October 26th, 2011
11:03 AM ET

Bakshi: Rounding up Iran

By Amar C. Bakshi, CNN

There's been a lot of exciting Iran content on GPS over the past week. You can read it all here. But to help guide you, here's a quick run through of what all has been going on:

Last week, Fareed Zakaria traveled to Iran to interview President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Fareed's trip occurred just weeks after the United States accused Iran of plotting to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. and just as President Obama announced the upcoming withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Fareed considered the former a sign of Iran's militarization and the latter a strategic boon to Tehran.

Fareed was in Iran at a time when its leadership is locked in an internal power struggle with President Ahmadinejad up against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. This has led one GPS analyst to ask whether Ahmadinejad will effectively be Iran's last president.

And as the winds of change sweep the Arab World, they seem to stop at Iran's borders. Here are some reasons why there hasn't been an 'Iranian Spring'. But clearly discontent bubbles within.  Just look at this surprising bestselling book in Tehran.

Fareed found Iran surprisingly clean and its urban women relatively liberated. He spoke with analysts in Iran who explained why, despite what Westerners might expect, Ahmadinejad is actually a reformer when compared with the Ayatollah. And Fareed saw the effect of sanctions up close.

The interview with President Ahmadinejad was striking as well.  The President offered a rather unique interpretation of Zionismproposed an odd political experiment and defended his country's soft policies toward Syria. As expected, he denied Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions and condemned the United States for myriad alleged wrongs. And Ahmadinejad argued that NATO's mission in Libya exacerbated the conflict.

We've been paying a lot of attention to Iran over the past few weeks. You can read all our coverage here. In the coming days, we'll be presenting some broader analytical pieces to make sense of it all. I invite you to join us in sharing your impressions and analyses below.

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Topics: Iran

soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. IRAN END IS NEAR

    Iran': Evidence of nuclear programme raises tension in Middle East
    Whitehall figures say Iran is 'newly aggressive – and we are not sure why'
    Iran 'has enough enriched uranium for four nuclear weapons'
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushing for invasion
    Tel Aviv test-fires rockets capable of carrying nuclear warheads into Iran
    Report reveals China continues to supply Tehran with missiles and other conventional weapons
    Obama says nuclear programme remains a threat and calls on Iran to reveal its intentions

    The UK and U.S. are drawing up plans to attack Iran amid growing tensions in the Middle East, it was claimed last night.

    Barack Obama and David Cameron are preparing for war after reports that Iran now has enough enriched uranium for four nuclear weapons.

    President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s hardline regime in Tehran has been linked to three assassination plots on foreign soil, according to senior officials in Whitehall.

    Serious threat: David Cameron and Barack Obama are drawing up plans for an invasion of Iran, as the country's nuclear development spirals out of control
    Iran has come sharply back into focus following the end of the Libya conflict.

    And the unrest has been inflamed by sabre-rattling from top politicians in Israel.
    President Obama said Iran's nuclear programme continues to pose a threat and that he and French president Nicolas Sarkozy want the international community to maintain pressure on the country to admit its intentions.
    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is preparing to reveal intelligence on Iran's alleged nuclear arms experiments.
    Aggressive stance: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been linked to assassinations on foreign soil and is pressing closer to building a nuclear bomb
    Iran has consistently denied that it is trying to build nuclear weapons and insists the programme is for peaceful purposes.
    The U.S., Britain and France want the IAEA to share its intelligence, but Russia and China are pressing for the report to be delayed or scrapped entirely.
    Yesterday it was revealed that Tel Aviv had successfully test-fired a rocket capable of carrying a nuclear warhead which could strike Iran.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak are reportedly agitating for a pre-emptive attack against the Islamic state.
    The UK would be likely to agree to any U.S. decision to invade, even though the Ministry of Defence are stretched to breaking point by swingeing budget cuts and wars in Afghanistan and Libya.

    An MoD spokesman said: ‘The British government believes that a dual track strategy of pressure and engagement is the best approach to address the threat from Iran’s nuclear programme and avoid regional conflict.

    ‘We want a negotiated solution – but all options should be kept on the table.’
    A special unit at the MoD has been instructed to work out the UK's strategy if the Army should invade Iran.
    War planners will look at potential deployments of Royal Navy ships and submarines equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles and RAF fighter jets armed with precision-guided Paveway IV and Brimstone bombs and missiles, surveillance planes and air-to-air refuelling.

    Standby: A convoy of mine-resistant U.S. tanks, pictured in Iraq, could now be deployed to Iran
    Ready for violence: A plume of smoke left by the missile Israel test-fired yesterday (right), thought to be a Jericho missile. Left, another cruise missile. The Israel missile was capable of carrying a nuclear warhead

    WE PRAY THAT IRAN WILL BE ATTACKED, IRAN IS A PAPER TIGER , MOJAHEDI KHALQ WILL HELP, THE KURDS WILL HELP, THE SUNNI WILL HELP, THE LURES AND TURKS WILL HELP, THE YOUNG PEOPLE AND STUDENTS WILL HELP AND THE PERSIAN NON MUSLIMS WILL HELP PLUS MANY OTHER MINORITIES TO END THOSE MULLAS DECTATORIAN THUGS GOVERNMENT, BUT USA SHOULD SECURE THE BOARDER OF IRAQ SO THOSE THUGS DONT GET INTO IRAQ OR KUWAIT , ALSO SECURE THE SYRIAN BOARDER SO THOSE THUGS SYRIANS DONT GET HIZBOALLAH TO ENETER IRAQ AND GET THE TERRORISTS CROSS. ARM THE IRAQ SUNNI AND ARM THE IRAQI KURDS AGANIST IRAN AND THEY WILL FINSH THE JOB.
    USA, UK, FRANCE, GERMANY YOU MUST DO SOMETHING THE WORLD CANT WAIT FOR AHMEDI NEJAD WE DONT NEED ANOTHER HITLER.

    November 4, 2011 at 10:16 am | Reply
    • Mike

      Like Heath Ledger said, ironically, why so serious?

      November 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  2. Mike

    All Iranian women are so hot. That's one good enough reason to invade and bring them democracy so they can dress in skimpy clothes for our viewing pleasure.

    November 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  3. IT SUCKS

    I SLEPT WITH AN IRANIAN PERSIAN IT WAS THE BEST THEN I SLEPT WITH IRANIAN MUSLIM TOO AND SHE WAS SO SO.
    THE MUSLIMS WOMEN DONT LIKE SUCKING.....

    November 4, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Reply
    • Xenon

      ..and then you woke up and went to school where they gave you detention for mastoor bating in class.

      November 5, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  4. HELP THE IRANIANS RESISTANTS TO GET RED OF THE MULLAS THUGS

    Iraqi mother: al-Maliki and Iranian Regime agents must leave Iraq
    Tuesday, 19 April 2011 08:41
    E-mail Print PDF

    NCRI – On April 16, the al-Rafedain TV broadcasted the cries of an Iraqi mother whose three sons were killed and showed her while calling for removal of Nouri al-Maliki and expelling of Iranian regime from Iraq.

    She chanted in a demonstration: “These are my three martyrs who have been killed by al-Maliki. He must go.

    These Iranians regime agents must go. These people arrived in Iraq on tanks. My children gave their lives for their homeland, for the Iraqi youth. I am the mother of three martyrs and I want al-Maliki to leave Iraq. I want his entire group to leave Iraq. These people who speak Persian and kill people must leave. All cemeteries are filled. Secret prisons! Nouri al-Maliki, it is enough! Hasn’t your thirst for blood been quenched by our children’s blood yet? Haven’t you had enough prisons?...”

    November 4, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Reply
    • Xenon

      I like to see martyrs...in hell.

      November 5, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Reply
  5. NORI AL HALEKI OF IRAQ MUST GO

    WHY USA HELPING THIS THUG AL MALEKI IN IRAQ AFTER HE STOLE THE ELECTION FROM DR AYAD ALAWAI, ? AL MALEKI SENDING MILLIONS TO SYRIA AND HEZBOLLAH, AL MALEKI IS AN IRANIANS AGENT LIKE AHMAD AL JALABI , USA MUST STOP HELPING HIM AND ATTACK IRAN NOW BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE, IRAN IS HIDING THE WEAPONS AND THE SENSITIVE PARTS UNDERGROUND.
    ABO WAQAS- EDMONTON

    November 4, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Reply
    • Xenon

      because we can.

      November 5, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Reply
  6. Adam

    Israel, hurry up with those Jericho bombers.

    November 5, 2011 at 2:50 am | Reply
  7. Chuck

    If President Jimmy Carter had leveled the country after they took AMERICANS hostage, we would not be having this problem now... Iran understands that it can continue to get away with supplying weapons to the Taliban because we and other western democracies do nothing about it... sanctions DONT WORK....if we are really serious about taking action,,, boycott ALL oil products from IRAN... especially those companies that sell and market it here in the USA

    November 5, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  8. we kick Iran

    Shia is worse than Sunniy. We welcome US if they attack Iran.

    November 5, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Reply
    • Xenon

      Shia = Iran
      Sunny = Saudi Arabia, Osama, Saddam, Gaddafi.

      I prefer Shia.

      November 5, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Reply
      • Xenon

        All the suicide bombers so far are sunny, All the Al Quaeda members that attacked US in 9/11 were sunny, Osama was sunny..Hamas, the terrorist organization that attack Israel on a daily basis is sunny, Muslim brotherhood that are murdering Christians in Egypt are sunny ...so I like shia not sunny.

        November 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
  9. cara

    Please be respectful of each other, you never know who is getting hurt. Hurting each other will not solve any problem. Governements need to find a adult way to get along. Unfortunately greed is too much in this society. Use passion for each other. No one should blame people. Persian/Iranian, American, African, Chinees, French Italian, etc. we are all created equal, why not walk together why not work together to make the world better place.

    November 6, 2011 at 12:33 am | Reply
  10. CharlieSeattle

    Ahh, If only President Bush had not mispelled "Iran" as "Iraq" on the 2003 attack order.

    November 6, 2011 at 9:57 am | Reply
  11. cara

    It is easy to judge each other, what each person does to better our world is important.

    November 6, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  12. BEAR

    http://www.debka.com/article/21455/

    November 6, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  13. DR LOVE, DR ABO WAQASS- IRAN

    shiia = evil= Hitler- Nazis= Khomeini- stupid Ahmed nejad = shah Iran = Persian thugs = MOTAA = LATMEYA =SELF MUTILATION = TAQEYA = EVIL CHINA = EVIL RUSSIA = COMMUNIST =ANTI USA = KKK = IRAN HELP HAMAS 100% , IRAN HELPING AL QAEDA NOW TO ATTACK USA = IRAN HELP HEZBOLLAH AND SYRIAN TERRORISTS GOVERNMENT, IRAN HELP BAHRAIN KILLERS AND KILLING KURDS= IRAN INVOLVES IN THE SAUDI EMBASSY KILLING IN USA = IRAN KILLERS ALI AND HUSSEIN AS THE KHAWAREJ SHIIA THUGS DID AND ALL FROM IRAN=
    SO IN CONCLUSION IRAN MUST BE FINISHED FIRST AS MOST OF THOSE IDIOTS SUNNIS RUN AWAY FROM SAUDI TO IRAN , AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN ALL THOSE GOVERNMENTS SHOULD BE REMOVED TO BETTER SAFE OUR WORLD, MUSLIMS ARE EVIL ARABS ARE EVIL THAT'S NOT TO SAY ISLAM IS THE REASON, ISLAM IS PURE AND GOOD BUT ARABS ,MUSLIMS AND SPECIALLY EVIL IRANIANS MUSLIMS ARE DESTROYING THE IMAGE OF PEACEFUL ISLAMIC FAITH , CAUSE THEY HAVE SICK CULTURE AND SICK HERITAGE. i live in Iran and we must get red of this sick evil shiia government

    November 6, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  14. Occupado

    Amadinejead is the devil. He has no eyes. Seriously. Google his name and look at the images.

    Can you see his eyes? Straight out of Dante's Inferno.

    November 6, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  15. Pravda

    Typical Muslim smoke and mirrors. Iran is about as twisted as they come, surprising that Fareed Zakarias's GPS (CNN's Muslim reporter of the year) paints a rosy picture of them.

    November 6, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  16. Brian McNally

    How to seduce a goat for dummies, tears to my eyes from laughing. Lift the rug people, see who is making money from all of these ventures, its about weapons, aka, money, and the good old USA makes tons of it selling weapons to everyone.

    November 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  17. Marco

    Ready or not, the American elitists are coming for you Iran. You are on the last of the list... but still on it.

    November 6, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  18. ZAKARIAS IS THE BEST

    ZAKARIAS ACTUALLY AN EGYPTION CHRISTEAN...

    November 7, 2011 at 9:45 am | Reply
  19. SYRIA MUST GO NOW

    WE MUST GET RED OF SYRIA it is the morror image of IRan both are evil governments killing raping and destroying lifes and families.
    why usa are so cowered now why not get red of syria and iran , where is UN , HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE NATO why they can attack libya but leaving syria and iran!!!! to sale weapons to the rich gulf states as they use them as scare tactics.

    November 7, 2011 at 9:48 am | Reply
  20. WHY

    KILLING AND TORTURING A LEADER THEN TAKE PICTURES WHILE HE IS ON THE FLOOR DEAD IS THIS IS THE ISLAM IN LIBYA?

    November 7, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  21. DR LOVE- ABO WAQASS

    I am surprise what a PIZZAan cain will do in the white house!? we have OBama with a degree from Harvard and barley making it , how I can I trust a horney Pizza man to run the white house.
    He should stop taken Viagra and eat more of his pizza to feel bit sleepy and leave the politics to the PROS

    November 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  22. barack o'soros

    http://www.en.rian.ru/tags/tag_VyacheslavDanilenko/

    November 7, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  23. DR SAAD - CALGARY

    http://WWW.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va
    read and see the truth

    November 8, 2011 at 9:55 am | Reply
  24. DR SAAD - CALGARY

    also read about syrian thugs and the evil basar al asad
    http://www.alrai.com/pages.php?news-id=435615

    November 8, 2011 at 9:56 am | Reply
  25. syria must go why isa dont attack those thugs in syria

    يا جماعه لا تصدقون هذه المناورات السياسيه لان كلها خطه من إيران وإسرائيل لصرف إنتباه الرأي العام والاعلام عن ما يحصل بسوريا .. لان هاتين الدولتين هما الخاسر الاكبر لسقوط نظام بشار .. إنتبهي يا جزيره لا يشغلونك عن ثورة الابطال في سوريا

    November 8, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  26. iran is paper tiger

    usa must attack iran before it is too late, trust it will be very easy. use mojahedi khalq, use the kurds, use arabastan and the sunni, use the bahaii, use the persian and christeans and help them please.

    November 8, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Reply
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    November 1, 2012 at 8:23 am | Reply
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