be the peoples' protectors when the people begin to dislike the government.

    August 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  15. The Prophet

    I will tell you why there is no "Arab Spring" in Iran. First and foremost, Iran is not part of Arabia. Second and more importantly, our democracy was crushed by America in 1953. To think that we will believe and trust American politicians in the name of democracy is beyond naivity. You can depend all you want on Ganji and the like. The fact is damned Ahmadi-mad and his Spritual Leader are both Iranian SOB. What Egypt experiences today, we did back in 1953. Go figure, why Iranians would not respond to American and Bristish call to Arms or as you would call "Democracy". The path theorugh you democracy has always lead to "Slavary".

    August 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
    • Ben

      Well, I thought the Arab Spring was an organic movement. What did the US do to make it happen? It started in Tunesia. And, other than using it as an opportunity to bash the US, what has 1953 to do with it. Assaad, Mubarek and the others were remnants of the Cold War. Dictators propped up by one side or the other. A large portion of the Iranian population supports the Mullahs and what they do. It would be a Persian civil war and not an Arab Spring (not that the Arab Spring is going to stay away from a horrible winter...).

      August 1, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Reply
    • NonZionist

      The Prophet writes: +( The path through your democracy has always led to "Slavary". )+

      This "Democracy" is not working, even here. No matter who we vote for, we get more war, more tyranny, and more subservience to Israel. "Democracy" seems to mean "rule by demons" - demons like Greed, Fear, Hate and Cynicism.

      Forget "Democracy": Focus on rights, instead. Expand the envelope of freedom. You do this by finding the courage to exercise your existing rights. Don't let the U.S. and Israel try to bomb you into freedom. Freedom grows inside the loving human heart, not inside bombs and bullets.

      The real meaning of "democracy" is "rule by the people". You don't need a corrupt election circus for that. It is enough to EMPOWER the people, and that happens when people gain freedom and use it constructively.

      August 1, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  16. bi din

    this Maziar guy has taken a very bad fear of these murderers while in Regime's detention,he says in his interveiw with Fareed that criminal khameni is not after power or wealth,lesten to it,he should have been tourchered with unforgetable devices.

    August 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  17. Non- ZionistBay Area, CA Caucasian male

    The majority US population wants a military message sent to Iran. Almost the entire world knows of Iran's gold medal for #1 state sponsor of terror.
    It's time to take out their nuke facilities and fanatics in office. China and Russia will be butt hurt and condemn an attack. It would be a short-lived condemnation . The rest of us folks in the world sigh
    some relief.
    Please , people of Iran, raise up against your government and ask the US along with the world to provide you the means you need. Please, Speak up now Persians! Help you fellow brethern Shia in Syria . Have them form strong relationships with their Sunni brothers to overthrow al-Assad. Then they will help you as well. Syria and Iran can be the #1 Arab and Iran could be the #1 Persian [non-Arab] countries modeling the best democraices in the world , tolerant of all . Let's have a new relationship, Iran .

    We can complement each other in many ways.
    We have more in common with you than those of Russia and China. Chinese[especially] and most Russians have no moral compass.
    God is first.

    August 1, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      Speak for your self. You are not the president of the US that you make a statement on behalf of the masses. I am a US citizen as well and I DO NOT want US to send a military message to no one!

      August 1, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Reply
      • Non- ZionistBay Area, CA Caucasian male

        Iran has been a huge problem for 32 years. How much longer are you going to tolerate it.
        Hezbollah=Iranian government hegemony
        Al-Assad(Syria)= Iranian government hegemony.
        Hugo Chavez=Iranian government hegemony. Iran is negotiating military installations with Venenzuela. Iran will have the capability of hitting us with NUKES!
        The Chavez brothers=Iranian government hegemony. I hope you don't live near Florida . Khameini would love to lob a couple over from Cuba.
        Al-Bashir= Iranian government hegemony. Iran is friends with some of the most Sunni leaders around. These Sunnis consider Shiite Iran trash. north Sudan and Somalia are al-Qaeda strongholds. Religion means nothing to the so called Islamic Republic Of Iran.[meaning the Iranian government's military dictatorship that is veiled behind one of our great religions of the world ]
        Iran's supreme leader ayatollah seyyed khameini donated $20,000 of his personal money to fundamentalists yesterday.
        Check out how many times Iran and Al-Bashir of Sudan[north] have met after being indicted for war crimes.
        Iran hegemony is growing in Africa.

        I do not support US tax dollars to Israel.
        I am not a Zionist or a US/NATO/Islamophobe .

        Wouldnt you rather fight it there than here?

        August 1, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • astutemind

      If you really thought God was first you wouldn't have written all that BS!

      August 2, 2011 at 9:42 am | Reply
      • Non- ZionistBay Area, CA Caucasian male

        Should we have sat on our asses and let Hitler cull his way through ?
        Maybe we could send Diplomats from UC Berkley? Dumpster Muffin might come down from her tree to give Khameini a warm hug and play the guitar .
        He'd lock her up right after for espionage.

        We have to make unpopular earthly decisions from time to time.
        What do you suggest ?

        August 2, 2011 at 11:12 am |
  18. Truth and Anwers

    Wrong CNN, there weren't millions of Iranians

    (In the summer of 2009, millions of Iranians rose up to protest the contested election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. To this day, thousands of protesters and activists remain imprisoned. Indeed, Wael Ghonim, the internationally renowned Egyptian activist and Google executive said Egyptians learned from the Iranian people.)

    Looks like the CFR news network never gives up on there work eh?

    August 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  19. Ben

    Well, let's see, the entire Western World still can't oust the weakest of the Arab dictators...Qadaffhi. And, they sit by while Assaad kills hundreds...more than have died in Lybia and in the case of Syria true democracy protestors and not tribal rivals as in Lybia. Why would they risk it?

    August 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  20. Wondering

    I'm not sure where we are right now on the geopolitical calendar, but my fondest hope is that an Iranian Spring will come in time to reduce the odds of a nuclear winter.

    August 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  21. MelGibson2012

    Sounds like a cheap soap....... "Iranian Spring"
    Except that Arabs dont know what soap is.

    August 1, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  22. Kweso

    Don't forget that there are four seasons in the year. Perhaps, we will see an Iranian Autumn or Winter. Just you wait!

    August 1, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  23. Mays

    It really doesn't matter if there is a spring or a revolution in an Islamic country for a non muslim.

    August 1, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  24. us1776

    They screwed the lid on the pressure cooker and the pressure isn't quite high enough yet.

    This one will put the beans on the ceiling when it goes.

    .

    August 1, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  25. NonZionist

    Iranian dissidents have concluded, correctly, that reform is better than revolution. But Professor Hamid Dabashi and many of the people posting above have not yet received the message. They still see revolution - however bloody, however pointless, however many lives are lost - as a "harmonious melody".

    Harmonious? - only because we in the Ziosphere have an irresistible compulsion to abandon our successful American philosophy and join with the Israel-firsters in a giant chorus of war-making and ethnic supremacy. We are no longer able to IMAGINE a multi-polar world where countries co-exist by virtue of mutual respect and common interest. No: Everybody must submit, everybody must obey, everybody must worship at the feet of Israel. That is our "Arab Spring", and it's no surprise that people outside the Ziosphere are not buying it.

    August 1, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Reply
    • Godfrey

      Isn't he wonderful, folks! Only six more months, and nonzio will be potty trained!

      August 1, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Reply
    • Jim

      History is about to leave you in the dust, "NonZionist," and when it does you're going to be even more confused than you are now.

      August 1, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  26. Ted

    Iran is a muslim country ruled by strict Islamic law.This is what 90% of muslims want.The countries that are having problems are the ones that have gone liberal in enforcing Islamic law.Anyone that thinks muslims want a democracy is blind.A democracy and Islam CANNOT co-exist.NEVER HAS NEVER WILL.Another reason there's no Iranian spring is that iranians know there would be blood bath it would take decades to stop.

    August 1, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Reply
    • Dal

      Is this in your opinion? I know for a fact that your statement is wrong but I have decided that there is no point teaching the bigots of this world.

      August 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Reply
      • Godfrey

        "We don’t shy away from declaring that Islam is ready to rule the world. We must prepare ourselves to rule the world and the only way to do that is to put forth views on the basis of the Expectation of Return [the return of the Mahdi]. Our interpretation is that the hand of the Almighty is putting every piece of the jigsaw puzzle of the future of the world in place in line with the goals of Islam.”

        President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Jan. 5, 2006,

        August 1, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
      • Jim

        Stop bluffing, Dal. Either you have something substantive to contribute or you don't. If you don't, then spare us your g@y snark.

        August 1, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
      • Plexie

        Dal, that was funny, had to laugh at that one. Thanks.

        August 1, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
    • FRANK OLIVER

      Iranians are mainly responsible for Arab spring......

      August 2, 2011 at 6:18 am | Reply
  27. Victor Vovakes

    I met an Iranian student and become friends with him in the 80's.......from my interactions with him I can somewhat understand the Iranian peoples lack of reform....they can reform and change the ruling powers, but it must come from within the powers to be, otherwise they the Irainians must start by removing opposition leaders and inserting people who can infiltrate and disrupt the powers within...these powers are religious and common, they can be removed systematically.
    Foreign government is not needed, but the people in positions of power should be removed. Recently several scientist have been removed by ?... This same tactic will lead to the fall of Iranian religious rule and will probably be carried out by the guard......from within.....but will the the guard actually become a ruling power or just another cartel type leadership?..time will tell

    August 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  28. Plexie

    No Iranian spring because it is always a miserable hot summer there.

    August 1, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Reply
  29. Jeff in Illinois

    Considering that the world is ignoring Syria, which is doing far worse things to its civilian population than Gaddafi ever dreamed, Iranians probably aren't confident of any level of outside support if they were to rise up.

    August 1, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  30. Godfrey

    Not exactly ignoring. On NBC and the BBC tonight, the lead item on the news was the recent government slaughter of over 70 people. (I do not get cable, so I cannot say what aired beyond this.) Even on CNN, at this website, "U.N. Security Council discusses Syria amid reports of clashes." CBS, at the 1010WINS website (1010WINS is the radio station in NYC that claims to have the largest listening audience in the US) the headline reads, "Ramadan begins with violence in Syrian city." Fox.com (no snickering...okay, maybe just a little for those so inclined) reads "Syrian Troops Attack Hama for Second Day." I don't really have a point here. Too many gins and tonic. Good night.

    August 1, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Reply
    • Jeff in Illinois

      Yes, the media is reporting some of it. No governments are acting. That was my point (not that I want the U.S. to get involved in yet another conflict).

      August 2, 2011 at 7:27 am | Reply
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