June 22, 2009
Posted: 1822 GMT


Hello everyone,

It's how we're trying to get a clear picture on what is happening in Iran. Voices on the telephone, from journalists who must remain nameless for their own protection or students who speak of the emotion of taking part in a protest despite threats from Iran's Revolutionary Guard to crack down on dissenters.

The restrictions placed on international journalists are such that getting the story to our viewers means pieceing together elements online and in hurried telephone calls.

Our "Iran desk" is monitoring and evaluating videos and pictures taken in Iran, trying to determine where and when images were shot.

We will bring you the latest amateur video we have of today's anti-government protests. A journalist I spoke with on air told me he believed about 10,000 people showed up at Haft e-Tir square in Tehran. We are working hard on trying to connect with other witnesses to Monday's events in the Iranian capital.

Our guest today is an Editor at Wired magazine and will talk to us about how the authorties are trying to block websites and monitor text messages sent by protestors. The web and mobile technology has played such a large part in how this story is being told that we want to spend a few minutes focusing on that angle.

Also today, we'll speak of a spike in violence in Iraq with our Michael Ware, back in Baghdad to report on the planned pullout of U.S. troops from some cities and towns. Will the bloodshed force Americans to rethingk their June 30th deadline?

Plus the latest from Wall Street, where it's a gloomy day. We'll tell you why.

See you on TV!


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Filed under: Today At The I-Desk

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Mario   June 22nd, 2009 7:33 pm ET

Dear Hala,

Ive been watching mostly all of your news reports with regards to the Iran election and quite frankly im not satisfied with reports of insinuations and speculation of election fraud. I do believe that the international viewers are being conditioned with subliminal continious messages of election fraud and opposition party robbed of the win.Western medias are in chorus specially the british based reports are all biased towards the opposition. Bluntly ive seen this scenario before,drumming up ciaos, maltreatments and human rights violations just like the time when the British Intel and CIA was plotting the ouster of Mossadegh! Weve all seen these before British colonial power trying to manuever the outcome for them to have the oil rich countrys natural resource. I hope this sinister attempt to fuel ciaos in persia not prosper,we are much wiser now. These cannot happen again. We know the history and i know you know it well too. Let us leave the free countrys free and the powers that be. Media manipulation is a sad thing. Can we please hear some explanations why the Iranian goverment is thinking in such caution with regards to western media.

Shahin Kaviyani   June 22nd, 2009 8:13 pm ET

"Let us leave the free countrys free and the powers that be"

Pleeeeease !!! Free country? What Islamic Rep? FREE?

Latest news was that there has been fraud in vote counting in only 50 cities according to akhonds themselves. This did not come from western media !!!

Afshin   June 22nd, 2009 9:57 pm ET

Hi hala
I hope these protests can show the world that iranian people are different from the government...
We are not able to watch CNN programs here in Iran anymore because it is blocked by Iranian government. almost all of satellite news channels are blocked. I hope CNN and other news agencies can do something to prevent this action.
I hope to see you again on TV as soon as possible!

Abbas Naqvi   June 23rd, 2009 8:23 am ET

Just number of People come out and Street in the Capital . Does not mean that the Whole Nation is approving the Change , When Ayatollah was Addressing the Nation there were more than people in any other Place . why these kind of Protest are not happen in Mashad , Zahedan and Qum Because there is no such thing . Only Few people are Behind in this Unrest and even they don't know about it . whom they are working for .
Abbas Naqvi
Karachi ,Pakistan

Anooshah Golesorkhi   June 23rd, 2009 9:15 am ET

Dear Hala:

Firstly, thank you for a most magnificent job that you and all of your CNN organization does every day of every year. I am an Iranian who lives in Europe; an opera singer with a family deeply steeped in Iranian politics and culture. My father, Iraj Golesorkhi was a well known politician and artist who spent many years in jail or house arrest after the 79 revolution. He wrote many songs and anthems, amongst other works, before and during the events of 1952-53 (most of which were performed by he and my mother, Minoo Javan, also a well know singer of that generation in Iran). Sorry about he long story but some background is necessary. My parents always told me that the days of 1952-53 was the last time the nation of Iran took and held its breath for freedom. As it is with the latest developments, many more people lost their lives fighting for fundamental freedoms. Perhaps another such a synergetic moment is at hand.

As I watched events unfold on CNN and other news channels in Europe, I remembered a famous anthem of the 1952-53 days, written by my father called the spring of hope, with the lyrics translated to "the spring of hope gives us the promise that the skies will not stay dark for ever". The lyrics and the rhyme of the song and indeed this moment in history gave a new meaning to this anthem. My mother, at my request, re-recorded the anthem with the words changed to "The martyred Neda give us the promise that the skies will not remain dark for ever, our way of life will not be ended, do not flee, stop and continue(the fight).

I would very much like to send this Mp3 to you, CNN and especially Ms. Amanpour. Could be please let me know how I can do that? Also is there a link where one can send a message to Ms. Amanpour?

I thank you in advance
All the very best

Anooshah Golesorkhi

Mohamad Azarian   June 23rd, 2009 10:09 am ET

Hi Hala;

Thank you for very fully covering of Iran.

People of Iran shoudn't forget the slogans of the great 1979_Revoluion:
Freedom, Social justices and Down with monarchy
We live in Iran still under a kind of monarchy regime but with theocratic color on,
and we havn't any simple freedom and sccial justics either.

Mohamad Azarian; AArhus; Denmark; 23-06-2009;

Olga   June 23rd, 2009 6:10 pm ET

Dear Ms. Hala,

I watched president Obama's press conferance, as i am sure many people in Iran did, and i am so confused and desperate.
I don't know who to contact, so i am writing to you.

How can someone have a dialogue with a terrorist government?
President Obama says we respect the sovereignty of islamic republic, then in another sentence he says, iran is helping terrorist activities!!

ahmadinejad has made it clear during these years, that iran is not going to give up the nuclear program. ahmadinejad, who by the way is the puppet of the regime, has threatened Israel many times. iran is helping the Hezbollah and also supporting Hammas, and there is a speculation that most likely iran is behind the suicide bombings of Iraq.
Do you think someone who beats his own people to death, would care for the welfare of the world community??
Doesn't anyone ask, why the basiji exists, if there is democracy in Iran ?
I saw a man beaten to death, literally, by masked animals , who don't speak farsi and are from Hamas or Hesbollah. i am just horrified of the thought of how are they treating the arrested people in jails, where there is no camera?
They are going to torture them, have them sign a confession that this and that organization have conspired to bring down the regime.

I hope you will read this comment.
Please feel free to contact me.
Thank you

TIRDAD GHARIB   June 23rd, 2009 6:38 pm ET

Dear Hala ,watching President Obama Today He was and He is Absolutelly not clear About Iran, He is leanning toward the dialogue with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and is not responding To the questions Thank God we Have You ,Hala Thank God we Had one Great Lady Susane Mallevaeux asking About our beautifull young innocent irannian shot by the basij Neda ,,But he is not and was not clear at all about the 4th of jully invitation unbelivebale how weak this President Is He is A follower Not a leader Very sincerlly yours Hala, Tirdad. Thank you for your excellent work for us all.

guiti jamshidi   June 24th, 2009 5:28 pm ET

firstly thanks to CNN I can keep up to date with the heart breaking events in Iran.
It seems not long ago that I was young and simple and innocently believed in the politician's promises, now I know that everybody is in it for their benefit and nothing is free and we all have to pay a price for our ideas and goals as "Neda" did. The American public have Shawn a great interest and sympathy for the brave people of Iran, now is the time that President Obama takes a clear side rather than worrying that his support for the people of Iran might murky the water in order to gain contracts etc with the present government if they continue ruling the country. May be he should send another letter to Khamenei expressing his concerns with the crimes carried on the street of Tehran particularly, and may be I start believing in "Just""Wisdom"Support for Free speech" etc... again.

guiti jamshidi   June 24th, 2009 5:48 pm ET

Can CNN clarify/ question as why the British media is almost ignoring the events of Iran and the news channels only showing the bare minimum. Yesterday Sky news was interviewing a reporter outside Iranian embassy after the news of deportations of embassy staff, you could hear the demonstrator noise/ music. Although the reporter had to explained that there are demonstrators there but there was no camera activities .

rostam   June 29th, 2009 7:24 pm ET

Many have bow been in television studios and got interviewed on Iran. This is my input in this.
Islamic Republic from Iran, IRI, has always had a very strong opposition made of liberals and Marxists and Mojahedin or PMOI but not even the sum of the forces of these were enough to challenge IRI deadly.
Why? Because these had antagonism in between themselves. It is first when a rift in IRI happens which we can see this avalanche of brave people smashing at IRI`s very foundation.
May be I could use historical stereotypes to simplify it.
Hitler and Ahmadinejad are very alike. Hitler shouted many slogans about national socialism but his friends doubted if he meant it.
He actually meant it and he destroyed those hesitating including the whole SA.
Now the clergy in Iran astonishes about Ahamdinejad being serious on making an atomic bomb and export of terrorism. Just expenses of terrorism in Iraq exceed what the clergy thinks is okay to pay. Hundreds nameless agents has died in Iraq in the task of administrating occult occupation of Iraq.
American soldiers comes back in body bags so does Iranian. Clergy thinks that is 4 years is enough and want to replace him.
Clergy in Iran has traditionally been relying on these kinds of mercenaries or crusaders. May be like King Arthur and the round table and Sir Galahad and their crusade. All those weapon-bearing men were blessed by the church, as is this one. Ahmadinejad is looking for the Imam Zaman or the twelfth apostle.
In this he has committed genocide right in the beginning between 1979 and 1989 and would do it again.

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