June 17th, 2009
10:47 AM ET

Iran’s impact on Mideast peace

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/06/17/iran.elections.rallies/art.rallymon.afp.gi.jpg caption="Iranian opposition supporters protest in Tehran on Monday in the largest demonstrations there in 30 years."]

Parag Khanna
Special to CNN

With a recount announced for the Iranian election, and opposition candidate Mir Hossein Moussavi demanding a fresh election, the political situation in Iran remains on a knife's edge.

We're witnessing the mobilizing power of anti-incumbent forces, particularly youth, who are fed up, and the role of technology in getting voters to the ballot boxes and out on the street.

The Iranian drama has upstaged the recent Lebanese elections in which the U.S.-backed, Sunni-led March 14 coalition won a resounding victory over the increasingly politically active Hezbollah.

Both events, however, point to setbacks for what many have perceived as a Shiite axis of Iran and Hezbollah to undermine American interests throughout the Mideast. For this reason, Arab publics are fixated on the events in Tehran as much as Americans are.

Turkey appears to be the only country that has so far accepted the Iranian election results. The Obama administration, meanwhile, has clearly signaled that it considers the first-round results fraudulent, but has also praised the "vigorous debate" going on within Iran. This has so far proven to be an uncontroversial line.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Iran • Middle East
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Als

    George Bush should never have been Pres I am going to blame him for this mess. He had a blank check book for 8 years and nothing was said or done. At least Pres Obama is showing us where the money is going for Health care, war,and the recovery act etc.

    June 17, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  2. Negin

    Thanks for all your efforts on covering Iran's news these days. I just wanted to let you know that as an Iranian, I beieve that Kaveh Afrasiabi is not a good representative of Iranian people. His ideas are outdated and bias. He obviously talks against the democratic movement going on in Iran. Please don't invite him again!

    June 17, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  3. Sarah

    I agree...Please keep reporting on Iran. We can't let it die over time.
    A lot of lives have been sacrified for this cause. If we keep reporting the violence, may be... JUST may be the world decides to back the Iranian people and do something about this regime. They need all the support, they can get.

    June 17, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  4. Mari

    Praying for and supporting the peaceful demonstrations of the people of Iran!


    June 17, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  5. meenas17

    Iran and the mid east, Iran and its elections, Iran and its youth, Iran and Islam, Oh gosh ! so many issues, so many controversies , into which the U.S, as always wishes to interfere. At home, there are sufficient troubles ,like recession, unemployment, bank failures and illegal immigrants which call imminent action.Take care of the internal problems before negotiating the external ones.

    June 17, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  6. Roya

    Thank you for keeping us updated with what has been going on.

    June 17, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  7. Abel Tsegga

    The Borgen Project has some good info on the cost of addressing global poverty.

    $30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
    $550 billion: U.S. Defense budget

    June 17, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  8. JIM S

    Iran currently is another counter run by dictators i.e the mullahs. They will do everything to keep tensions high in the middle east so they can stay in power. None of this would have happened if Jimmy Carter (Democrat) supported the Shah of Iran who was at least pro west. By Carter not supporting the Shah, we are now dealing with his foreign policy blunders. There wouldn't be a 9/11 Iraq or Afghanistan or the billions of dollars spent there. Thank you Jimmy Carter. The Democrats have the nerve to blame it all on George W. Bush. Right!!!.

    June 17, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  9. Tazin

    Isn't it interesting that we cover the protests in Iran so well, but never the protests in our own country? Our protests are nothing but a side-note, but those in other countries are the headline news of each hour.

    June 17, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  10. Alvin

    American interests in the middle east??? Perhaps America should keep their noses out of the middle east, let the middle east deal with their own internal issues. That doesn't mean America can't have an opinion but getting mixed up with political regimes causes nothing but problems.

    June 17, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  11. puggles

    hmm. The rationale for development of nuclear technology was the the lack of power – reportedly electrical etc.

    Although Iran lies over massive oil reserves, these are mostly for export. Iran is woefully poor in refining capacity and thus, their power (electrical generation) is still incredibly poor. (My father helped train the Iranians to find those reserves – under the Shah's regime.) There really hasnt been development since the Islamic revolution – why would companies from developed nations pay to develop refining capacity there? Look at Africa – the companies want to pump it and ship it.)

    So, considering where Iran is geographically, why not encourage the development of solar power if the Real Goal is electrical power? Look at the effect of even small solar development in some African nations.

    June 17, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  12. karen

    Iran is tired of Islamic Fundamentalists misrepresenting this great country, They want change and freedom, They need all the support that they can get in the form of constant updating in the news and media.

    Long live Iran, Long live Persian Empire

    June 17, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  13. steffiem

    PLEASE continue your reporting on Iran- we see the report that your Iran Desk is "on top of it" – maybe less of that, and more of actual reports.

    Ms Amanpour must have more to say than she's said so far.. as must other reporters in (and out of) Tehran. If they can't film, then what are they seeing with their eyes... they can report THAT, right?

    Is the Coucil of Experts meeting in Qom? What does that mean? How many bodies are being 'hidden'? What about reports of police brutality? Reporters cannot film, but can they interview locals? Who is responsible for the slow speed of internet? How else can we get information out? Can they bypass internet with satellite telephones, or is that futile? How did Thursdays rallies go? Which cities have confirmed ralllies again? Is there still continued growth in rallies around the country – as there has been the last 5 days?

    Please give us more information about our people... we are desparate to hear their voices today, now.

    Thank you-

    Stefanie Mabadi
    Iranian American, Chicago IL

    June 17, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  14. Cindy

    The leaders of iran want to keep the middle east in an uproar so that they can seem to be the "Big Boys" of that area. They always stick their noses in where it doesn't belong just to keep the riff raff up. They don't want peace because then they'd have to admit that they really aren't all that they think they are.

    The people on the other hand are tired of it, as is being shown by their protests of this flawed election. They want peace and to move away from the tyrannical rules of old. I hope that they get it.


    June 17, 2009 at 10:59 am |