Yesterday, hundreds of demonstrators flooded the streets of Tehran, chanting anti-government slogans and setting garbage cans on fire. The cause of the protests: money.
On Wednesday, Iran claimed to have made advances in the master production of nuclear fuel despite increasingly tough sanctions by the West over its controversial nuclear program. This week Iran has also been in the headlines for a series of attacks in Thailand, India and Georgia. Furthermore, relations between Israel and Iran are increasingly strained with threats of aggression coming from both sides. Is there still hope for diplomacy between Iran and Western governments?
During the protests in Egypt and Tunisia, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government praised the uprisings, saying that the "era of puppet regimes" had come to an end. In a similar vein this week, opposition groups are saying the government has "co-opted" the February 14th death of university student Saneh Jaleh during marches in Tehran. On Wednesday, funeral services were held by both opposition and pro-government groups. The government has said that Jaleh was an informant, and killed by opposition forces. A pro-government rally is planned for Friday.
The influence of successful protests in Tunisia and Egypt have spread outside of the Arab world in the Middle East. Iran saw thousands take to the streets in protest against its government, with protesters chanting, "death to the dictator." These are the largest demonstrations since 2009, which resulted in the government crushing the opposition. Can the government shut down the latest protests?
Kelly Niknejad joins us this morning to update us on continued protests against the Iranian government. She is editor in chief of the Iranian news website The Tehran Bureau.
To help put the unrest in Iran into perspective, we turn to three different voices from the Iranian and Iranian-American community. Kelly Niknejad is editor and founder of the Iranian news website Tehran Bureau, Amir Farokhi, an Iranian-American attorney in Atlanta, and "Nahzi" an Iranian artist who wishes to remain anonymous because she will soon return to Iran, all join The Takeaway to discuss what news sources they trust, and what their hopes are for Iran.
"The help of Obama or American government directly is very, very dangerous right now."
— Kelly Niknejad, founder of Tehran Bureau, on involvement in Iran