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. Lee Oates

    Block: Evidently I am not supposed to say that we could eventually be allies or friends of Iran.

    September 23, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lee Oates

    And the final sentence: And a lot of that will be because President Obama is not a gun-happy cowboy like Bush who thought that he could intimidate the whole world. This is the 8th time I have tried to put this comment on.

    September 23, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lee Oates

    Welcome to the World of "Big Brother".

    September 23, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Partial Art

    Mahmoud's ramblings change on a dime and I hope to God he does lose power. I can't think of a more evil leader of a country than this man. Last night he ducked Larry King's questions faster than Bush ducked the pair of shoes that were heaved at him.

    September 23, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dave

    @ted arndt: I'll take sourdough humor over rye humor any day. Buh-dum-bum.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. James

    I think i might be in favor of abortion if he was still in his mothers womb!

    September 23, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Inyourimage

    He said some of the right things, it was just coming out of the wrong mouth.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sheil

    We have residents right here in America that live in Terror. Where their next meal will come from, how to pay the rent. Our Government is outsourcing Sallie Mae Customer Services to the Philppines. What other jobs are they out sourcing? How's that for keeping jobs in America. Communism is taking 1/2 of the working to pay for the other half. In this country, we want to take 1/2 of the rich guys pay and give it too the poor, the lazy and the unwilling. Is there a disconnect with this thinking, isCapitalism really beginning to faulter, or are we on the path to something else? I don't care who you are–taking half of what you earn to give it to someone else is just wrong!

    September 23, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. TX_MBell

    Ahmadinejad, Iran's Obama.
    One is theocratic and the other is secular.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ariel

    "...the Council members – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – have renewed efforts to bring Iran back to the negotiating table"

    Funny, hadn't Brazil and Turkey just brought Iran to the negotiations table just to be rejected by the US? What is this, a pie-throwing rerun of The Five Stooges, featuring the 5 biggest bullies in the planet?

    September 23, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Oakton Tommy

    I smell sulfur at the U.S. today.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sniffit

    Hmmmm. so as Iran seems to be moving away from fascism...albeit however slowly...we're moving towards it at breakneck speed....and led by the right wing lunatics who complain most bitterly about Iran, NK and other fascist regimes. Oh, the delicious irony. Can't wait for America to get what it deserves when we end up with a GOP-led House in January. Just desserts, morons, just desserts.

    September 23, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. CatfishMammy

    They need to pay they power bill if they no wanna loose they power!

    September 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sniffit

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

    Said liek a true patriot who called anyone who dared question or criticize Bush between 2000-2008 "unamerican" and a "traitor."

    September 23, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rick

    Ahmadinejad saves countless lives by commiting suicide. That's what the headlines around the world should read plus millions of Iranians are dancing and partying in the street after hearing Ahmadinejad's suicide.

    September 23, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
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