September 23rd, 2010
08:57 AM ET

Fighting Ahmadinejad: Where movement in Iran stands

Iranian protesters take to the streets to dispute the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in December 2009.

Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will address world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly later today.

When he spoke at last year’s meeting, he launched into an attack against the United States, Israel and the West while, back in Iran, the pro-government Revolutionary Guard cracked down on pro-reform demonstrators. During elections, the Green Movement gained momentum, and for a time it seemed like supporters with the use of Twitter could topple Ahmadinejad.

But this year, Ahmadinejad may dial down the rhetoric a notch as Iran comes under increasing pressure from world powers to end their nuclear program. The United Nations Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions in June and the Council members – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – have renewed efforts to bring Iran back to the negotiating table.

In what may have been a preview to his General Assembly speech, Ahmadinejad blamed capitalism and transnational corporations for the world’s woes when he addressed the meeting on the Millennium Development Goals, the U.N.’s initiative to reduce poverty, hunger and disease around the world. But absent from the speech were attacks aimed at the U.S. and Israel.

Anti-Ahmadinejad protestors in New York were not surprised. While the Iranian president portrays an image of a self-confident leader firmly in control of his country, several prominent pro-reform Iranians in the United States claim that Ahmadinejad’s support in Iran is waning.

They tell CNN that there are a growing number of conservatives in Iran who feel that Ahmadinejad’s provocative, controversial statements have directly resulted in world opinion turning against the country. CNN Radio’s Steve Kastenbaum spoke with Iranian dissidents in the U.S. about the state of the Green Movement in Iran today.

Listen to Steve Kastenbaum’s conversation with an Iranian journalist and CNN’s Reza Sayah here:

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Filed under: Iran
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Ryan

    Whats crazy is that he is actually willing to give more freedoms to the people than some of the influential islamic leaders in iran.

    September 23, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. Emmitt Langley

    He thinks capitalism is evil. Maybe he can get that open spot on Obama's economic team...

    September 23, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Meh, weak comment.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      I agree with Josh...that's the ignorant man's misconception.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      No Josh, it's not a weak comment. Off topic perhaps, but insightful.

      September 23, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Actually I thought Emmitt's comment was funny. I can see ole Ahmed trying to do his job over here and it would be an eye opener for him.

      September 23, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike


      You mean the economic policies that bailed out wall street so that capitalism could live to see another day? Bush/GOP policies will turn the US back in time into another China. You want to work for $1/day? Or do you want smart policies that pushes the country forward as a country of highly skilled workers for the industries of today and tomorrow? All that 10 years of GOP economic policies did was cause economic growth to stall while increasing inflation.

      September 23, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dubya B

      Completely weak comment, considering this article was about Ahmedinejad... Not insightful, not funny, not relevant. If you need someone to explain why, you should stop watching Fox News.

      September 23, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      This is a stupid and irresponsible comment.

      September 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Wall Street could benefit from some capital punishment – They don't seem very grateful after we the people bailed their sorry butts out of the fire. For the record, capitalism is fine, but the game playing done by Lehman, AIG, and Goldman Saks caused this (or do you think millions of homeowners tricked them? if I pay (PAY) a mortage agent and they tell me my credit is good enough and the bank says my credit is good enough I'm tempted to believe them)

      September 23, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      Come on, regardless of your politics you can't say this comment isn't funny!

      September 23, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • tcaudilllg

      I didn't find it funny at all.

      September 23, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • norker

      Relevance fail, humor fail. -1

      September 23, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      +1 on stupid comment

      September 23, 2010 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • ted arndt

      Should have warned you Emmitt, Libs dont understand rye humor and sarcasm. Humor dry with an olive please

      September 23, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Clearly you are one of those idiots who thinks that anything outside of the GOP is "socialism" because you don't know what socialism is. The United States, by its own definition, is a capitalist country – and both major parties are based on capitalist principles. Obama doesn't think that Capitalism is evil - he IS a capitalist.

      September 23, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      Obviously, liberals have no sense of humor. If you dare to make a joke about Dear Leader, it's "irresponsible". Give me a break.

      September 23, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • JHeron

      I'll give him was funny...and I plan on voting for President Obama again. Get a sense of humor people...besides its sooooo much easier to make fun of the people on the right, that if one of them is clever enough to come up with a decent joke about the left, it should be applauded.

      September 23, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • miami2010

      Great comment. Why people don't want hear the true about this administration and always go angry when somebody said something about it and always treat the other party of racist and everything else. I'm tired of this.

      September 23, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harvey

      Love the cross overs. If you go over there and read the comments, there's no disagreement from anyone on their little rant fests. It's like a whole bunch of Beck clones egging each other on into a fury. So they come over here with their little drive by comments to try stir up the "thinking" people. Wouldn't it be fun just to ignore them? Maybe they'll either get the hint and leave or actually stick around and learn something.
      The latter is pretty doubtful though.

      September 23, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Emmit Langley and others. You have no idea what socialism is. Obama and Bush saved capitalist banks and auto companies. this prevented total economic meltdown. Roosevelt did the same in the 1930's or we'd actually have a labor party instead of two capitalist parties. What has happened to our schools?

      September 23, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Sorry Mike, Inflation is non-existent (for now) and has been for several years.... Whats you point. The comment was, I feel, intended to poke fun at our president and am-a-dinner-jacket... Not that I did that as well... Some of you people take these things way to seriously.... You need to laugh while you are getting screwed.... Whoops .. did it again!

      September 23, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • laughing

      I thought this comment was hilarious! Lighten up was a joke!

      September 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rayburn

    "...controversial statements have directly resulted in world opinion turning against the country."

    Let's not equate "world opinion" with the bought and paid-for opinions of sellouts like Merkel and the "Frenchman" Sarkozy.

    September 23, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Russ

      It's not so much what he has said, but what they have done that has turned world opinion against them.

      September 23, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. CSnord

    It looks like he'll have to start lopping off a few heads back home to get back on track.

    September 23, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Concerned

    Why are you still showing pictures with the faces displayed? Haven't you learned that these pictures will be used against them? Please blur the faces. It does not matter if these are old pictures or not

    September 23, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Li Ran

      My thoughts exactly. They don't care about the humans involved in the story, just as long as it helps make them money

      September 23, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Pete

    Re: The two hikers still in Iranian prison:
    "Ahmadinejad: I'd let them out but my government won't let me."
    Sounds a lot like Little Joe's used car dealership: "I'd give them away but my wife won't let me."

    September 23, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dave

    PacManDinnerJob is a mouthpiece for the Supreme Council. They have the power and tell Machmood what to say and do. I hope the Iranian youth get fed up with these fascist-extremist religous leaders and toss them in jail and set up a government for the people.
    He (PacManDinnerJob) looks like a grinning, bearded little monkey when he does interviews, and the delay for the interpreter just makes it all the more awkward. Him and Jong Il should get off the world stage and go do something like... play golf or checkers or something.

    September 23, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. the_dude

    It's ok if he loses power Obama has already promised him a senior position in his cabinet, the secretary of muslim affairs.

    September 23, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joe

    He never really had any power to begin with. The ayatollah has the power in Iran. He is nothing more than a crazy puppet.

    September 23, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dave Richman

    If you loose your mind, loosing your position seems a predictable result. The people of Iran are getting more and more fed up this this crap.

    September 23, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sy2502

    That he's losing support of the people is irrelevant. He's a dictator. It's not like he cares what people think...

    September 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. yankee cowboy

    Unfortunately, nothing's going to change in Iran until the people stage another revolution to oust the Islamo-fascist clerics who really control the country.

    September 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. curious steve

    we believe whatever you say, hon. it wored out very well with chalabi. out boys are so trust-worthy.

    September 23, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Geegee

    We are all focusing our efforts in a wrong direction. After the fall of communism/Soviet Union, there was a need to creat an evil empire/people. That was necessary due to economic reason. Therefore, the west created Sadam, Osama Ben Ladin and Iran to replace the evil Communism/Soviet Union. By doing so the Arm industry of the west got revitilized. Jobs were created with sales of $500 billion to the oil rich states. Iraq and Afganistan got invaded. Oil routs got secured.
    While USA has the muscle, they will flex it. Meanwhile evil empires/people like Iran and Osama Ben Ladin continue to exist and will do so for a long long time. Iran will NOT get attacked simply because the cost benefit factors dictates to let evil empire exist since it is to the benefit of the West.

    September 23, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Richp, Easton, Pa

    Give me a break, imadinnerjacket is a puppet, he does not run anything except his mouth and even that is put there.

    September 23, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
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