What's Next for Iran?

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In this frame grab taken from amateur video, supporters of Iranian reformist opposition leader Mir Hossien Mousavi demonstrate in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday June 16, 2009. (AP Photo/APTN, Amateur Video)
In this frame grab taken from an amateur video, supporters of Iranian reformist opposition leader Mir Hossien Mousavi demonstrate in Tehran on Tuesday, June 16, 2009. (AP/APTN)

Iran’s protests over charges of a stolen election started loud and have only grown.
This week we've seen enormous, determined crowds in the streets of Tehran — bigger than any since the very 1979 Islamic Revolution that banished the Shah and put religious leaders in power. As big as those, we’re told. This is history.

But it’s not over. Could it mean regime change? And what would that mean, when the Supreme Leader sits beyond the vote? Will it mean crackdown?

This hour, On Point: We ask Iranians what’s really going on in the historic turmoil in Iran.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.


Joining us first, from Tehran, is Roger Cohen, op-ed columnist for The New York Times. His latest piece is "My Name Is Iran."

Joining us from Washington is Shaul Bakhash, professor of Middle East history at George Mason University. He is the author of “The Reign of the Ayatollahs: Iran and the Islamic Revolution” and “The Politics of Oil and Revolution in Iran.” He worked for many years as a journalist in Iran, writing for Kayhan International, an English-language daily, and for the London Times, The Financial Times, and The Economist. He left Iran almost a year after the fall of the Shah in 1979, and he hasn’t been back since.

Joining us from Cambridge, England, is Azadeh Moaveni. Iranian-American, she is a contributor to Time magazine and has reported from Iran and the Middle East. She's author of the books “Honeymoon in Tehran: Two Years of Love and Danger in Iran” and “Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America and American in Iran,” and co-author with Nobel Prize-winner Shirin Ebadi of "Iran Awakening." She was last in Iran in January and lived there from 2001-2002 and 2005-2007.

Joining us in our studio is Guive Mirfendereski. He teaches international law and development at Brandeis University and is a former professor of international law at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. He's author of "A Diplomatic History of the Caspian Sea," and was for years a news analyst for BBC Persia. He was last in Iran in 1977.

More links:

For continuing coverage, see the BBC's and NPR's Iran election pages, as well as The New York Times'  Lede blog, covering the latest updates from around the Web.

The BBC this morning has footage appearing to show a violent crackdown at Tehran University on Tuesday night. NPR's news blog, The Two-Way, has this report on the arrest of an Iranian human rights activist, according to Nobel Prize-winner Shirin Ebadi.

The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan has done a remarkable job staying on top of the latest reports, images, and videos coming out of Iran since the election. He's also been aggregating live reports from Twitter users, which have played such an important role in the news coverage, in what he calls "Live-Tweeting the Revolution."

Along those lines, the world has been riveted by the Mousavi social media groups on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr, and the feeds from many others in Tehran.  If you're on Twitter, you'll want to follow the #iranelection tag. has been looking closely at the fishy numbers coming out of Iran's election. The New Yorker's Laura Secor and George Packer have posted thoughtful analyses of the developments inside Iran and the Obama administration's response thus far. At, Trita Parsi comments on misconceptions about the social and economic dividing lines in Iran.
These videos, posted to YouTube in the past 24 hours, offer views of some scenes on Tehran's streets:

This program aired on June 17, 2009.


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