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June 22nd, 2009
09:17 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Iran, NK and a Freed Journalist

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/06/20/reporter.escape.afghanistan/art.rhode.afp.gi.jpg caption="New York Times reporter David Rohde, shown in 1995, escaped from the Taliban."]

Penny Manis
AC360 Senior Producer

Iranian authorities warn that protesters who ‘disturb the peace and stand up to security forces’ will be considered a threat to the regime and met with a strong response. A news media blackout has been imposed by the government, so the images we now see are coming from Iranians on the streets taking cell phone videos and the like.

The images are not for the faint of heart. You can hear gunfire and people screaming, in a couple of cases, even protester deaths seem to be recorded, though impossible to 100% verify all the video.

Iran says 17 people have died since the election protests began, but unconfirmed reports say the number could be as high as 150. Hundreds of people have been arrested.

President Obama is taking heat from Republicans for not being more critical of the Iranian government, and there are reports a couple of members of his own cabinet want him to take a stronger stand. What do you think President Obama should do? We’ll be following this story tonight.

A US destroyer is tracking a North Korean ship suspected of carrying illicit weapons and believed to be headed towards Myanmar. If there is firm evidence that Pyongyang is delivering missiles or weapon technology, then it’s a big question for the US in terms of what to do. Should we board? North Korea says that would be an act of war. We're watching this story.

David Rohde, a reporter from the New York Times, is finally free after being held captive for 7 months by the Taliban in northwestern Pakistan. He climbed over a wall in the compound where he was being held, a daring escape. Secretary Clinton issued a statement expressing relief about his ‘return to freedom’. Our correspondent Nic Robertson has been following his story for several months, and he’ll join us tonight.

See you at 10pet!


Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Jo Ann

    Police are crushing protestors in Iran, a Korean ship is carrying banned weapons to Myanmar and Obama is busy in the Rose Garden passing anti-smoking legislation. What is wrong with this picture?

    June 22, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  2. yellowkid

    Appears that the State Dept did little to secure David Rohde's release. Pls. ask Nic how he feels about the press' cooperation in the news blackout about this Pulitzer winner's abduction.

    June 22, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  3. Katie

    As a nation, we need to begin to finally respect the sovereignty of other nations– a concept that has evaded America for the past 8 years. The youth, women, and other advocates of freedom in Iran should be commended for their courage and fortitude, but it is not our place to pressure or fuel a regime change. Change must come from the heart of Iranians– not from the mouths of Americans.

    What would we, as Americans, have done in the event that Iran meddled with Gore v. Bush in 2000?

    June 22, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  4. Sabrina in Las Vegas

    Expelling journalists or arresting them dowsn't stop the truth fromcoming out.

    We live in the tech age and the citizens are empowered to inform us of what is occurring. You get enough people saying the same thing, there has to be some validity to it.

    The USA/UK is only telling the world what their citizens are telling and showing us.

    The Iranian leader is loooking for us tp get involved so he can say we are interfering with his country...that is why Obama is letting them resolve it themselves.

    Eventually if it spills out or becomes too large of a human right issue, then and only then should the UN intervene to assist the citizens.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  5. Pat R

    Moral support, changing our Twitter time zones to Iran local time so the Iranian Tweets can't be easily found, and letting the President handle this in his own calm, collected style will be more help than all the sabre-rattling that usually goes on.

    We should not get militarily or politically involved again. We simply do not understand the Middle East. Should we stop a genocide, of course, but the rest of the world must help, we simply do not have the resources to be the world's cop on the beat.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  6. Sarah

    This is all very sad but at this time we need to stay out of it. We are already stretched to the max with our troops in a fight that is long overdue to be over and the last thing we need to do is get into the middle of another civil war.

    This regime is not willing to compromise and that puts into a really bad position if we were to get more involved. The middle-eastern people as a whole don't like us and for good reason. We should stay where we are.

    To all of you that are "pointing out" to the president that people are being killed, do you not notice that people are DYING over here? We need healthcare, money and homes too. We should take care of our own before we try to fix an unmanageable civil war somewhere else; especially in a country where people are willing to die for their beliefs, whether right or wrong.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  7. DawnMD

    The Iran situation is tragic; it seems the protesters need a leader to guide them so they can protest peacefully. They seem to have no direction.
    The Iranian leaders are scared and trying to hold onto their traditions.

    Also, on a different note, why is so much media attention being given to this crisis and not to other world events such as the crisis in Darfur?

    My guess is because of the security threat and oil that is associated to Iran.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  8. James Ruse

    I feel President Obama has set the right tone and is walking the fine line necessary to not interfere with Iranian politics. I also feel he shout speak more strongly against the violence from both sides in this conflict.

    It may be the time for U.S. allies to speak out against Iranian government.

    Let Britain, Canada, Germany, France and the others speak out.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  9. sharon

    I think President Obama is taking the right route and I sometimes wonder about the intelligence of our Congress (passing their resolution) These people are Iranians not Americans, they love their country not ours. They just want freedom and truth and they want it in Iran. They are not asking for Decmocracy nor to be American. Since we are born into freedom and we know our democracy promises that freedom who are we to assume they want the same thing. They seem to have asked the world to notice what they are protesting and we have. A civil war is not the right thing to hope for either with their type of rule it would never end. They should continue to make their voices heard peacefully. They should try and show the rest of their country the possiblities of change and when a new election happens hopefully the outcome will be different. We had to endure four additional years of George Bush.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  10. Kimberly

    I understand what is going on in Iran is horrible and tragic but, can we please clean up the last mess our gov. rushed into before starting another war and stretching our resources even thinner. Then how about afghanistan.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  11. Cay

    Obama is doing the right thing. He MUST stay out of it. The regime will use anything he says as PROVE POSITIVE that the west is behind this. The victory here needs to be about the people not about foreign intervention.

    Those of us who have been watching Twitter and talking with some of the protesters there know that more is going on than we know. While we feel for the Iranian people, the shooting makes us scared for them, we need to let them do this. THEY MUST and they will. Give them time and don't count them out yet.

    June 22, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  12. rolan

    president if u havent noticed yet people are being killed ......

    June 22, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  13. ENA

    I wish the moderate Iranian people will have their voice listen and comdened by most countries. However, it is shocking to see CNN and other local news shifted their focus on Irania election 24hrs with the same limited information. Is the CNN politically driven. WHy not to cover other election that were totally corrupted in Africa and Asia and Eastern Europe. Why all this intention. Is the media trying to follow a given political agenda to shape our mind? I wish a sense of fairness when it come to other election or other upraising in other countries.

    VIVE CNN

    June 22, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  14. Isabel

    Good day, Penny!

    And another week is starting ... and full of expectations in relation to Iran!!

    The Iranian government is seeing that it there isn't how to do completely black out the media nowaday. Glad that the Iranians are using the new media of social communication to communicate with the Western world and show this tyrannical acts.

    I am not American and in many issues I don't feel the desire to comment on. Regarding the attitude that President Obama should take, I feel uncomfortable, but something must be done.

    But the approach being taken by the Western world should be well designed not to encourage more violence.

    See you later

    June 22, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  15. rolan

    mr. obama what are u waiting for humans are crying for ur help how can a world power like u sit back and let people die ....... is the u.s. way bring back bush .....people are coming out hoping the us has there back .....the iranian people cant over turn a human killing goverment without the backing of the us

    June 22, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  16. Cindy

    The protest videos and pics from Iran are riveting at best. I'm glad that they are still finding ways to get them out even though the government is trying to stop them. It is sad though to see people gunned down and die just for trying to stand up for democracy.

    The video of Neda was one that no one will be able to forget. Seeing someone shot right before your eyes and then dying is horrible. Hopefully her death won't be in vain and if they don't get a revote then at least they can get some laws changed.

    Cindy...Ga.

    June 22, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  17. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    The Iranian strife is tragic people are getting hurt and it seem like they are on the road to civil war . Presdient Obama needs to be tougher in dealings with Iran .The news mediacan't even go and reoprt from there it 's too dangerous for them to go it's painful to see the images the bloodshed captured on flim live as it's happening .This must be stopped i hope they have peace soon .

    Thanks for the buzz

    Michelle D.

    June 22, 2009 at 9:28 am |