tv [untitled] CSPAN June 18, 2009 7:00am-7:30am EDT
on this thursday june 18, 2009. you are looking at video up loaded to video yesterday from an iran train station. supporters are encouraged to gather a thursday again to protest the elections in iran. we will be talking about that during our first our with our guest. you are probably well aware of our guests best-seller concerning iran. she lives here in the united states and has since the 1979 revolution. she will talk to us about her observations on current events there. host: good morning, thank you
for being here. i would like to start before we get into details with your explanation. people are around the world have been watching. can you tell us what you think is a part of what is going on there? guest: you know, if you look back over the last 30 years to see that the contradictions that have come to the surface had been brewing from the start. i recall hundreds of thousands of women coming into the streets of tehran during the revolution. on the one hand you see a civil society that is far ahead of the government of the state. because of this is the constant division and rifts within the ruling elite. as years have gone by many people who were supporting the regime and shaped it have come
to the conclusion that things cannot go on the way they do. and they join the ranks of the opposition. host: let me give those of you watching our telephone number and other ways to reach us this morning. many of you have been interested in watching news reports in various on-line sites as to what has been happening in iran. onlaw and you can eat-mail us at c-span.org or send us a message by twitter. let's begin with some of the
principles. will you tell us what you know about the opposition candidate -- i don't know why you call them at this time, someone you have known for quite a while. mr. mousavi. guest: this is ironic. when i went back to iran in 1979 he was the prime minister, one of the main architects of the revolution. while we were teaching at the university of tehran he was one of the main architects of the cultural revolution the closedown universities and try to bring about islamic ideology into the universities. as years went by a mr. mousavi became more and more withdrawn and quieter. we did not hear much from him
until the elections in 1997. there were rumors that the opposition, the reformist candidates were considering him, but that did not go over because they thought that a cleric would do better. it is very interesting to see the transformation from a person in position to a person of opposition. host: the belief he has changed or has changed his public image? guest: i think both. the important thing is that this satisfaction comes not only from seculars for people who have been losing a great deal but from people in power. when someone like mr. mousavi or
another, the speaker of the parliament, the other opposition candidate -- he was the head of the revolutionary guard, he boasted that he was responsible for the murder of of the 260 readings. all of these people -- of the 260 marines. most of these people have had the failure of a ideology change them. but for them to move ahead some see the survival of the state in giving in to certain changes and reform. host: our first call is from san antonio on our democrats' line. caller: good morning, i like to know why our leaders are being consulted by other countries and
we're focusing on things that do not apply to us. which is close down all the major manufacturers here in texas and in other places around the country. and we're more concerned about what is going on in iran that i will have a job or health insurance. why should i be concerned about what is going on in iran when i might not make it another year or two. i think that the israelis and people who own the media are keeping us distracted. host: so you see no relevance to your life about the events in iran caller: no, it does not bother me one bit. guest: the state of the economy we are en is partly related to the international events, including those of iran. the war for which so many american lives have been lost is related to the interferences and interventions of iran.
it is not as if the united states can and has survived,. the world is very much related in is becoming more so. -- it cannot survive on its own, the united states. the people on that 9/11 came from faraway countries. if should become important to you. you would perhaps prosper more and have more security. i am quite offended by calling the whole media that jewish- owned a. it is an insult to the jewish people and to the media. host: good morning on our democrats' line. caller: good morning, and good morning to your guest. i respect her and to the most
high, i like to say [greeting.] anyone who does not think that the events in iran affect us in the whole world needs to think twice. as a young man in my 20s i watched a daily basis the situation in 1979 and the hostage situation. i learned so much and there was no internet or twitter, none of that nonsense. that was an experience i will never forget. you have names, various ones, and that the ayatollah -- let me say something. of the lunacy of an attack would bring so much chaos and destruction to the world's pipeline, we have no troops, and there are some young people and iran who need democracy. i would hope that this
particular situation will lead to the overthrow of the ayatollahs and mullahs and the lunatic ahmadinejad -- i am not trying to be a wise guy, but this is our time. anyone who lives in america, especially hillary rodham clinton -- she needs to get a bar of soap and washout her mouth. host: thank you. from there? guest: i do agree that no form of ministry attack or invasion or violent intervention would help either the iranian people, american people, or world, but i do not recall mrs. clinton having said anything to that effect. if anything, the u.s. government has been very restrained in the comments. i do agree with you that we
should seek ourselves related and connected to other parts of the world, including iran. i want to remind everyone that when the 9/11 assaults on the u.s. happened at thousands of iranians poured out into the streets of tehran while there were beaten and arrested by police, lighting candles and bringing roses in support of the american people. that is how we survive as a nation and in the world. the second thing -- iran is very important. at the beginning of last century and brought the first constitutional revolution, the creation of a modern civilization. at the end of the century you brought theocracy. at the beginning of this
century a running people are using democratic, non-violent means -- iran in people. that is to bring about a pluralistic iran and it will have long-reaching effects. host: here's analysis from glenn with this headline. what do you think about what you have heard from the administration so far? guest: i do believe that intervention of support of one group against another is not helpful as a strategy. at the same time, the u.s. should be nuanced because the support of millions of people who were peacefully pouring of into the streets and demanding an end to dictatorship and asking for freedom of expression and of their rights should be supported. there is a difference between support and intervention.
sometimes the two are blurred and should not be. definitely -- you see all the suns with the iranians -- there are signs that they need to know they're not alone, but in the right way. host: throughout this hour we will show you video from u2. a caution with this -- we do not note the date and we do not know who shot at or what the context is. we are giving you some of the view that the world can see on youtube but you have the ticket with a grain of salt that is not verified. we do have to take it with a grain of salt. this is from our republican line. caller: duty really think that the elections even really
matter considering the closed circle of theocratic power when troops reformists are not even allowed to run? even now it seems so-called it reformists are running and not allowed the power of the free elections? it seems like a total force. guest: i agree that the elections in iran, because the laws deprive so many within the population from the right to vote or participate meaningfully are so flawed it that the elections that go on over there are not the same as those in an open and pluralistic society. i agree with that.
but in a country like that, and this has been the pattern there, people use the open spaces, the divisiveness between the various factions in the region. they use it in order to voice their demands. during the elections one of the most powerful supporters had some people voted not to much for mr. h., but against the system. right know the elections which in themselves should be a democratic form, even a formal expression of democracy leads to unexpected results. it leads to a democratic means of bringing about change. that aspect should definitely be supported.
host: that thought is echoed in this piece from "the washington post," where he says the pressure for a shift in policy will amount of the protests continue to grow and begin to threaten the government's hold on power. this is a good time to talk about the role of the clerics in authority and iran. guest: iran has undergone so many changes. its history goes back to at least 3000 years. half of the history of the islamic tradition has been sunni not shiia. one of the interesting thing about the clerics is that the
iranians choose their different readers. their chosen according to their own beliefs. -- they choose their different leaders. it is shiia orthodoxy to use religion as an instrument for state. at the beginning of the revolution the divisiveness was among the different ranks of clerics on the highest levels. one of your listeners alluded to a leader from the beginning of the revolution who was more highly ranked than ayatollah khamenei who came out against creating an islamic state. he said it would be the end of islam. he was harassed. his followers were arrested. this is interesting. everyone thinks that iran is monolithic. this is not true.
part of the fight is to save religion from the state, in fact. host: let me make san this piece from "the new york times." it says one of the mysteries behind this week's demonstrations is who was cordoning them. some suspect of the hidden hand of the par for the position of the former president is. his daughter, a former member of parliament, was spotted at a march. what are your thoughts on that? guest: yes, he has openly voiced his discontent and this agreement with mr. ayatollah
khamenei on some points. but there have been influential religious leaders such as one under house arrest for several years who has also openly supported the protests and has objected to the way the elections have been done. host: the next question comes from atlanta on our republican line. caller: good morning, ladies. to start off i would like to let you know that i'm a kosher christian. my question is -- i'm hoping that these protesters are actually individuals who understand that ahmadinejad is twisting what the koran actually stands for. i do not believe that the koran
once the death of israel, the other side of abraham's child. i'm from atlanta, in a microcosm of the world. many people here -- we go to a market and seek people from all around the world and get along quite perfectly choosing our produce. what i am hoping and praying is that these protesters are standing up, not embarrassing themselves by bloomberg jewish people for everything which is seems some in america -- but not blaming jewish people -- but it seems some of america do that. some americans think that jewish people have become superhuman and taken over the universe which is insane. i hope that it brings us together as brothers and children where we are all looked at as children of god who believe in a creator. guest: thank you. the interesting thing about these demonstrations is that
they are democratic and universal. both secular and religious people from different beliefs, christians, jewish, bahai's, as well as muslims have been oppressed by this region. when religion is an ideological tool for the state it does not represent the various beliefs and interpretations of the people. another interesting thing is that nothing in this protest has been said to signify respect towards a new religion, ethnicity, or nation. the civil society is progressive enough that has forced people to
come out and publicly criticized mr. ahmadinejad for his comments on the holocaust. to tell him how damaging it has been to the image of iran b. i know from reading various comments that inside iran mr. ahmadinejad was very much chided for this. the rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness does not belong to any nationally, and ethnicity, or religion. it goes beyond these borders. host: this from the paper this morning. it is an ap story which says that on wednesday iran accused the u.s. of intolerable meddling. it has fuelled a bitter post-
election dispute. the iranian government summoned the swiss ambassador who represents the u.s. interests and iran to complain about american interference. guest: this has been a tactic of the iranian regime to pretend that the desire for choice of freedom is of foreign imports. you remember success of the arrests and trials of iranians within the country like a philosopher who was accused of fomenting the velvet revolution. that shows the degree of the fear that they try to say the desire for freedom is not iran. the way the protesters have acted demonstrates that you do not need any instructions from
america to want to have a better life. host: we're spending an hour this morning with azar who is currently a visiting professor at johns hopkins school. she is executive director of the cultural conversations at their foreign policy institute. what is the program? guest: it started when i first came to the u.s. in 1997 and i wanted to create an alternative way to look at iran. we tried to create cultural exchanges, then it expanded into the muslim world. now it has expanded to a conversation -- especially at this time we need to go back and talk about who will bailout imagination and thought as well as how we apply it to the world. host: she has a second book on the market "things i have been silent about."
guest: i mentioned that we can be silent and so many ways. in a totalitarian states our voices are taken and one person speaks on everyone's behalf. there are personal silences as well. i wanted to respond to my own inner center and interrogator. it is about my own memoirs about my parents and of the time of my grandparents. the personal memoir within the context of iran from the beginning of the last century until the present time. host: the next phone call comes from our independent line. caller: good morning. i am curious about something icy, the messages -- i see --
the messages in english, yet reporters are banned from covering a. we see all this demonstration in this faraway country. we have so many internal problems here that need to be fixed. most people here i am assuming are not really caring or interested in the iran and its problems, elections, or anything else. we are concerned about what goes on right here in the united states, yet we see this messaging and english. it is printed very clearly. the messages above it are in arabic, or your language. i am curious as to whether there is intervention on the american side and one to messaging to come to the united states as to what is going on there. the messages have had a tweak of
americanism in it and it is not our election. the demonstrations are from people in your country. what is the purpose of putting the messaging out in anguish to americans if you are blocking reporters from covering them? guest: you have to differentiate and those are blocking the reporters from those who are putting up the messages. those who block the reporters are afraid that the world will find out that iran is not what ahmadinejad says it is. they are not only messaging america, but the whole world. bake in not want to be isolated from the world. they speak a language that is noprovincial.
-- they do not want to be isolated from the world. when mr. obama was elected as president i received an e-mail from performance piper for they had a picture of him and under the caption saying, why do we have this in iran? it does not mean that obama or the american government was intervening. that is democracy. it is catching. to tell of terrorism and these other forms are not just regional. rigid totalitarianism and these other forms of not just regional. the want to send messages to the others who desire democracy. host: long island, good morning. caller: i appreciate things going on there and try to
correct elections. but i still tend to believe that america does get too involved. the last revolution in iran pretty much went the same way. many revolutions in the middle east and even in parts of europe tend to go this way. there are big protests. the united states seems to be one of the only populaces that does not take much action except maybe it egging the motorcade of president bush once they realize what is going on. msnbc, fox -- the leading question every night is what is the president going to do about this? they lead the ignore public to get involved in things bigger than they are. it has already cost us so much money in other parts of that area. it is the media here who feeds on ignorance of the populace to lead them into situations.
i think they should do what they're doing and iron it out, but not get us directly involved. thank you. guest: you know, i do think anyway real change comes to any country from within that country. i do understand the new i myself and and it iranian- american. anything that goes on in this country deeply affects me. i am as concerned as any other american. i am speaking to not just s and irani. this is the only country in the world where people carry their past with them. -- i'm not just and running. that is why this country become so expensive and in need. -- so and expansive