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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 June, 2003, 16:53 GMT 17:53 UK
What difference will the Iranian protests make?
Masked students demonstrating outside Tehran University
Protests against the Iranian government are continuing to take place in parts of Europe as well as Iran itself.

On Wednesday a woman died from burns after three Iranians set themselves on fire in Paris following a mass round-up of Iranian opposition figures.

French intelligence had accused the People's Mujahideen, an armed opposition group, of planning terrorist attacks at embassies across Europe.

Later a second Iranian protester was critically ill after setting herself on fire outside the French Embassy in London.

Have you been involved in the protests? Will they make a difference?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:

We will one day destroy the clerical establishment and establish a secular democracy. We deserve to join the rest of the world. We deserve opportunities like everyone else.
KUROSH, iran

I am glad to see the beginning of the end of this regime
Maziar T., Canada
As an Iranian who got out of Iran 17 years ago I am glad to see the beginning of the end of this regime after so long. But I feel guilty for not having been involved in the long and bloody struggle that my fellow countrymen have gone through. They are building a new Iran and for some of us in exile the troubling thought is: why did we not stay to help the struggle? Will we belong in the new Iran that we did not help make? The brave students are doing our job for us. I am indebted forever and hope to be able to contribute to a healthy mullah-free Iran in the near future.
Maziar T, Canada

For 24 years my country has suffered at the hands of tyrants
Azad, Iran
I work with a human rights NGO here in Tehran. Everyone is pointing fingers at the United States and hurling insults at that country. What makes me absolutely sick is the European Union's appeasement of Iran. For 24 years my country has suffered at the hands of tyrants who in the name of religion do as they please and issue 'fatwas' on a daily basis. The pinnacle of this appeasement was the closing down of the Mujaheddin offices in Paris.
Azad, Iran

Iran is not Iraq. Greater freedom is possible. There are many signs that indicate that Iran possesses a more solid base of freedom than it is given credit for. Governments can best support change in Iran through constructive engagement rather than the isolation approach advocated by the US.
Barry B, UK

Any change in government should come from the Iranian people
Adam L, USA
I would like to see a truly democratic Iran but that is up to the people to decide. I think that these protests can do some good but cannot completely remove the mullahs from power. However, I do think that any change in government should come from the Iranian people with zero American interference.
Adam L, USA

I left Iran by age 8 and am now 22. This is the first step towards a free country. But I think those of us who live outside Iran, who live in democratic countries like Canada and who have the ability to easily speak our minds without the fear for our lives, should protest just as much as those inside Iran, if not more. Please don't let their efforts go to waste.
Nazli, Canada

I have lived overseas most of my life, but I want to show my support for the heroes who are risking their lives by chanting their views about this dictatorial government. Hope to see a free Iran soon, but without any interference from anyone except the UN.
Afshin and Ehab, Egypt

I endorse your quest for freedom and democracy
Joel, USA
My heart goes out to the great people of Iran. I endorse your quest for freedom and democracy. Hopefully this can be accomplished without US/UK interference.
Joel, USA

The best outcome of the eventual freedom of Iran will be the dissociation of religion and politics. These 25 years have proved to the Iranian people that religion is a sacred private practice which should be respected but has no place in government because it creates division instead of unity.
Vahdat, USA

All of the protests are fomented by the US CIA to gain control of Iran's oil for the Bush family. I hope Iranians will stand up and fight for their Revolution. The French are doing the right thing by arresting the anti-government terrorists and siding with the recognized government of Iran.
Khamal Khan, Belgium

I believe my fellow students in Iran should have the same opportunities
Mahyar Kazemi, Iran
I moved to the US when I was four years old. I am grateful for the opportunities here and I believe my fellow students in Iran should have the same opportunities also. The forcing of religion upon anyone is ridiculous and should not be allowed in the civilised world that we live in.
Mahyar Kazemi, Iran

If the Iranian demonstrators can contribute to the removal of an inhuman clerical administration then this is good. The clerical system has to go and a secular administrations replace it. Otherwise those looking for democracy and freedom will never get it.
Istvan Hunanui, Moldova

I moved to the US at the age of 10, not by choice of course. At the age of 28, I moved to Iran. I left my family in the US and moved back HOME. I realized there is no place in the world like Iran. I am a nationalist. Yes we're out there fighting for freedom. Yes we're out being beaten. I was able to escape the beating myself two nights ago. Yes I am bruised, but with every bruise I spot on my body, the Iran in me comes out more. I am Iran.
IranDokht, Iran

I love my country and I will fight till the end of time to make it FREE. Every night that we students protest against the Mullahs we get one step closer to democracy. For the land of the free and the home of young brave students.
IRAN, Iran

I participated in the protests but i will not like America to interfere in our internal affairs.
John Alia, Iran

I'm so disappointed that UN doesn't show any interest in helping Iranian people
Maryam, USA
I guess I have some mixed feelings about these events. I'm so happy to see that finally Iranian people are standing up for their rights, but at the same time I feel terrible that they don't have all the support they need to prevail. I'm so disappointed that UN doesn't show any interest in helping Iranian people to accomplish their goals for freedom. I mean after all, the UN is the one and only group that need to be involved in human rights. I just hope this will be the beginning of the road to freedom for Iran and Iranian people.
Maryam, USA

The US should stop interfering in our internal issues. This is a domestic problem that shall be resolved within Iran.
Abdollah Rashedi, Iran

Iranians! You are the same nation that easily overthrew Shahs regime when it was oppressing you. You surely are able to overthrow this regime either, if you wish so. But please! Do it yourself! Do not call for American or western help: those people will only use your rightful anger for their own purposes.
Simintab Zarren, Slovakia

I wish the people of Iran are able to get the type of government they want - whether it be Islamic or democratic. Unfortunately, I don't see any way for the US to get involved here militarily. US military involvement will only undermine what we want to achieve - a democratic Iran where people have basic freedoms and rights. The US should continue to provide moral support however and promise economic support if the people fighting for democracy succeed.
Suhas Joshi, USA

All we want is freedom, freedom from this government. We are all tired of being treated the way they treat us. All we want is democracy, a country where we decide what happens to us not some Mullahs.
Student Nima, Iran

I'm a young Iranian boy who ran away from this regime and the only country i could enter was Kuwait but now I'm happy I can go back to my country soon because we are just one step to freedom. The regime in Iran is a dictator regime worse than Iraq.
Amir, Kuwait

I pray for all free students and I believe that they will be successful
Ardeshir, Iran
I agree with this action. I'm 18 years old and my mother don't let me to join other students in demonstration but I pray for all free students and I believe that they will be successful. We don't need foreign help because Iranian people have very good thinking and they know their way.
Ardeshir, Iran

What we are witnessing is the beginning of the collapse of the Islamic regime in Iran. After 25 years, corruption is out of control, prostitution is rife, the economy in tatters and basic human rights abolished. It has been a hard, bloody long road to freedom for Iranians. Let us not forget the thousands that have been murdered by this regime.
Mehran, Iran

if you don't want our people coming as refuges in your countries help us to get rid of this dictatorial Mullah's regime. Of course you want oil from Iran but you got rid of Saddam now is the time for mullahs.
Nahid, Iran

Today, Iranians are NOT fighting on behalf of their incompetent President, or the reformist camp, but for the unconditional overthrow of the Islamic Republic. Throughout the past 25 years, we have been humiliated, called terrorists, looked down upon because of this terrorist regime. Yet, the time has come and the Islamic Republic's days are numbered, Iran will become free and our national heritage will be restored.
Ali,

98% of Iran's people hate the regime, but they fear to go out and show what they really want. Please everybody in Iran, Go out and demonstrate.
Saman, Iram

I hope that those seeking freedom and democracy in Iran are successful.
Hamza Sheikh, USA
Not only Iran, but the whole Muslim world needs political reform. I hope these protests will make Muslims all over the world look at themselves and their countries, and set a path for freedom and democracy. I also hope that those seeking freedom and democracy in Iran are successful.
Hamza Sheikh, USA

The problem of Iran is not "democracy" because there is, in many senses, democracy in Iran. The Problem is "Freedom" which is not considered fully in the constitution and I hope soon Iranian people will change it ... to a better future!
Saeed, Iran

Today I got upset. I teach at Tehran university. I had table critics with my students one of them crying inconspicuously I asked her why, she couldn't answer ,her classmate who knew the problem answered: her boyfriend had been badly injured by fundamentalists during street protests, he died in the hospital yesterday. What I heard was CRUEL, INHUMAN, EVIL. I got totally depressed. Anger and hate where the only feelings I had to those dictator animals in charge of my nation-Iran. Do we need a second TIANENMAN square in Tehran?
Sahab S, Iran

I was there last night and I saw how they were hitting students with bats and also they used guns to frighten them .last night they broke into one of our neighbours and broke his camera, and they slammed him on the face
Amir , Iran

At last the movement that we have all been waiting for has begun. I have now lived outside the country for 26 years not being able to see family members during this time. I, like many Iranians despise these mullahs and the rest of the religious leaders and their dictatorship. Iranian revolution in 1977 and departure of the Shah was for more democracy and freedom not another form of dictatorship. The hardliners better watch out, the end is near.
Iraj Shadnia, England

We are one step closer to free and democratic country
Sima Mahdavi, Iran
I have read what you said to be the opinion of two of Iranian students who witnessed the protests. I found them mostly analysis. The police these days are politely asking people not to gather in and around the protests. After the students protests four years ago where both police and hardliners attacked students there have been major changes in the police. The fact that the protests are still going on shows how much the attitude of the society has changed toward the peaceful protests. Meanwhile hardliners are becoming more aggressive as they receive less and less support from public and even in regime. We haven't faced a harsh hit back like that of four years a go and that is a good sign. We now know we are one step closer to free and democratic country where anyone could choose his own way of life. Good luck from Tehran
Sima Mahdavi, Iran

Protesters are manipulated by the US and UK Intelligence Services and Iranian betrayers. Those same who brought in Mullahs are trying to bring other dictators in. Iranian people should think by themselves and not let the history repeat itself over and over again.
Ahmad, Iran

My dreams have come true at last. I am overjoyed and enthusiastic to see the lovely people of Iran waking up to rise and storm the hold of the idiocy of clergy. I hope this time it does not go in vain and the day will soon come when the winds of freedom will sweep the despots away and people's will shall prevail. Long live freedom and long live Iran! My Iranian friends my heart and mind are with you!
Naveed Aslam, Lahore, Pakistan, Pakistan

People were loading up trucks full of bricks and would throw them at police
Hamid, Iran
I was in Hessarak, Karaj last night. People were loading up trucks full of bricks and would throw them at police and the supporters of this terrorist regimes. Women and young girls took off their scarves and chanted very dirty slogans against this savage regime. We need Western help. We are fed up by this regime.
Hamid, Iran

Last night I have been there. None of the people had been frightened and still continue the protest there. It was too crowded and everybody said: "We don't want a dictator government, and we don't want dictator leadership." People now in every region of Tehran go out of home at night - not just near the student camp. Also in other cities of Iran, like Shiraz and Isfehan, several protests are being reported.
Ali, Iran

I am an Iranian student studying in Canada. Although the Iranian system isn't perfect, it is the best and only viable model for the Muslim world. These types of protests would have never been tolerated in so called moderate middle eastern states, like Egypt and Jordan. I don't understand why the world makes a huge fuss when hundreds or a few thousand at most Iranian students protest. This is taken as a sign of discontent towards the Iranian government. However, when their are protests against Globalisation, like we saw in Italy, it is never portrayed as sign of political discontent.
Mohammadi Husseini, Canada

Mohammadi Husseini, Canada: Islam is a religion not a way for governing a country. And we protest unlike Jordanians or Egyptians because we do not have half of the freedom that their Islam suggests. If Mr Husseini cares so much of this brutal government that we have, why is he in Canada, and why he does not go back and support his "only viable model for the Muslim world." I think these protests are the best things that have happened to us in years, and I same as 90 percents of Iranian hope for a free Iran.
Student N,, Canada

We are not looking for a "reform" of a dictatorship. Our struggle is about establishment of democracy in Iran which means that this totalitarian regime must go.
Maziyar Pajande, Iran

He just turned onto the wrong street
Marty, Tehran, Iran
I have a friend who was picked up by the police yesterday; he was delivering meat in the area of some demos. He just turned onto the wrong street. If demos get violent, the police haul everybody in then try to sort out the crowd in a couple of hours. In my friend's case, he was at the police station about three hours and said that 99% were released by nightfall. He spoke to the police at length - they really do not know what to do but try to keep order. They're not really on one side or another. The problem is the Basij and Special Forces who show up in plainclothes with sticks. The police don't feel that they have the authority to arrest them and if they do, a phone call comes in from higher up to release them.
Marty, Tehran, Iran

I am so happy to see the Iranian people fighting for their freedom and fighting for their rights. I first saw it on the news here and started crying with tears of joy. I hope this is the beginning of the end of this repressive government. I am hoping to see my family in Iran live in the freedom that they have deserved for so long.
Shohreh, USA

We in Toronto, Canada have been very much involved in aiding our fellow Iranians in their struggle for freedom. We are holding rallies against the current Islamic regime, showing our solidarity with the people of Iran. We are the voices of our people here, and they must be heard.
Sepideh, Canada

I have never lived in Iran but I visit family there and being there really makes me appreciate even the smallest freedoms that I have here in the UK. The Iranian people deserve change but like many, if the horrific accounts of the protests are true, I fear for the safety of my relatives. They are in my prayers.
Student, UK

Every night we have demonstrations here, it's really dangerous to get out of homes at night. We want to solve it in Iran by UN's support not any meddle from other presidents. Hope to see all people free in every far away part of world.
Z, Sol, Iran

I don't think the Iranian people should let the US give them false hope
Parisima, USA
I don't think the mullahs are doing a very good job of sharing power with the elected government, but I don't think these protests will lead to the results that the Iranian people really want. I don't think the Iranian people should let the US give them false hope. I have been reading lots of notes from Iranians who think the US can come into Iran and help get rid of the mullahs. I think the Iranians must take care of themselves without getting the US involved. If the US gets involved people will be fighting for the wrong reasons. Instead of fighting to fix the government, the war will be about pro-USA and anti-USA. That will distract the Iranian people from their real goal of reformation.
Parisima, USA

Does the protesting that goes on in Iran not show that the people there have the right to protest and speak freely? Iran is the sole Islamic state and because it is an Islamic state, it gives rights and freedoms to people with Justice. What is all this chanting of freedom I hear? Is freedom, the ability to commit adultery and destroy families? Is freedom the ability to exploit women for pornography? I don't call that freedom. At least Iran gives status to human beings.
Hasan Allawi, UK

I'm not sure what to think. These demonstrations are tiny compared to so called anti globalisation demonstrations in Europe, and they haven't been able to topple European or global institutions. Instead, governments have resorted to violence, just like the Islamic government in Iran. Violence will always prevail.
Radja, Finland

We are not risking our lives here for reforming this murderous system. We want a complete overthrow of the Islamic republic and establishing a proper democracy like the one in UK or USA.
Farhad, Iran

I have lived in Iran for a long time. I was one of those participating in the revolution that put the Mullahs in charge. May God help all Iranians, especially women to get rid of this regime before they execute more people.
Iran Azad, USA

I was the leader of one student's group in Iran we were in protests 16th of azar. I was arrested me and taken to the particular building. After 1 month my father could find me with the help of one of his friend and money!! I had to leave my country and now I live in Germany without having any news from my poor family. All these miserable problems are because of getting our rights and having freedom.
Sarah Saskary, Germany

As a student at Tehran University, I completely condemn the demonstrations
Mojtaba Hussaini, Iran
As a student at Tehran University, I completely condemn the demonstrations. The demonstrations were not made of students; they were made by low life hooligans. I am proud of the Independence of my country, and all Iranian people are aware of the fact that the US hostility lies in Iran's Islamic Governance and Independence.
Mojtaba Hussaini, Iran

We don't want American "freedom".
Hamid Raza, Iran

I wish President Bush would stay out of this, we are not doing it for him, we are doing it for ourselves, if the Americans were not interfering in our country in the 70's we wouldn't be having these problems now. We want to get rid of these Mullahs for our own good; it has nothing to do with President Bush.
Kourosh Yazdani, Iran

Thank you to all people that are doing their best to overturn the Islamic Regime. Set aside your differences and get united. Only the Iranians in Iran should stay the master of the game: they have been through hardships that most of us living abroad did not to the same degree as you did. We should also not forget that any foreign government (Western or Eastern) will NOT help to bring a democratic regime to Iran, but only a government that will SERVE their own interests. Only rely on yourself and together with your relatives and friends abroad, build your country again.
Am, Switzerland

I am half Polish - half Persian, but have lived the main part of my live under the clerical reign. Now I am living in Poland. As history shows it is the most brutal & totalitarian way of ruling. The path to real freedom & victory will be very hard, full of pain and even blood. Objectively without a strong support from outside it is impossible. We hope and pray for the day that Iran will breath with a fresh & free air. May God protect all the Iranian People!
Pashang Fatemi, Poland

Being against something is not quite enough; we have always been against Islamic regime without having an instant replacement option.
Nika Samomi, Tehran, Iran

Dear all people living in this world I just beg you to help us. I'm a chemical & Process engineer; I've graduated from Tehran Polytechnic University of technology, I told this because I want our government to know that I'm not a disappointment. We waited for about eight years to see the effects of president Khatami on this Autarchy, but nothing happened, and now we are hopeless, if we'll be late, day-by-day they'll depredate us more, and we don't know what we can do. I just beg the entire world, governments and people to help us. We just want a simple primary need of humanity, freedom.
Donia, Iran

When somebody starts terrorizing innocent people it's only time before it's your turn and like it or not you're forced to be a part of it
JD, Iran
Yesterday (the fourth day of the riots) I went outside to put out the garbage. What I say was definitely shocking. I'd heard about the riots but those things haven't been unusual for the past 3 or 4 years. Everybody I saw was in some way armed with clubs or chains or even knives. Then across the street I saw a three motorcycle bassijies beating up on a few kids like 15 or 16. On the balcony of a house 2 women were cursing at bassijeis and crying, I think they were family of the boys.

I was 60 meters away but I could hear the beating. A lot of other people like me were watching. The 2 cars took the kids away. It hurt. It just gets you so angry. I never before wanted to be part of protesting, not that approve of the government but I didn't think they were any use. After seeing what I saw, when I think about it the kids being beat up were obviously not demonstrating students and could have even been friends of mine or even me. When somebody starts terrorizing innocent people it's only time before it's your turn and like it or not you're forced to be a part of it.
JD, Iran

Please help Iranian people for freedom
Pedram, Iran

I've been there three nights. It was very interesting the way people support the students. We are really determined to change the regime. The polices didn't treat the people bad but the basiji and others who we don't know them well mistreat everybody. I saw 5 basijis that took one of my friends out of the car and hit him with the sticks and push him to their car...nobody said anything.

I want to ask every Iranian to wake up today is the day to decide about your future Please please come and show them that you don't want them anymore and tell them off. Please support the students. I've heard that lots of students got arrested and lots of dormitory got damaged so please wake up!!! We need your help.
Mana, Iran

US should really keep its nose into its own business. Its comments will only add to the power and control of the hard liners in Iran and will in no way benefit the public the students, or the reformist movement. Bush "crushed" the movement by his "Axis of Evil" speech and is continuing to do so.
Saeed, Australia

I am a student in Iran, we had a horrible night yesterday, people fought police very strongly and people in their cars helped them. People were brave and were chanting against the regime either conservatives or reformists!!
Amin, IRAN

The demonstrations here are largely by unemployed yobs, who seem to have been paid off by US agents in our country. They number only a hundred or so. Money well spent by the west.
Prem Chaud, Iran

You must finish this task and not let the past generations suffering be lost in vain
S. Kawousi, Norway
I am a widow whose husband was executed by this regime. I was myself in prison in the 80' and know that many of today's students are the children whose parents got tortured and executed by this regime. You must finish this task and not let the past generations suffering be lost in vain.
S. Kawousi, Norway

It is so bad here. President Bush, USA, please come! I was walking home from work, and the police threw me down to the ground. Two or three of them were kicking me, but then they saw some young boys, and ran after them.
Fatima, Iran

I am not directly involved with the protests and am not Iranian, but my fiancÚ is Iranian and very much hopes to see change in his home country. I witness the pain of him and his friends who are lost because they don't feel able to live in their homeland, and like many others, i pray for change and freedom, and the right to live freely as human beings. Iran is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and many of us in our community hope to be able to travel there freely and enjoy its many wonderful things. Someday soon........
Claire, England

We need to continue this protest until we get rid of these clerics. We do not have much time left. It is either us or America which will over through this regime. We do not want to be like Iraq now. So we must get rid of them before it is too late.
Payam, Switzerland

I have been living in exile for 15 years now because of this regime. I, like many others Iranians living in exile are eager to see our country again. Hopefully these protests will not stop before a new revolution comes. I am only afraid of the outcome: maybe someone will steal this popular movement too, just like last time when a dictator took over after the first one got kicked out.
M. M. Izadi, Norway

I was on the street during one of the anti-communist revolutions of 1989, so I know how it is like to be chased by the police. Keep up the fight, you are the bravest. We all admire you for your courage, and support you in your cause.
Marius Stan, United States

We do not need help from the outside. We can help ourselves, and we will!
Farshid, Iran

Developing nations can not afford to became free from dictatorship without the help
Arash, Iran
We are going to have democracy in Iran, if this demonstration keep going, as the nations in Europe couldn't get freedom without the help of USA in 2nd world war, the nations can not afford to became free from dictatorship in the developing countries without the help of Americans and all freedom fighters in Europe.
Arash, Iran

I'm hopeful for Iran's fight for Freedom and I wholly support the demonstrations. However, I will be hesitant before asking the US for help. What has Iraq and Afghanistan gained from "US help"? Besides, the US will always be after its own interests and Iran will have to pay a price for enlisting US's assistance.
Chuan, Q, USA

Keep the Faith, let freedom reign. Things can take time; keep up the protests no matter what. Sometimes it can take years to gain true freedom. And sometimes it may take blood. God gave us free will, to live the way we choose, NOT to have someone else's will forced upon us. May Allah keep you, guide you, and protect you. Be strong, and don't give in.
JAX, USA

I used to dream of living in the US. But under George W Bush it has become a police state, far worse than Iran and perhaps as bad as Nazi Germany. I now see that "freedom" is overrated if it means having to chafe under the oppressive yoke of American "culture." From now on I choose Sha'ria and will do my best to crush the protestors, whose minds have been poisoned by America.
Muhammed Yousefzadeh, Iran

I'm a housewife and I took part in protest against regime for freedom and democracy to compensate my children for the past.
A, Iran

Is it a fact that less than 1 % of the people want a regime change so what about the 99%.
M, Iran

If US acts on the part of the people of Iran then we are demonized if we do nothing we are also demonized
John Crane, Houston Texas, USA
As a citizen of the USA I can have sympathy for the Iranian students but sure enough as soon as the US acts on Iran the outcry of colonialism and anti-American protest will once again come our way. Face it if US acts on the part of the people of Iran then we are demonized if we do nothing we are also demonized.
John Crane, Houston Texas, USA

The US and other Western countries have absolutely no right to interfere in Iran's domestic policy matters. It is rather ironic that the Americans warn Iran against meddling in Iraq's internal affairs, yet the Americans are explicitly involved in the internal affairs of all the Middle Eastern nations.
Ahmad Akbari, Canada

This is going to go on for a long while. Freedom is priceless. We have no freedom. One day we will be free.
Kourosh, Iran

I have never been involved in the protests but I think it is the beginning of new & important incidents
Ali, Unfortunately Iran

Europeans with their so-called human rights concerns are the most pathetic players in the Iranian current affairs. The reformist that you name such as Hajarian and Karubi are the murderers of the early years of revolution. I guess, for the great defenders of human rights in Europe, what matters in not human rights at all but rather finding a tolerable government to do business with. Shame on all those governments that cooperate with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Withheld, Iran

Iran & her wonderful people have endured the hypocritical leadership of the Ayatollahs long enough. The Iranians deserve to know that they are entitled to be free as all people on this Earth are.
Yousef Dukmajian, Armenia

A healthy democracy in Iran IS possible
Stefano, Italy
Although I'm a distant observer, I'd like to express all my support to Iranian people, struggling for their future. A healthy democracy in Iran IS possible, and it could already be in place, were it not for those unelected "fossils" who sit in the council of Islamic revolution. "No Shahs, no Ayatollahs" is my wish for Iran.
Stefano, Italy

This isn't the first time we've tried to bring democracy to Iran. I only hope that US will not intrude and give the mullahs an excuse to undermine our demands. Mr. Bush and the rest of Iranian exiles SHOLD NOT intervene and let the citizens of Iran bring democracy to Tehran.
Saman, US

My family members have been taken to jail and been tortured by this regime in the past for just expressing their opinion and believes in democratic moves in the country. Every single Iranian I know in the Washington DC is strongly against this regime. What is keeping them in power? Sure it is not people's free vote. We want a regime change in Iran and we will make it happen. I am contacting every family and relatives in Iran to not be afraid and come to street and fight and I do the best I can to support them, given money, time, even going to Iran to fight if I have to!
A. Cina, USA

This is the time for these few ignorant mullahs to step down and join their friends like mullah Omar and Ben laden in the caves and leave the Iran & Iranians alone. Iranians are all screaming for their freedom.
Houman Kiani, M.D, USA

Yesterday I was nearly beaten by the anti-riot police because I was watching the protestors from across the street where I live. There's a university there. They kept telling me I had to go inside and I wouldn't. Finally the commander came up to me and yelled: "Go inside!" All I said was: "What are YOU so frightened of?" when he turned to hit me...

Today a lot of women have gathered around the front gate of the Tehran University and they've taken off their scarves in the demonstration. They've been severely beaten by chains....I broke down in tears when I heard this....they're beating the students on the streets. They're stabbing them with knives. This violence is actually taking place on the streets of Tehran...but you know these students out-number the "hezbollahi" by millions..... They have the masses on their side...
Shady E., Iran

The majority of the Iranians have been silently opposing the dictatorship of the "religious" elite
Youssef Haddad, USA
The fall of the Ayatollah's is coming. The majority of the Iranians have been silently opposing the dictatorship of the "religious" elite. The protests will only increase in the near future and an internal revolution seems imminent. As expected, the coalition forces presence in Iraq have indirectly provided a morale boost to the forces of change in the Middle East.
Youssef Haddad, USA

I'm of Iranian descent, and living in America. I just wanted to commend the protesters for their incredible bravery. They are stunning. And I do hope that they over through the nightmare of a theocracy that has strangled Iran. And I have nothing but positive things to say about Bush who has so diplomatically supported the protests so far.
Lilly S. Washanti, USA

Iran is a live nation, and the Iranian people will never surrender to their brutal, tyrant and totalitarian regime. I am sure that those brave protesters will keep seeking freedom by any possible means until they gain their freedom and rights to live in dignity. One day, I hope too soon, Iran, once again, will have its great contribution to the longstanding human history of fighting oppression as a free nation. Go ahead and the whole world is with you.
Nike, France

Thank you for support of national of Iran, we'll win sure, please aid to us.
Samira Emdadi, Iran

We want a people republic government which we can decide for our country but not government decide for us
Arman H, Iran

I was in the protest. All civil clothed hezbollah attacked, they were more than us. They beat and swear at us. They chased us all the way to dormitory and now looking for all of us to hand over to the prison. Most of them were not Iranian, they had Arabic accent.
Roghiyeh, Iran

Mullahs are always mullah. They are pots of same clay. These are the people they enlisted Iran in the list of "Axis of Evil". They should be ashamed of their deeds. I have sympathy with the people of Iran for their struggle for freedom from mullahs.
Mahmood Al Hooti, Oman

Freedom is not very far away from us
Siavosh, Iran
I'm very hopeful about what's going on and I think freedom is not very far away from us.
Siavosh, Iran

I hope this protest is one which changes the whole regime.
A student seeking freedom, Iran

I read your comments about the Iranian students and their protests against the regime of the mullahs. I was in Teheran at the weekend, some policemen hit me, but I fought for Iran. I wish that Mr Bush would help us in our fight for freedom. I have a dream! Maybe one day, every Iranian man and woman will be free. In a country without Mullahs, without radical groups. Until this day has come, we'll fight for our right to live freely. Freedom for Iran.
Yanic Meier, Germany

I had the chance to flee Iran and escape to the US. Here I was able to get an education that would not have been allowed to me because of my faith. What scares me most is that I fear I cannot escape the strict enforcement of beliefs even here in the US. As more people become accepting of strict followings of Islam, I feel I may even have to flee here for my safety.
Ali, USA

I have protested for six straight nights and I am not going to stop now - this regime has to leave for me to stop.
Navid F, Iran

I had a telephone conversation with my nephew who is 22 and lives in Tehran. He told me that he had never in his life run the way he did two nights ago when he went to the demonstrations in Tehran. The vigilantes had ran after him with chains and clubs, the reason being that he saw them beating a girl to death and she was bleeding. He said four of them were at her and kicking her in the head, stomach and another one was beating her with the chain he had. So he shouted you sons of the bitches, leave her alone, you animals..... Then they ran after him and luckily he managed to escape from them.
Shahrokh Biniaz, Kuwait

PRESIDENT BUSH PLEASE HELP US
Ali M., Iran

I am one of the students of Tehran university. i am studying law. let me tell you that the protesters are not students. they are some workless people that all the time looking for trouble. nobody from our own faculty has been participating in this protest.
Mena, Iran

The ruling party in Iran must start sharing power with the pro-democracy now before is too little too late like the former ruler, the shah.
Mike Bargani, Iran

The vigilantes once beat me up because I was taking part in a protest. They didn't use weapons because I am 13. But they punched and kicked me in a violent manner.
Paya, Iran

The Iranian people have shown their urgent tendency for freedom. Now the US must start to support the demonstration by warning the Iran government not to act against the people. This enforcement from the outside and people's demonstration inside, will finally down the Iran regime. We are waiting for immediate support of the US.
Farshad, Iran

Despite the past, all the family members are taking part in the protests. I can see all ages among the people. The women's presence is so amazing. I can see fathers hand in hand with their wives and children in the streets. They seem both frightened and happy. I can see the traces of opposite feelings in the eyes. It is great that I can see my country fellows finding a way - a peaceful way - to show their opposition. The perfume of old days - the days of revolution - is in the atmosphere. The people are kind to each other. They give help and open the doors to shelter the young ones running away from police and plain clothes' attacks. It is beautiful, encouraging.
Name withheld, Iran

I was at home when I heard the noises. Outside, people were running everywhere, and were trying to hide somewhere, I could hear the guns, and although we are living 3 streets away from the place, we could hardly open our eyes and breathe because of the tear gas. I could see about 20 motorcycles riding here and there shouting and trying to catch people in the street. Mothers were crying and trying to find their sons, cars in traffic were pushing their horns to show their partnership in the protest, but motorcyclists tried to stop them by threatening them.....
Name withheld, Iran

I am a student, I was involved. I think it is my duty, but my parents are frightened because I have been arrested before on Students Day, now if they arrest me again only God can help me! But I will continue - not only me, but all of my friends in Tehran University - will continue our protest to show the whole world we want out freedom!
Behnam k, Iran

The police are now arresting everyone and mistreating everybody, even those not participating in the protests.
Mukiibi, Iran

I have been demonstrating from Tuesday. We talk about this at university. I am very tired with this government and we want freedom like the world in the 21st century. Everybody knows that this government is all liars, and it is just about power and control of wealth. We are cut off from rest of the world, I will not have a job after university. I am a woman and I hate this society, it is abuse of authority. It is very dangerous on the streets, and we are all doing this at risk. When the police, military and Basij open fire, they never care and if you go to prison, you don't know how far they can go. But we have to do this, and so many more people now than ever. It is time for change now.
Nastaran W Iran

I was not among the protesters but was just walking towards the university campus where a crowd of protesters had gathered, when I heard a shot on my left hand side and found myself in a pool of blood. I was rescued by a group of campus students who rushed me to hospital with a broken arm. The police are now arresting everyone and mistreating everybody, even those not participating in the protests.
Mukiibi, Iran

I am very happy but I am afraid to join the protest. I am hopeful that this regime will change within two years and we will get rid of this nonsense regime
Parviz, Iran

Protesters were shouting slogans but if we compare quantity and number of protesters with other demonstrations they do not have enough power to do something . I think elections in Iran are the first and last method to change things.
Mary, Iran

I am very happy but I am afraid to join the protest. I am hopeful that this regime will change within two years and we will get rid of this nonsense regime.
Parviz, Iran

I was there tonight along with more than 20,000 people, counting those in cars who had come there for the students. People of all types - those with chador, from downtown, people with expensive cars, young and old. It was very nice. I hope the demonstrations get organised, and don't get to aggressive - we lose when it gets to aggressive, but we will win if this goes on at the current level for a few weeks. I hope the US attacks with cruise missiles some Sepah/Intelligence ministry buildings! And I hope at least some of MPs who have signed the letter against Khamenei, stand up strongly for people.
Hadi, Iran

I absolutely reject the concept of "democracy" and "freedom" as nakedly false phantoms of the west. Who would ever want to be "free" when they could instead live in the glorious order and sanctified grace of Sharia? Why does anyone need to have an opinion for himself?
Shahin Shahida, Iran

The Basij militiamen are like wild animals. They beat women and children. The special police forces are even worse. I saw a young man being hit by them while keeping on shouting "Down with Khamenei!" He didn't stop until he was arrested. Some might say this is the same as what happened in 1999, but this time is not going to be the same for Iranians. Nothing will stop us but a referendum for a regime change. We are tired of Mullahs. A new mullah like Khatami will never ever be able to kid us again. We seek freedom and we will gain it.
Farshad, Iran

I was in Tehran in 1999 and involved in the student protests. My experience is that the police do not protect the students. They would stand by and watched as militia men would come and beat the students. Some of them even threw students out of the dormitory windows to their deaths and police just watched and did not arrest them. Students blocked the streets and filtered traffic. The people around and inside the area were very supportive and helped feed and heal the students for those few days.
Nima S Panahi, USA

Twenty-five years ago when I was in my 20s , we protested against the Shah and brought in these maniacs (religious leaders). Now the students are finishing the job and hopefully will finally bring democracy into our country. Please remember this struggle started in 1915 so we are very patient nation.
Alex Far, Australia

When I was 10 years old, the revolution was imposing itself upon the repressed Iranian society ...Like many Iranians at that time, I have experienced that the truth can be manipulated in the name of freedom. I lost dear relatives, friends and part of my life due to the manipulation of revolution and have lived in horror of anarchy, disorder and chaos when the change was taking place in my country. And I also have lived under the cruel ruling of the present regime of Iran. My experiences are not that pleasant, but I have learnt to live with them and keep my hope for freedom, because Iran is my home and my identity, and being an Iranian in exile makes me to be proud of all my experiences.
Kathy, Canada




SEE ALSO:
Hope on the streets of Tehran
17 Jun 03  |  Middle East
Iran's youth seek future overseas
29 May 03  |  Middle East
Iran MPs attack student punishments
10 Mar 03  |  Middle East
Iran's youth reveal anger and sadness
10 Dec 02  |  Middle East
The modern face of Iran
02 Nov 02  |  From Our Own Correspondent
Country profile: Iran
06 Nov 02  |  Country profiles


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