Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Voices in Tehran

There was no surprise in Iran's president claiming victory over the United States after the latest intelligence report. Uncharacteristically, he waited a day to even respond. Iran politically seems keen to not overstate its sense of validation, but rather let it play out and ideally keep another round of sanctions at bay.

But traveling around Tehran, I found what you wouldn't expect. There wasn't a sense of joy. Even the hardliners didn't take to the streets railing against the West. Instead, there was a sense of vindication and subtle hope that maybe the rhetoric can tone down between President Bush and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- and that some solution can come to resolve the crisis.

To be clear, there was plenty of anger about how Bush has not changed strategy despite the latest report from the National Intelligence, which said Iran had stopped nuclear weapons work in 2003 was vindication.

As 40-year-old shopkeeper Majid said: "It made me feel American politicians, who want to run the world, are betraying everyone."

And those we go to for analysis, university professors here, said that by Bush not changing strategy, Ahmadinejad only gains.

"George Bush could have been more conciliatory, which he wasn't, and now Ahmadinejad can turn to Iranian people, can turn to the Arab people, can turn to the Muslim people, can turn to the world and say this man has something against us," one professor said.

The vast majority of Iranians don't want a conflict with the United States. They want their lagging economy fixed, an end to what has seems like an endless string of crises and as Majid said, "People to people in each country, we have no problems with each other."

It seems rather a battle between duelling presidents at the moment with their citizens stuck in between.

I also heard something I didn't expect here, when I sat down with 65-year-old Mehdi. "We also have the right to not insist on some of our rights. And if Iranian politicians left enrichment alone, maybe the economic situation here would improve. The sanctions at least would end," he said.

It's unlikely that'll happen, and after this report, Mehdi's view is an even rarer voice, but vindication has given way to hope that the world will now see Iran, not through the eyes of George Bush, but through the eyes of the Iranian people.

-- From Aneesh Raman, CNN International Correspondent, in Tehran.

President Bush shouldn't change his stance one bit. All those who "opposed the war from the beginning" and favor a "cut and run" stance in Iraq and Afghanistan should understand this. Why?

Now was our intelligence correct in Iraq? As you all so blatantly seem to point out to bash President Bush and our own elected government? Thank you, Thank you, no need for applause.
Hi Aneesh Raman,

Iran has always been on the watch list of US and more so with the Bush adminstration and the famous speech of Presidnet Bush axis of evil is still in the memories..

i agree with the view that common iranian doesnot want a conflict but that stage is passed now after President Bush opened a trip to Nebraska with a warning about Iran — his second in the two days since U.S. intelligence agencies jointly concluded that Iran had long ago dropped active military nuclear ambitions.

In the middle of all this where is the voice of the common man on the streets of Tehran and who cares ????

Sudheer Mopperthy
Aneesh:
Arrogance is the root of the Bush administration. The "fear factor" has been the substance of most of diplomatic endeavors. He is a man who will never say he made a mistake.

As revealed in the National Intelligence report and upcoming CIA interrogation requests that conveniently came up missing, the American president and his cronies live in a world of secrecy.

Because of the secrets, justified by war-time privileges, both the American people and citizens of the world have been deceived and lied to over and over again. As Senator Biden says, he will go down in history as one of the worse presidents of the US.

He has thrown egg on the faces of the American people for too long. We need to reconnect to the world not just Saudi Arabia and American interests.
Defense minister Ehud Barak argued that Iran had in fact restarted its program.

“It’s apparently true that in 2003 Iran stopped its military nuclear program for a time. But in our opinion, since then, it has apparently continued that program,” Barak told Israel army radio. “We cannot afford to rest just because of an intelligence report from the other side of the globe, even if it is from our greatest friend,” said the defense minister.

barak is right
President Bush has changed the world's opinion against Americans. If the hatred is increasing, no one can be blamed but the American policy makers.Why should he decide about the future and faith of us. He is elected by Americans not us. At present he is responcible for the miseries of people in most countries. In Iran we have nothing unfair in our minds towards American people. But we know no enemy bigger than Bush and his government. It is true that we want no war, we hate war, but if our country is invaded, we must and will certainly defend it.Like people all over the world we also want to have a better life but we believe that living in freedom with a sick economy is better than living under a foreign invader in a better economy condition. We have proved it. please raed Iran's history and see what we have done to invaders and puppit governments.
As a citizen of the USA, I truly wish that we could put the nuclear genie back in its bottle. But we can't. I also wish that every country would get over the idea that having nuclear capability is a good thing.

Using nuclear weapons means MADness. Mutually Assured Destruction is the only end to any use of nuclear weapons in this world. I believe that Iran has stopped its enrichment program, but is it hiding something? Yes it is. Is every government in the world hiding things? Yes, they are. So why don't all the governments air their dirty laundry? Because, once more it's an attitude of, "I may not be right, but I want to look more right than you."
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