Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Rock'n'roll in Iran
Editor's note: Christiane Amanpour is CNN's chief international correspondent. Her reports on Iran aired Wednesday on "Anderson Cooper 360°" 10 p.m.-midnight ET.

It's always a rush to revisit Iran. I grew up there, left during the Islamic revolution 25 years ago, and now regularly go back on assignment for CNN. I went back recently for a series of reports on the country.

I never quite know what to expect these days. Who would have thought Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a fundamentalist Islamic hardliner, could have been elected president by a country that's overwhelmingly young and overwhelmingly wants reform, modernization, travel and dialogue with the West?

For me, the most interesting thing about this country is the juxtaposition of the regime's hardline, even militant, supporters with the young kids, teenagers and adults who could belong anywhere, even the United States.

One day, I head underground to listen to...a ROCK BAND!!!! The next day, I head to the mosque to hear the young hardliners wax passionate about the Islamic revolution that happened in 1979, as if it were yesterday, praising the new conservative government for taking them back to those values.

Many of these kids just want to play their music. They are not political, yet they have to play their music in secret.

There are definitely two Irans. The dilemma for the West is figuring out which one to deal with: Who to punish? Who to reward? And how? There are no easy answers on Iran, only constant questions. And never has that dilemma been so critical to solve as today, now that Iran's new president has hauled the world into yet another nuclear crisis.

Each time I leave Iran, I don't know what I'll find when I come back. No one does.
Posted By Christiane Amanpour, CNN Correspondent: 5:06 PM ET
  109 Comments
Christiane,

Is there a general consensus that the election of Ahmadinejad was legitimate? There were accusations about voting irregularities at the time of the election. Were these cleared? Is he the people's choice?
Posted By Anonymous B, NY, NY : 5:20 PM ET
It is refreshing to read honest analysis of what is going on in Iran . It is increasingly rare to find information free of hystrionics, hyperbole, and posturing. Bravo Christiane!
Posted By Anonymous Michael Rossetti Torrington,CT : 5:22 PM ET
I visited Iran for the first time over Christmas break. The streets were lined with American movies, clothes, and CDs. The people watch everyone from Coldplay to CNN Europe on their satellite TVs. There really is two Irans. As far as the comment about the election being valid, who knows. I spoke to dozens of people, none of whom voted for him. They said he came out of nowhere in the election. The example they used was as if Ralph Nader would have won the last election.
Posted By Anonymous Neda Plano, Texas : 5:36 PM ET
all the world over so easy to see...people everywhere just wanna be FREE...
Posted By Anonymous lee.Los Angeles,CA : 5:39 PM ET
Unfortunately, if these kids are any close parallel to their western rock addled counterparts, then they are equally useless as a force for cultural change.

Based on that description alone, I find myself cringing at the idea that the counterpoint to an aggressive and paranoid religious theocracy is the societal equivalent to a high school garage band...
Posted By Anonymous James, Laurel Maryland : 5:40 PM ET
Thank you for this short insight on your experience in Iran. As tensions are increasing with the nuclear situation, it is good to hear something other than the differences in opinion our countries display. I look forward to more of these first hand reports. Strength through Peace.
Posted By Anonymous Brian W, Naperville, Illinois : 5:41 PM ET
The vast majority of Iran's people do not support Ahmadinejad; in fact, the vast majority of Iran's people boycotted the latest elections there, because they openly acknowledged that they were a farce.

Iran's mullahs systematically excluded every candidate in that country who stood for the more moderate, reformist platform. The country is only nominally a democracy; in fact, its structure is theocratic.

The President made it clear last night "which Iran" we will deal with -- the great majority of Iranians who want peace and prosperity and true freedom.

The real story is not that there are no easy answers on Iran. Rather, the story is that an oppressive, theocratic regime is at odds with the desires of its people. The question is: how will the United States help them achieve what they want?
Posted By Anonymous Matt Howell, Austin, TX : 5:42 PM ET
While it is nice to see that many Iranians are apparently pro-western, the fact that this translates to an anti-western government shows which side of the Islamic divide is in power and cares more to stay in power.

Unless the Iranians take care of their government, the rest of the world will take care of it for them, rock n roll or no rock n roll. Its time for the citizens of Iran to wake up, stand up for their rights & freedom, as opposed to hide underground.

The western world they claim to want to embrace is reaching its limits.
Posted By Anonymous Ugo Lacheny, Los Angeles, CA : 5:46 PM ET
The only way the barbaric regime can be over thrown, is by the Iranian people. Only they can overthrow the regime that was forced down upon them.

Another matter that was very interesting to me, was the fact that Donald Rumbsfeld's visit to Baghdad and shaking hands with Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war. Germany, US, etc all sold chemicals weapons to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, when Iran gained control over the Iraqi-Kurdistan area. If the war ended with the Kurdistan area under Iranian control, Kurdistan would have went back to Iran after it was torn apart from Iran along with the other former soviet republic countries.
Posted By Anonymous Brian, New York, US : 5:47 PM ET
I think the West and the World needs to hear from the youth of Iran (more)! It is their country they will be left with after the Hardliners run their course.

How do they feel about what they will be left with to carry on, or not? Or have to fix after the fundamentalists have gone.

Furthermore, to hear from them in a peaceful manner not censored or edited by the current regime.
Posted By Anonymous Chris - Buffalo, NY : 5:48 PM ET
Christiane has never understood that there is no way to reason with Islamic terroists. She was wrong in stating that Iraq is a disaster and her criticism of Pres. Bush. Bush is proving her out of step with the real world.Ask Peter Arnet who was correct.
Posted By Anonymous Bill Glober Springville Ca. : 5:49 PM ET
The current autocratic theocracy decided who could and could not run for office, rejecting over 300 potential candidates; How can anyone claim that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the "peoples" choice.
Posted By Anonymous John Franks, Lawndale CA : 5:49 PM ET
Having gone back to iran for the first time in 20 years, two summers ago, i also noticed the existance of two separate worlds within one country: one that turns a blind eye on what is happening and more importantly what IS NOT happening in iran (Jobs,freedom of speech, inflation, pauverty) and then just lives without asking questions. and then another world who is too busy to make ends meet to even consider questioning such tiresome ideas as the regime and its (negative) impact.
One way or another, we reach the same conclusion; a stagnant, idle and drained society coming to terms with the fact that this is how it is going to be for now and for a long time to come....
Posted By Anonymous A.J, Paris, France. : 5:50 PM ET
Christiane, I always love your reports and thought you were excellent on Larry King the other night. Do you think harsh rhetoric from the west is causing the Iranian people to rally around their hardline leaders or does that have nothing to with it?
Posted By Anonymous Stacy, St. Louis, MO : 5:53 PM ET
Thank you Christiane, for the great reporting you always do especially out of the Middle East, an area which you so well understand. I consider you one of the greatest assets CNN has.
Brigitte Fayyad
Posted By Anonymous Brigitte Fayyad, 4124 Defender Drive, Agoura Hills, CA 91301 : 5:56 PM ET
I would like to know the reaction of Iranian "youth" to the President's state of the union address. It seemed to me that there was a direct appeal to this group when the President spoke of Iran's current situation and the aspiration of this Government to one day be "Best of Friends" with the Iranian people.
Posted By Anonymous Josh Brown Sacramento, California : 5:56 PM ET
I am curious:

How can Miss Amanpour claim that the country overwhelmingly wants modernization and reform when the results of their elections fly in the face of that view of things. Was the election rigged, or is Miss Amanpour out of touch with what the people really want?

Electing a president who appears to be rather intolerant to secular viewpoints hardly seems to be the "voice of modernization", in my opinion.
Posted By Anonymous Matt Norris, Columbia, Missouri : 5:57 PM ET
Turn the tables on the islamic hardliners! They are treading very stealthily on the edge of nuclear capabilities! It's a matter of time before they play their card and nuclear weapons are created. They only want to be in charge of the OIL EMPIRE and fear what has happened to IRAQ will happen to IRAN! The youth of IRAQ cannot ROCK OUT to path they are choosing!

u
Posted By Anonymous Danny Gonzalez Scottsdlale Arizona : 5:58 PM ET
Dear Ms. Amanpour,
Thank you for your report, but as an Iranian who resides in the US, and visits Iran frequently I have to disagree about your observations as far as the youth listening to Rock and Roll, or playing music underground. Despite the current Regime, there is much more freedom in Iran than what is shown to the American public, or the western world in general. I am by no means defending the current regime, however it is fair to say you're not dealing with the Taliban either. People openly criticize the goverment too, as they do here. But there are always restrictions whereever you live. Just a simple example: how many times have we seen Cindy Sheehan get handcuffed and taken away?
Posted By Anonymous Hooman, Nashville, TN. : 6:07 PM ET
Aloha,

The collapse of the Soviet Union was "blamed" on VCR tapes.

Iran now has DVDs, CDs, sat TV and Napster-type downloads.

"Deja Vu all over again?"

"Rock 'n roll will set you free".

We can only hope.

Honolulu Hugh,

Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted By Anonymous Hugh Dickson, Honolulu, HI : 6:09 PM ET
The answer is easy, you must deal with both Iran's. Those who seek freedom define what Iran can be. We need to foster that. Those who seek to develop WMD must be contained. The civilized world must also do that.
Posted By Anonymous Dan K., Madison WI : 6:09 PM ET
Christiane's report raises some very good questions about how the West should deal with the "two Irans." As she suggests, though, finding the answers will be far more difficult. Most young people in Iran would love more cultural freedoms and interaction with the West (e.g., more Rock 'n Roll, sports competitions with Western athletes, etc.). I believe that many of them would also like a new, more liberal government, but most of us here in the West really don't know how strongly they want the current regime to go and whether they really have the stomach to take on the mullahs. Future reporting on that issue would certainly be difficult, but it would also be fascinating and may even help some of us in the West figure out how best to deal with the two Irans.
Posted By Anonymous Mark, Redondo Beach, CA : 6:11 PM ET
Iranian rock has a long way to come, unfortunately. I played in several rock bands with Iranians while I was on assignment there, and though they have the passion that makes rock great, the still need to grasp some fundamental qualities of rock music (especially melody and stage presence). But kudos to you for pointing out its potential!
Posted By Anonymous Jason Mulgrew - NY, NY : 6:11 PM ET
Lived in Tehran from 1972-1974...doesn't sound like much has changed over there to me...nor will it ever...those people are 2000 years behind the world.
Posted By Anonymous Tina Matejek, Las Vegas, Nevada : 6:12 PM ET
Dear Christiane~
Don't mean to fawn over you or anything, but I simply love the way you write your reports! It's hard enough to get any straight information out of Iran, much less something that isn't skewed by someone's politics or blind ideology. Please keep writing online about Iran. I find it facinating and I love reading your reports of what you find there. Best regards, Joseph Thinn, B.S.E.E.
Posted By Anonymous Joseph Thinn, B.S.E.E, Huntington Beach, Confusion : 6:13 PM ET
I think Christian Amanpour's perspective and commitment to good journalism is necessary and appreciated. I will stop what I'm doing to see her reports, no matter what the subject.
On Iran, it seems like the global "identity crisis" of a government that does not necessarily reflect their population, including the United States. Compromise and common ground are always found in society and rarely come from government.
I would like to know if the internet has perhaps changed the thought process in Iran? Is information censored and what sort of journalism is allowed by Tehran? I remember CNN was banned for a time by the government for something or other.
Thanks for the stories...
Posted By Anonymous Daniel Grey , Ann Arbor, MI : 6:14 PM ET
Dear Christiane,
I am very glad that you wrote about the youger generation of Iran for i am and always will be. Iran is not only a war zone, but a party city with beutiful metropolise and very nice people.
I grew up in iran and lived their for half of my life...Although i miss it i am grateful for all the services america has to offer.
Posted By Anonymous Kian Koleini, Memphis TN : 6:14 PM ET
There is little new in this duality of thinking, exhibited by the people and the young of Iran. In the 1930-ies, the wast majority of my contemporaries in Germany, Hungary or Italy knew (I am in my late seventies)that Hitler was a dangerous idiot and that Mussolini was a posturing clown and none of us did anything against them. We danced at our endless parties, drank our wine, played New Orleans Jazz and were just as self-absorbed in our youthful pleasures and were just as ignorant and self-absorbed as the youth of Iran. And, the bosses knew it and knew that our posturing amounted to nothing. The Ayatollahs knew this very well, also. And, just as we had to pay the price, so will the youth of Iran, and unfortunately that of the Western World.
Posted By Anonymous Stephen S. Fort Worth Texas : 6:17 PM ET
Acccording to a Persian (do we call them Iranians now?) friend of mine back at the University of Chicago, there's a wall somewhere in Tehran that has "Deicide" grafitti on it (Deicide is a band). Apparently Satanic American death metal was pseudo popular at some point in the 1990s in Iran.
Posted By Anonymous Jorge Rivera, Ithaca, NY : 6:19 PM ET
Want to encourage democracy and free, modern idealogies in Iran or elsewhere? Beam in rock & roll. Rock & Roll had more to do with the downfall of the old Soviet Union and the destruction Berlin Wall than all of old Ronnie's expensive and dangerous sabre ratting.
Posted By Anonymous Richard O'Brien, Memphis, TN : 6:21 PM ET
We should be encouraging the reformists to come out of the fold and help them get their message out, help them when their papers and candidates get banned. People are just holding onto the dellusion that one day everything will just fall apart and we'll magically find ourself with a govenment we like. Instead all of iran has become alienated.
Posted By Anonymous Ardeshir, Norwalk, CT : 6:23 PM ET
It was nice to read Christiane's blog that offered a brief but accurate two-sided perspective on a nation that frequents the news daily, but often in a single manner. We all get caught up in one side of the story, one characteristic of a group, one perspective; it's just part of human nature. All over the world, so many people only see what they want to see or are told to see. This narrow vision is a large contributor to much of the political conflict around the world, like why some Americans only see the Islamic "terrorists" and why some Islamic nations see the Western powers only as "evil" and threatening. Her report may not be the most noteworthy or motivating piece of the day, but, even in just a few paragraphs, Christiane's commentary was a breath of fresh air.
Posted By Anonymous P, MI : 6:27 PM ET
The same 'feel good' story can be reported in almost any country run by "hardliners" around the world. The truth of the matter is that the conservative hardliners have a stranglehold on power within the country, to include security forces, and this will not change anytime soon. Ahmadinejad was elected on a platform for solving social and economic problems, a platform he has now abandoned. Instead, he is strengthening his domestic political opinion by diverting attention from those problems and pushing the nuclear issue at a time when it appears the US is in a weak position. He has miscalculated this though, and now the EU-3/Russia/China disagree with him. Although the conservative ruling elite do not completely agree with him either, they are careful not to publicly disagree, for fear of appearing to be weak toward the west. The Iranian people are justifiably angry about foreign internal interference in the last 100 years and poor economic conditions, yet a political system does not exist to address their needs. Many are tired of 'revolution' as well, but the rock n roll youth are and will not be in a position to do anything for some time. The real solution to the current crisis lies with the seeming assimilation of a common political approach by the US, EU-3, and unbelievably Russia and China. The long term solution is marginalisation of the Supreme Ruler Khamenei and his cronies and emergence of a representative and responsible government.
Posted By Anonymous Mark, London, UK : 6:31 PM ET
Christian - As always excellent insight. The dichotomy you highlight between the hard liners and the youth is nothing new, yet we (the west) fail to capitalize on the opening. We had a great opportunity during the President Khatami period but we failed to reach out and left him isolated. (Khatami was a moderate that the students and youth related too � and we did nothing). How can we possibly reach out to the open minded students with a barrier such as Ahmadinejad in power?
Posted By Anonymous alex, atlanta ga. : 6:31 PM ET
I think it is myopic for the West to assume that they ram their democracy type style down anybody's throat. No decent citizen wants their country to be ordered and bullied without rebellying. Iran and Palaestian election is a clear indication that the US needs to change tactics.
Posted By Anonymous Ayo, Canada : 6:36 PM ET
You talk of "liberating" and "freeing" the Iranian people from a tyranical rule with potential nuclear capabilities. It sounds so familiar to a certain place called Iraq. If you talk about about what is happening in Iraq as "liberation" then frankly I would rather the West keep their ideals to themselves, and leave the Iranians to alone.
Posted By Anonymous Dajaal, Chigago, US : 6:38 PM ET
The irony of Iran's youth, as observed by Christiane, seems remarkably similar to the recent Hamas election. The vast majority of Palestineans do not appear to want an Islamic religious state, but yet it is the Islamic militant party that is overwhelmingly and ironically swept into power.

Recent events in Egypt seem to suggest a similar pattern there.

Christiane's point that this dichotomy creates a dilemma for the West is well-taken. Anyone who sees a black and white solution to the diplomatic problems facing the West in this region is naive.

P.S. Bill Glober, judging from your opinion that Iraq is not a disaster and that President Bush is not deserving of criticism, suggests that you and not Christiane are out of touch with reality.
Posted By Anonymous Kyle, Tulsa OK : 6:40 PM ET
Can't wait to see this report. Don't know enough about Iran besides what I hear from this Administration. I don't think they like them. hahaha
Posted By Anonymous Ann - Montana : 6:49 PM ET
There really doesn't seem to be a dilemma for the West in terms of who they should punish in Iran. The West has been punishing the people of Iran for the past 27 years through standing by while the barbaric Mullahs have strengthened their claws in the flesh of that land, its many resources and its people.
Posted By Anonymous Kiana Underwood, Burlingame, CA : 6:52 PM ET
Thank you for your report on Iran.

You didn't mention if the band was good. Any hope for them to go commercial or would that be over the top at this time.

What type of music do they listen to? Led Zeppelin? I would love to hear more on your impressions of Iran.
Posted By Anonymous Anne-Marie, Marin County, CA : 6:52 PM ET
I talked to a defense contractor that worked in Iran before the Isalmic Revolution. I wonder how the Iran of today differs from the Iran he knew. Maybe when the people of Iran get tired of the mullahs telling them how to live, they will take power and be allowed to make decisions for themselves.
Posted By Anonymous Chester, Warner-Robins, GA : 7:16 PM ET
Dajaal -- don't miss the point here. If the Iranians obtain nuclear weapons, it will set off a regional nuclear arms race, jeopardize the future of the NPT (if there is one), and further destabilize an extremely important region.

Despite all the media rhetoric, it is very unlikely that military action against Iran would take place -- there are too many adverse consequences. The teeth will come in the form of international economic/political sanctions if Iran continues on their current course.

Iraq will take time, but has some chance for success. Since it appears you reside in the US, study US history (and others) and you will see that there is no bloodless path to better government.
Posted By Anonymous Mark, London, UK : 7:18 PM ET
Is there really a dilemma in deciding who to deal with? The people or the government? The government is a ranting fundamentalist regime that has called for the annhilation of both the U.S. and Israel. How do you as a journalist seem to forget that the leader of Iran is nothing more than a psychotic man who has no respect for his people or his country. I must admit that it is strange how Christiane Amanpour has the ability to go in and out Iran so freely when no other journalist has that freedom. I suggest you spend a little more time doing your job as a journalist giving a voice to those who have none rather than helping further the goals of those who already have a platform.
Posted By Anonymous Shauna, Los Angeles, CA : 7:25 PM ET
I believe in a few decades, at most, most of Islam will be blown out of the water and those countries will start reflecting what is already bubbling insdie the youth who live in Islamic countries. Internet, movies, music, all media and entertainment will be plastered in their minds. Today there is only a spoonful of influence in Islam compared to what there will be in the upcoming years. I predict in ten years there will be a Hooters in Fallujah. Well, maybe that is pushing it, but at least a Starbucks.
Posted By Anonymous Laurie Orloff, Dallas, Texas : 7:26 PM ET
Dear Christiane, First, I want to tell you how much I appreciate your top notch reporting based on your personal knowledge of the Middle East and African countries.

Regarding this report: what jumps out at me is the "two Irans" perhaps can somewhat be compared to the U.S. "Far Right" and "Liberal" political beliefs. I find it so interesting and wonder if the "two Irans" can progress politically to tolerate each other's view points. In other words, do the Iranians understand that in a democracy you must have tolerance for all beliefs in order to work together toward being a strong and independent country?

I look forward to reading and listening to more of your reports. Please stay safe.
Posted By Anonymous J. Teal, Grass Valley, CA : 7:31 PM ET
This example is a case in point. I imagine this is the same situation for many other places in the world including north korea, burma-which was mentioned last night by President Bush. You can get the same impression of the U.S. We need to be able to tap into these other aspects of a society to overcome the adversities that we are now facing. I have heard similar stories of Iran (persia is the more likable term I have been told) from friends whose parents grew up there. Whenever they go home, there is a completely different society than the islamist extremist we have all come to know. Yes, it may not be not so good things as crazy night parties. But it is an example that people just want to live. Have a place to live, job to make that dough, and have a safe community to raise children. I doubt they could careless about using nuclear arms against a superpower.
Posted By Anonymous Tim ,Fairfax, Virginia : 7:51 PM ET
Iran, Like Palestine, is simply another flavor of democracy; one that Bush doesn't want to wake up to or recognise. Anyone with half a brain can see that people get elected in countries where the people do not approve or vote for them all of the time, not just in the middle east; take the united states for instance. We all know Bush was not elected fairly in either election. ( i can say that fairly too because in the first election I voted for him) Under this presidents rule we too in the USA must hide our freedom of expression underground lest we end up like Cindy Sheehan. Any unpopular views are squashed and people are being thrown in jail without access to lawyers. Not since the Japanese camps from ww2 have we seen such a backward step on calling americans enemies of themselves. Iran is more a mirror image of the usa then anyone out there realises I Think.
Posted By Anonymous Democrats to end the COC : 8:02 PM ET
What's all that talk of punishing or rewarding? Such paternalistic nonsense. Such arrogance. As for Tina who lived in Iran and think that "those people are 2,000 years behind", it is precisely because of people like you and their total lack of crosscultural respect as well as diplomatic finesse that we will not get any closer to "those people" anytime soon. The only reason you could be forgiven is if you were actually Iranian and just annoyed at the whole situation.
Posted By Anonymous JMD, Sausalito, CA : 8:17 PM ET
Cristiane, I'm both enlighted and encouraged by your comments. Maybe Huntington's clash of civilizations - at least as I understand the model - forbodes too harshly. Just as the West pereived a threat of monolithic communism throughout the Cold War, perhaps we're too quick to paint Iranian citizens with the same brush as their hardliner leaders.
Posted By Anonymous Mike Yurina, Spingfield, VA : 8:19 PM ET
Is there any internal opposition to the Iranian government? Another political party, armed restistance, anything?
Posted By Anonymous Chris, St. Louis Missouri : 8:20 PM ET
Young people of Iran UNITE! There is strength in numbers. You don't have to live under oppression. We, the young people of America, are sick of war and rumors of war as well. Thousands of American youth brought the Vietnam War to an end. Thousands of you can rush the citadels of power and drag that mad man who is threatening your lives and lifestyle into the streets and hang him from a light pole. The Ayatollahs will be left trembling with fear for their own lives. If you don't act soon, you will lose ALL the liberties you now enjoy.
Posted By Anonymous Gairvald Dahlstrom, Lincoln, NE : 8:21 PM ET
Christiane,

The West Wing administration said their goal was "...to raise the level of public debate in this country. And let that be our legacy." It's an honorable goal, and from the number of comments here it looks as if you have succeeded in reaching it. Congratulations on making a difference, and thank you for giving us information with which to develop our opinions through debate with our fellow Americans.

~Rachel
Posted By Anonymous Rachel, Chapel Hill, NC : 8:29 PM ET
To Laurie Orloff, Texas. Replacing Islam will also bring teenage pregnancies, rampant adulteries, all types of pornographies, AIDS and STDs, divorces and broken families, rapes, single mothers, prostitutions etc., not just Hooters and Starbucks. The West has it own vices. You know what I mean.
Posted By Anonymous Sarkar, Placentia, CA : 8:31 PM ET
I was fortunate enough to have a professor of political science who also was born and raised in Iran (pre-revolution. He very much understood what made the "hardliners" who they were, but also couldn't fathom how they continue their hold on the land. How sad it is that so many places in the world don't engage in open thought...with the idea of moving forward...not going back in time. Hmm - sometimes that happens here too!
Posted By Anonymous Laurie Sasala-Facsina, Twinsburg, OH : 8:43 PM ET
Music is a voice in it-self. Music can create peace, everyone just needs to listen. I hope the entire world can some day accept one another, the same or different, neither should matter. I am sad that Peace is so impossible right now.
Posted By Anonymous jon kaminsky philadelphia pa : 8:52 PM ET
Never fear my friends... the day is coming when the Gen-xers will rule the world. We are independent, free thinking, open minded, mostly tolerant and truly desire a shared experience of cultures and most importantly, dialogue (growing up with Joey Ramone will do that to you). The primary question is this, "Can we avoid practicing a learned hatred and intolerance from those who only wish further conformance upon us?"

War is peace, slavery is freedom, ignorance is strength
Posted By Anonymous John, Fresno, CA : 8:55 PM ET
Everybody seems to talk about hard-line governments. Calling any government being Islamic or any Religious extremist is the same. The people on street are trying to make ends meet and are hospitable and the young are influenced by media. However before we judge Iran or any country for that matter lets look at ourselves. Do we have a hard-line government that arrests people in the gallery of Congress. Some one whose family has given the ultimate sacrifice for this country. A government who is acknowledging spying on it's own citizens. Who gives the right to us to have nuclear power and tell other's they are irresponsible and should not have nuclear power it may be in the form of energy or weapons to defend their country. Who allows us to call ourselves a super power. Don't you think that may be the reason that in countries like Iran and other places these hardliners end up wining elections because the average person is afraid of the SUPERPOWER taking over their country.

If we were more inclusive than Isolationist, may be we would not have to deal with regime's like the one in Iran.
Posted By Anonymous zk, TO, CA : 8:55 PM ET
Amanpour,

Its dissapointing to here that how people like you who ran away from Iran during islamic revolution. Basically you all were Shah's pupits who wanted to live Americanized and moderinized live contrary to the Allah orders and Quran. And Now you are judging Iran and it's political structure on the basis of American values and its immoral life standards where they have sepererated the God and its given religion from politics. While it takes one to know one which means you have to be a true muslim to know Islam and that islam and the holy book Quran has laws, rules and guidance for every aspect of life so unlike you Iranains are proud to be a muslim and blessed to be leading their lives according to Quran.I am not an Iranian but still deeply respect that country and its people who still remember the message to Aqa Khomaini and are never going to forget. As Mohammad brought the Arab from darkness into light , it is Imam Khomaini who brought Iranian from Americans and shah tyrany into peace and prosperous life. Once again its all about oil. After all thanks to God Iran is the second largest producer of OPEC and its rulers are no like Saddam Hussain so America is asking itself what to do. And the solution these politician are proposing is to expoit the situatin of bunch of young Iranian who want to have a nudity, valgarity, premarital sex, drugs, Alcohols and tell the whole world jee how oppressed these young people are. I would suggest America instead of thinking about this why not do some real thinking and save the African nations from starving, famine, genocide.
Posted By Anonymous Reality Check,houston,tx : 8:59 PM ET
The dilemma for the West is figuring out which one to deal with: Who to punish? Who to reward? And how?---- I think the biggest mistake we are doing here in the west is that we are judging. What gives us the moral authority to reward or punish ? Is it not similar to the saying - "Either you are with me or against me" ? If we need to work with Iran, we need to be friends with me. We cannot force policies in even the meekest of the countries with the our best millitary might anymore. We are seeing how we are failing in Iraq. The best foreign policy for US right now is to see how the hatred towards us is reduced and make more friends among countries.Thanks.
Posted By Anonymous Shareen Hegde, San Antonio, TX : 9:04 PM ET
Khanom Amanpour, salam.

I am an American and my wife is Iranian from Kerman. America and Iran have a lot in common. Just as the majority of Americans are not particularly fond of Bush the same goes for Ahmadinejad in Iran. The difference is that the President in the USA has real power where in Iran this is not the case. I can only wish that the powers in both countries could come up with a face saving way to resolve their differences. Please keep up the good work. Only through the open sharing of thoughts can problems be resolved without violence.
Khoda-afess.
Posted By Anonymous Mike Klaene, Downingtown, PA : 9:05 PM ET
First I like to say that I admire your work and your value and contribution to our society through your work and courage.

Second, it no surprise to me that you have a government that is at odds with the people who live in the society of that government. Take the many people today in the USA who vote straight party tickets, or who vote what their religious leaders tell them to vote, with out thought of what direction that vote will lead us or them.

They are no different then we are, blind and with out thought as to how the action of the one influence the lives of the many. History is never learned, no matter how many times it is repeated.

Any person that stands up and tells the truth about our future direction, or details our flaws is denounce as someone who is on the fringe of our belief system. Any means need to shut them out is used. All powerful organization want to continue the course that they have spent years laying out and will put any and all pressure on the people to make sure that the course is not alter.

The truth is a subjective view, and can be influence by a lie repeat often enough. They are no better or worst then we are when it comes to our future and our ability to think independently.
Posted By Anonymous David Sexton, Bluefield WV : 9:06 PM ET
How many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
The answer my friend is blowin in the wind
the answer is blowin in the wind...


Music has the power to change and clearly is doing so again. Keep on rockin in the free world... and the muslim one as well.
Posted By Anonymous tom stovall, st. petersburg, FL : 9:22 PM ET
The fact that there's underground rock means that there's a chance for progress in Iran. You might not like the music, but you gotta love the attitude. What would our own country look like without the popular music of the 60s? Two full terms of Nixonian paranoia? Followed directly by Reagonomics? It's only the interludes that have kept us from fascism.
Posted By Anonymous Rick, Anacortes, WA : 9:35 PM ET
Iran is ripening for a people's revolution a la the Orange and Rose revolutions. I thought it would have happened with Khatami, but the mullahs shut him down unfortunately. As for 'democracy'...democracy is only as good as the choices the people have. Witness the Palestinian elections -- the old, corrupt former terrorists (Fatah) vs. the young, idealistic active terrorists (Hamas). Or the US elections -- a rich kid on the Right vs. a rich kid on the Left. Democracy does not equal freedom. A free market, with a free exchange of ideas and content... that's the source of freedom. So, keep on pumping rock 'n' roll into Teheran!
Posted By Anonymous JC, Chicago IL : 9:36 PM ET
This is intellectual reporting? Please, breathless style and solid analysis are not compatible. i will stick with The Nation.
Posted By Anonymous SEW,Philadelphia, PA : 9:38 PM ET
Hello,
Great to hear that Iran still is interested in modernization.
Posted By Anonymous Jonathan, Jakarta Indonesia : 9:39 PM ET
Christiane,
You're always such a refreshing voice in contemporary journalism. Thank you for giving us a peek into a nation-state and culture from your own insights and perspective.
Posted By Anonymous Doro, Portland, Oregon : 9:39 PM ET
Your appearance on the Larry King show indicated the amount of objective reporting the American public will get you. You obviously have an agenda to broadcast and your version of the news will be what we receive. So much for CNN news......BLANK PICTURE
Posted By Anonymous J. Kelly, St. Louis MO. : 9:40 PM ET
Christianne,

Just wanted to say that I sincerely enjoy your writing, and I hope you will continue to keep us informed about what's going on in Iran an abroad.

Do you have a blog? If so, I hope you continue to provide us written correspondence (in addition to the video journalism you are well known for) because I really enjoyed reading this post.

-Hooman
Posted By Anonymous Hooman, Cambridge, MA : 9:58 PM ET
Rock and Roll is everywhere and always will be! Music, no matter what the type, brings people together. When I played Navy we would take our guitars to city parks in all the different countries we visited and make new friends. You may have not understood the language, but the music (which was mostly rock and roll) would do the speaking for you.
Posted By Anonymous Greg Snyder, Alton, IL : 10:11 PM ET
The day has come for a new revolution in Iran. As Iranians, we adjust and fit into the society we have adopted-anywhere we go. But, the Iranians in Iran are suffering and need help from the Western civilization; not only to better the lives of the Iranians, but to rid ourselves, and everyone in the world, of the fanatic and dangerous MEN who are in power and who continue to nurture terrorism.
Posted By Anonymous Shirin A. Dorin, D.D.S., San Diego : 10:12 PM ET
Ms. Amanpour,
Your observations in Iran were very interesting, particularly, in that we older folks have seen them before. The concept of two countries within one was reported 30 years ago, in the USSR and again 20 years ago in China. Perhaps there is an inexorable movement in countries with repressive regimes toward modernism and capitalism?

I never bought into the argument that American militarism broke the Communist bloc. I contend that the D.O.D. was incidental when compared to the power of Levi's, Coca-Cola, MTV, and Disney. Maybe those same forces are at work in Iran? Thank you for some fascinating reporting.
Posted By Anonymous Michael Spangler, Pecatonica IL : 10:20 PM ET
Thanks for your reporting Christiane. I have been exchanging emails with a girl in Iran since last year and have developed a friendship. It is so true when you say that the teenagers could belong anywhere, even the United States. One thing I learned that the average American does not realize is that Iranians are not Arab. Most of them consider themselves Persians, and speak farsi not Arabic. Another thing I found amazing is how similar their youth is to ours in the west. They enjoy many of the same things, although in a much more repressed way. Although I am not Iranian I have come to sympatize with the culture and people and can only hope that one day they regain control of their country, as it seems now it under the tight control of a few hardliners and Imams. I look forward to the day when Iran is considered as equal a friend as Japan is to the west. Good luck, and keep up the good work out there in the field!
Posted By Anonymous Frank, Miami FL : 10:23 PM ET
Give free Ipods to Iraqi kids. Start a website where Iraqi kids and American kids share their favorite bands or even their own music. Make a Pen Pal type connection possible. Make a (translatable?) website similar to MySpace where kids can learn about each other and know the comonalities that exist among all teenagers. Show the young people that there is more to life than dying for fundamentalists' ideals of heaven. Spread knowledge and tolerance thru art, music, culture of teenagers, language of adolescents.
Posted By Anonymous Sara Riney, Atlanta GA : 10:28 PM ET
I read your remarks and a few of the comments. You talk about two Irans as if it's a bad thing!!!

Why don't we look closer at home. Look at our own "Christian" church-goers both adult and youth. On Sundays we're all about Christ and "loving our enemies". Then through the week we forget our sacriment promises. Our Christian" youth produce a lot more imoralities than any kid in Iran or any of those countries. But because the youth in Iran want to listen to Rock n Roll they have no right to be religious at the same time. I detect a little "Bush/Neocon" contradiction here, do't you Christiane!!

Unlike what the opponents of the Islamic revolution, paid by the CIA, would have us beleive, the international commitees have all congratulated Iran on the way the elections were held. Iranian government was also recently congratulated for the way it has moved towards tollerance towards other religions. Where else would you make sure that a minority group like the Jews and the Christians in Iran would have representations in the House of Representatives? Would the US government let the moslems get together and elect representatives just for them?

I too was born in Iran and spent the first 16 years of my life there. I have visited the place a few times now and see freedom in true meaning of the word.

In the US a respectable Senator, using is freedom, critisizes the war and what happens to him? The Bush administration immediately goes after him and destroys his reputation and life time achievements. God forgive if something like that happens in Iran. That would be a UN resolution to invade the country to protect "Freedom".

Christane, next time you want to visit Iran take me with you. I would love to show you the improvements Iranians have made and how Free and political they are.
Posted By Anonymous Alex Kazan, Los Angeles, CA : 10:31 PM ET
I am an iranian-american liveing in LA for 22 years now. I went to iran last june for a visit, coincied with the iranian election. most secular people and the youths did not bother to vote as a protest. So, the election was fabricated, almost all reformist candidates were disqualified beforehand, and the revolutionary guard and their militias double voted for the current president. This is something the American people need to be informed. How can you tell our readers this is an elected president? We need to present the facts and the truth in Iran, so the prejudice towards iranians decreases in America hopefully. Majority of Iranian people living in Iran Adore USA.
Posted By Anonymous Reza, Los Angeles, Californica : 10:42 PM ET
Dear Ms. Amanpour,

I have always enjoyed your reporting and the professionalism that typifies your work. That is why I am very surprised at the statement you made in the second paragraph of your blog report. Quote: "...Who would have thought Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a fundamentalist Islamic hardliner, could have been elected president by a country that's overwhelmingly young and overwhelmingly wants reform, modernization, travel and dialogue with the West?"

If I didn't know better I would have said this was indicative of a fundamental lack of understanding on your part vis-a-vis the Iranian elections and more importantly the powerful and ruthless stranglehold this dictator government has on the majority of the Iranian people who, as you alluded to, oppose it in every sense of the word.

Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Iranian dictatorship disqualified several hundred moderate and reformer candidates before the elections, effectively stealing the elections before any ballots were cast. The overwhelming majority of voters then boycotted the elections and it was only after it was evident that Khamenei's man, Ahmadinejad might be elected that some more (young) voters decided to vote for Rafsanjani. But in the end Khamenei's influence and the fact that his security forces were in charge of guarding the ballot boxes, swung the election his way.

I have spent a good portion of the last 17 years going back and forth to Iran and have been a witness to the struggle of the Iranian people against overwhelming odds. They don't have any power to confront the security forces and various ruthless militias who are deathly loyal to the hardline mullahs. Any demostrations are put down with brutality. The leaders of the student demostrations a few years ago were imprisoned, tortured and in
the end had their eyes gouged out to make an example.

In the face of all this, the vast population of young Iranians are fighting back in the best way they can, by resisting, pushing the envelope against the social restrictions and living private lives in ways diametrically opposed to the strict government restrictions. This is what you also observed and reported.

Iran has a very young polulation with 65% (of 70 million) being under the age of 25, and they are a very intelligent and informed population. Iranian university students have more than once or twice won or placed in international science olympiads and robotic competitions, against such academic powerhouses as MIT, Harvard, Caltech and Princeton. And they are very well versed in dance, music, fashion and social interaction - ways in which they routinely resist the oppressive regime in Iran, even if privately.

It is this resistance and this considerable potential energy, impossible to suffocate or control in its entirety, that is the key to the liberation of the Iranian people and society from this tyranical regime, barring some Iraq-style shoot-from-the-hip foreign policy decision from the NeoCon White House.

Thank you for the opportunity to express my views and all the best to you in continuing your good work.

For my safety, please withold my name and my city.
Posted By Anonymous K.Z. - USA : 10:55 PM ET
The Iran issue is not one of how the US should "reward" or "punich" anyone in Iran. It is an internal situation that must be resolved by Iranians. If there are enough eductaed Iranians who understand being led by a fundamentalist warmonger(kind of like the USA these days) is a dangerous game, they need to deal with it internally.
Posted By Anonymous Ash Ganley, Lyons, Colorado : 10:58 PM ET
Dear Christianne -

Your extremely well-informed and always insightful reporting is a joy to so many who follow a lot of international news and admire open- minded and very intelligent commentary. Thank you.
Posted By Anonymous Joe Hunkins, Talent, Oregon : 11:00 PM ET
Tina in Las Vegas, you lived in Iran for two years (regardless of it was even before the revolution or not) and you think Iranians are 2000 years behind the rest of the world?

I have one question - What the heck were you doing during those two years?

The vast, vast majority of non-Iranians who have been to Iran will tell you otherwise. I think you probably associate being "behind the rest of the world" on a certain popular culture level which you probably grew up with, not an actual, deeply-rooted understanding of real culture.

I'm really sorry you missed out on a great opportunity.
Posted By Anonymous Arash Moslehi, Vancouver, Canada : 11:03 PM ET
Just saw Christiane special in Iran. Thank you so much for bringing light on the true situation in IRan. I have long long admired you and appreciate greatly your hard nosed reporting. YOu deserve much more credit for your dangerous and difficult role.
Posted By Anonymous Michael Darter, Champaign, IL : 11:03 PM ET
For Iranians, I do not think liking western music, clothing or movies is the same as liking or wanting the western political systems or cultures. I am sure you as an Iranian can easily understand that. You are a success in the western world, but I am sure you are still carrying many of the traditional Iranian values.

At this point the choice is not for the United States to make. The choice also is not between western values or Islamic traditions. The choice is for us the Iranian people to decide if we are Iranians first or Moslems. Mysteriously the Persian culture of tolerance, peace and justice is still alive in the psyche of many Iranians. What is also remembered is that we did not choose to become moslems, our land was invaded and our great people decimated with no choice but to accept the Arab rule and religion. The rulers of Iran now are moslems, the ones with black turbans consider themselves descendents of the prophet. To them the death and destruction imposed on Iran and its people are just part of advancing the greater moslem cause. A price they are easily willing to pay since they do not have the emotional or historical bonds with the Iranian people. Unfortunately if the people of Iran do not choose to be Iranians first, then the easiest thing for the west is to divide Iran based on its various religious, ethnic and geographical factions. The mullahs do not have the power to fight a simultaneous multi regional civil war. All their missiles, assassins and other tools of their trade will just be useless in such an event. In either case death and destruction is awaiting upon the Iranian people.
Posted By Anonymous Fereydoon, Larijan, Mazandaran : 11:08 PM ET
Many people here would say that it is the US that is hauling Iran into another crisis, just as they hauled Iraq into a crisis: escalatng rhetoric, exaggerating findings, and as we all know finally even fabricating facts, so they could "pre-emptively" strike. What has been gained? Bloodshed and suffering which now nearly equals what the Iraqis suffered under Saddam.
In your program on CNN, Christianne, you mentioned that there were two Irans, the ones who support the hard-liners, and ones who play rock music, the musicians, etc. But there is a third group, which is larger than these two put together. These are people who ride out whichever government is in power, be it reformist or fundamentalist, who are busy working and raising their children and going about their lives. Life in Iran is not as difficult as the world press paints it.
In summary, I hope that the world can realize that the US has not set an example of how it can help people or governments through what happened in Iraq. Repeating the actions from Iraq and applying them to Iran, with just a few changes in the script, is something that should appear horrible to most Americans. "When will we ever learn, when will we ever learn?"
Posted By Anonymous Mrs. Khorasani, Mashhad, Iran : 11:10 PM ET
Christianne,

I have never been to Iran, and will probably never visit. I would however,love to sit with some of the people (both hardliners and modern thinkers) and really here their views on us on the west. Because this will never happen, I am very appreciative of people like you that take the time out of there lives to bring the Iranian world to us. It is wrong to say there is no peace without war, it should be there is no peace without understanding!
Posted By Anonymous Shawn, Winnipeg, MB Canada : 11:15 PM ET
Thank you, Christiane. No matter what good there is in Iran there will always be closed minded people who will never accept it tolerate it or understand anyone that is from the islamic world just because they are from where they are.I find the persian culture of over 2000 years fascinating.How they have survived for so many years. They have bean here way longer than us and they will continue their survival for many more thousands wheater we like it or not , they will find the way.
Posted By Anonymous Elise,MT Laurel,NJ : 11:21 PM ET
Wow, Christiane Amanpour. I have to say how much I admire your bravery. Please, please, take care of yourself.
Your stories shed so much light in to the dark unknown. Keep being that light.
Posted By Anonymous Barbara Wheeland, Montreal, QC : 11:28 PM ET
I'm glad to see that for once the other side of Iran has been also shown to the world.. that happens rarely..
I'm Persian, been living in Iran for 18 years(since I was born)until a few months ago. I don't see Iranian people being very enthusiastic to make a move and change anything, they're just too tired of everything, and all they want is freedom but they literally don't have the energy to do anything.. Everything is being censored in Iran and people don't have access to all information they want. I was in iran when the election was going on and not even a single person around me voted for ahmadinejad.. everyone was bewildered because there weren't even many advertisements for his party, all of the ads we would see were either for Hashemi Rafsanjani or Moein.. It was really a surprise to us that he became the president, even at that time none of us believed that he would actually try to put stricter laws on action, but he did. God, I really don't know what will happen to this country in the near future..
oh and by the way, that band is called 127...They're acquaintances of us, there are many other underground bands also in tehran...There are some competitions each year among them.
Posted By Anonymous Nazanin,Montreal,Quebec : 11:36 PM ET
Okay, so many news networks have reported this fact before. Iranians listen to rock. Big deal. Music is universal. If you think that citizens of a country with a very VERY authoritarian regime, (even though it's Persian style, and thus very lax) follow and act to the letter of the law, and do not dissent, and do not rebel, and do not break from collectivity, I ask you, why do you think them so beneath you? Anti-clericalism has been a part of Islam sicne it started, and Iranians are human like all others, we are all kind of crazy and kinky. Find something hoenst to report about, not flashy mind filler. What about how Western media focuses on trivial things, and repeats those facts ad nausem, but refuses to go indepth into the situation, and discover situations without bias.
Posted By Anonymous Zhoupin, Vancouver, BC : 11:38 PM ET
What is it with the West always dictating that non-western culture is something to be ashamed about. This report has no significance whatsoever, but just tries to make an attempt at making it seem as if the whole nation of Iran is suppressed. Just because a few kids like to listen to rock and roll doesnt mean that the people of Iran are victimized. Does the whole world have to accept the western culture and allow it to become mainstream into their culture, which ofcourse will have the effect of destroying Iranian customs and culture. Also I don't see what the problem is with Iran conducting nucleur research. If they have the capability and understanding to develop nucleur power, then they have the right to develop it. What makes the United States, England, France, India, Pakistan any better. We have seen that the major aggressor in this world is the United States, if anything the United States should disarm and takes its own advice.......
Posted By Anonymous A .H. Chicago, Illinois : 11:45 PM ET
Ms.Amanpour
I am really amazed at the way U give people impressions of Iran when U are of the same originality. People here were always Modernised, that does not mean that they have to be like Americans. They live a modern life, with music and modern clothes. So that shows they have freedom to live and say what they feel. Some here in the post were surprised that we even have western clothes. What do U think Iranians are people living in caves!!! U left here your motherland and now U give out stories that are against the people here. Iranians are free people live a modern life and follow their religious rites too. They are brave people and have a brave president. Thats the most important part of it. No one is forced to, thats the biggest lie. We dont want to wash away our customs and culture we keep it and stay modern too.
Posted By Anonymous Mariyam,Tehran/Iran : 12:05 AM ET
I wanted to comment on this,because i am a musician,and though i am from the U.S. i think that it is so sad that these poor kids and young adults can't express themselves the way that we can.I have friends that come from Iran and they are the most generious sweet loving people that i have ever met.They are here able to live like what we call normal,and they are so happy.Wouldn't it be a blessing if those kids could live without having to hide out or always be looking behind there backs.It reminds me of what i recall the holocost was like.With all of the jews not being able to do anything while they were under restriction by the Germans and then eventually sent off to the camps.I know that this is not as extreme,but God it must be hell having to live just remotely like that.We here should be so greatful that we are free.This is why we need to make sure that we stay this way.I wish that they could be free just like us.Remeber a time also when there was a thing called the Berlin Wall. What a time this was also.If history tells us anything,then we know that eventually those people will be free.I just pray that it's not at the expense of American blood anymore.What scares me the most is that yes they have elected a person that has sick views like Hitler had.Where is this all leading? I hate to think the worse.But i don't trust this guy running that country and i don't think to many nations should.I'm just a simple nobody and that's probably all i will ever be,but i would be willing to bet that my feelings on this are shared by alot of people around the world,i just hope that others will step up to the plate and make these views be heard and then stop this person before he doesn't somthing that could be dramatic and deadly.I will pray for Isreal.
Posted By Anonymous Joe , Reseda,Ca : 12:16 AM ET
Wake up Ms. Amanpour,
Enough viewing Iran and muslim countries with the lens of the west. Is it remotely feasible that you can recover your lost journalistic objectivity and integrity? Can you for once tell your viewers what they dont like to hear:most of the people in the Middle East do not care about modrenization or silly fads like rock and roll,to say the least.I am disgusted by your new hypocracies. Incidently, how can an embedded reporter like yourself ensure non-bias?apparently you rearranged your priorities,respect yourself and tell your western viewers to stop meddling in other people's cultures. As for you go find another career and spare us your boring and subservient style.
Posted By Anonymous Sam,London&Fayrooz,Iran : 12:37 AM ET
Christiane,

I have great respect for your work and your reporting are both interesting and informative.

It is a sad fact that when most Americans think of an Iranian, we have this image of a turban -mounted religious radical who spends a good part of his day doing nothing more than chanting senselessly and making hate speech toward the west. While this is obviously far from the truth, it is still very hard to kick the habit of judging an entire people by their leaders whom we see on TV day in and day out. This is also why reports like yours are so important in opening eyes and minds toward the reality that at the end of the day, there is something in common among all people regardless of their cultural and religious background--- among which is our simple desire to be happy. Many on this board are quick to make the self-righteous judgment that Rock N Roll is just another American export of decadence corrupting the young Iranian minds. Well, let's make it clear, Rock N Roll is NOT just another American export, it is one of the biggest guns in our arsenal against tyranny and theocracy such as the one currently governing Iran. Rock N Roll, along with free market and the freedom to choose, whether it is our religion or our leaders, are things that make most people happy. It is clear that those who would like to curtail such natural pursuit of happiness in order to impose their sadistic religious or social ideologies on others could only do so by first resorting to dictatorship and terror. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao had all committed unspeakable acts that led to the death of millions--- all for the purpose of fulfilling their so-called visionary ideologies. But in the end, the only thing their ideologies have in common is the fact that they are extinct from their own country and from the world like the dinosaurs, and make no mistake about it, America, along with our Rock N Roll WERE part the unstoppable asteroid that crashed their party--- no pun intended.
No matter where each of us stand, we can rest assured that when the time comes for figures like Ahmadinejad to disappear into the unnoticeable footnote of history, our Rock N Roll will still ring loud all over the world as a clear, unyielding, and indestructible alternative to tyranny.
Posted By Anonymous Jack, San Francisco CA : 1:46 AM ET
There is an old saying, "Those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones", Our country continues to criticize other countries about poverty, crime, pourus borders, and fraudulent elections. We should clean our own house before we ask others to clean theirs.

Regarding nuclear weapons, we have nuclear weapons, so do many other countries. If we are going to ask other countries not to obtain nucleaur power or weapons, again, we should clean our own house.
Posted By Anonymous Lynn, Essex, VT : 6:47 AM ET
It will never be the rock n roll that will change Iran into a more modern coumtry with freedom that its people could enjoy.The garage bands alone cannot provide what it takes to run a country and away frim radicalism of the mullahs whom unfortunately might trade it with the gates of heaven.
Posted By Anonymous Alister, NYC, NY : 7:01 AM ET
There are really 2 kind of Irans. One of them really modern, full of technology, with the same vicious of the modern western countrys, so powerfully and full of very eduucated people. This iran will be the future of iran and will be one of the most important countrys in trading in all the world. The other iran more conservator, based in the relion's believes and in the national proud. But it doesn't means this other iran as lack of education, lack of technology and lack of power, it's the oppositive some times. AND CAN'T BOTH THE IRANS LIVE TOGETHER? WHAT'S TEH POROBLEM? It should be the iranian's people deciding what they want for them, what they think is the best for them, how they want to live. And be sure, nothing can be done forever against the majority of the people of one nation if they don't want it. The biggest power is in people, in the "normal" people. The biggest problem of Iran is not in Iran, but outside the country in the western countrys specially in Europe and USA. LET THEM DECIDE BY THEMSELF AND SHOW TO THE WORLD THE REAL IRAN NOT THEM THEY (west) WANT TO SHOW. They are for sure lots of problems in Iran, but are the western countrys free of them?
Posted By Anonymous Paulo Reis, Amarante, PORTUGAL : 7:31 AM ET
This was a great program!
Thank you for (finally) showing almost every side of Iranian society!
I "BEG" CNN to do more of these so that people in the US can see the real Iranian people (not just beard headed mullahs and those who chant in front of them).
I have been in US since 2000 and this was the first time that I saw the real people (those many whom I know and used to hang out with) are being showed by CNN.
And yes, there are good ski resorts in Iran and yes many people know how to ski.

Thank you CNN
Thank you Christiane
Thank you Anderson

Roozbeh
Posted By Anonymous Roozbeh, Minneapolis, MN : 10:42 AM ET
It is clear that a number of posters here are confused between preserving a culture and the natural human desire to be free, to not to be told what to wear, which music to listen to, what to believe, and most of all, to not to be persecuted for disagreeing with the official viewpoints. Many of the posters who criticized, often in quite obnoxious tone, Christiane for her reporting and the west for all its wrongs and imperfections, dare not mutter a single word against the local government for all their wrongs, when they are themselves physically within the border of a country like Iran. Let�s face it, those of us who live in the west feel free to complain about our governments all day long not because we are anymore more righteous or courageous than the everyday Iranian, but simply because we CAN without fearing a subsequent midnight knock on the door by the secret police. In every culture, there are parts that ought to be preserved at the free will of the people, and there are parts that ought to be abandoned as part of the constant human progression. For example, we in the west used to practice burning people at stake for suspicion of witchcraft or subversion (or just mere speaking out) against the state. Aren�t we all glad that we have stopped practicing that part of our culture? Similarly, the Iranian government still hang teenage girls from a construction crane for the patty offense (if you could call that) of having pre-marital sex. Some would argue that this is just part of their Iranian culture, but there are those of us who believe, within reason, that such barbaric practice has nothing to do with culture but rather that it is all about exerting control over the populace. Ours is not just a western view, but one that emerged from the better and more compassionate part of humanity. For those of us who live in the west, spoiled by our blessing of liberty, rather than staying put and minding our own business, it is our job to take proactive steps to break that control and finally finally let those who are oppressed, in the name of culture, go free.

As for you, Christiane, I am inspired by your sense of fairness and courage in giving a voice to those who would otherwise not be heard. Every little chip on the wall counts as it will bring us closer to the day when nothing stands between those would truly like to live side-by-side in peace.
Posted By Anonymous William, San Jose CA : 12:08 PM ET
To Sarkar, Placentia, CA
All the issues you mentioned:
teenage pregnancies, rampant adulteries, all types of pornographies, AIDS and STDs, divorces and broken families, rapes, single mothers, prostitutions etc.,
EXIST TODAY in Iran because of the governing ISLAMIC regime. And might I add to your list: unemployment, poverty, discrimination against women.
The only way this regime is overthrow is by the people of Iran.
Posted By Anonymous AZ, Boston, MA : 12:18 PM ET
Your report last night was excellent!
It is scary to hear the hardliners in Iran talk. They have all the answers. Their god is the true God. This is why they feel their government would be better as a theocracy then a democracy. They are the minority of Iran's population, but since they speak the loudest...the rest of the population is expected to follow. They have a very simplistic view; if everyone follows the Koran then all problems are solved.

Wait a second, for a moment there I thought I was talking about the Christian far right in America. The similarities are frightning.

We need to be afraid of Iran's nuclear power. We also need to be just as afraid of the Christian far right in America!
Posted By Anonymous Trudi, St. Paul, MN : 2:02 PM ET
To AZ, Boston,MA
Can you tell us how many x-rated pornographic films are out there that have Iranian (still living in Iran) actors and actresses? You have a right to believe whatever you want, but please do not fool others.
Posted By Anonymous Sarkar, Placentia, CA : 2:28 PM ET
Ms. Amanpour stated that she never knows what she will find when she returns to Iran. One thing is sure. Until the current regime is toppled, she will find a rascist, lying, war-mongering dictator who has nothing but contempt for Christian-Judeo society and free thought.
Posted By Anonymous Michael, Los Angeles, CA : 3:57 PM ET
You are an awesome woman and a powerful reporter. Thanks for being so honest, professional and for seeing so much! I value your reports and honor your courage and strength...My prayers are with you on your journey!
JoEllen Shannon
Posted By Anonymous Portland, Oregon : 3:58 PM ET
Christiane...

When I think about the best that the world of journalism has to offer, I think of you! I'm inspired by your sense of openess and fairness.

You reach and delve into all the corners of the world and news...and still able to have hope for tomorrow. On a much smaller scale, because of you, I realize that I am so blessed to be a part of this world. Thank you for providing an fresh insight to the news that's truly needed...
Posted By Anonymous Xavier, Phoenix, Arizona : 4:06 PM ET
I really felt for that guy who runs his car as a taxi - guy just wants to put food on the table for his family ... sounds like something out of a Bruce Springsteen song. I hope your report didn't put him in jeopardy.
Posted By Anonymous John L., Reno, NV : 4:15 PM ET
I am an Irananian-American whom has been brought up here in the US. I have many family members whom are in Iran and abroad, so I have seen it and heard it from both sides. I can genuinely say this: The people of Iran strongly appose the extremist backward thinking of it's government, and want nothing more than strong ties with the west. They are denied many of the Freedoms, Artistic Expressions and Privileges we have, this is why Christina had to go "underground" to hear Rock music. This proves that the people are quite intelligent and informed despite, they should get a chance at having what we have. Bravo Christina, you should to a full report on this, as this has been going on for years. Its time some light gets shed on this "double identity" Nation.
Posted By Anonymous Shawn S., Los Angeles CA : 4:58 PM ET
It is interesting to see the differences between governments and the people they govern. Iran is like an American High School, what you see is not always what you get. However, he gears of a democratic revolution will never turn for these young Iranians without direct support from the United States and our Western allies.
Posted By Anonymous David, Houston, TX : 6:00 PM ET
There has always been two Irans. The haves and have nots. The have nots are in power now and no amount of rock and roll will change anything. The haves for years abused the have nots, kissed the Shah's hand and supported his very corrupt regime. The support of the Shah by the west did not help matters. Now we are all paying the price.
Posted By Anonymous Tony, Newark, DE : 6:25 PM ET
It's their country let them reform it from inside. Hopefully the U.S. has learned a lesson from our current situation. We can not continously force our values on the rest of the world.
Posted By Anonymous Paul B Moyer Fairfield Glade Tn. : 1:05 PM ET
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