Iranian Student to Obama and the World: 'Don't Leave Us Alone'

Contrary to the claims of many liberals, at least some of Iran's anti-government protesters are anxious for Barack Obama to lend American support to their cause. An Iranian student interviewed on CNN’s American Morning on Monday pleaded for the world, and President Obama by name, to become more active in assisting the protests against the Islamic regime in Tehran: “International community....especially, I ask President Barack Obama directly...this government is a huge threat to global peace....We need your help international community. Don’t leave us alone.” [Audio from the segment available here.]

Near the end of the interview, anchor John Roberts asked the student, who went by the first name of Mohammed alone, for the specific demands of the protesters: “Are the students seeking regime change? Are they looking to bring down the Ayatollah and completely change the form of government there in Iran, or are you looking for- as has been suggested- more civil rights, more freedoms, within the context of the existing regime?”

Without any sort of prompting, Mohammed first addressed some of the major controversies involving the Iranian regime: “For about three decades, our nation has been humiliated and insulted by this regime....We are peaceful nation. We don’t hate anybody. We want to be an active member of international community. We don’t want to be isolated....We don’t deny Holocaust. We...do accept Israel’s rights. And actually...we want severe reform on this structure. This structure is not going to be tolerated by the majority of Iranians. We need severe reform, as much as possible.”

Roberts then tried to conclude the interview, but the student interrupted with his plea: “Excuse me, sir....I have a message [for] the international community. Will you please let me tell it?” Mohammed then gave his “don’t leave us alone” message, which included a recommendation for further sanctions against the Islamic government.

Co-anchor Kiran Chetry followed up by asking, “Well, Mohammed, what do you think that the international community should do besides sanctions?” He specified targeting the gasoline imports of the regime. Roberts finally concluded the interview there, acknowledging the “perspective from inside Tehran from Mohammed, a student who’s been involved in the demonstrations, and a plea from Mohammed this morning for the international community to do more to support their movement.” His co-anchor labeled his statement a “powerful message.”

The transcript of the relevant portion of the interview, which began 24 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour of Monday’s American Morning:

JOHN ROBERTS: Mohammed, we have been talking this morning- sort of, about what the students are fighting for, and whether the students are fighting for something different than the older, more established political candidates like Mousavi are. Are the students seeking regime change? Are they looking to bring down the Ayatollah and completely change the form of government there in Iran, or are you looking for- as has been suggested- more civil rights, more freedoms, within the context of the existing regime?
 
MOHAMMED, STUDENT IN IRAN: Yes. Let me tell you something. For about three decades, our nation has been humiliated and insulted by this regime. Now, Iranians are united again one more time after 1979 revolution. We are peaceful nation. We don’t hate anybody. We want to be an active member of international community. We don’t want to be isolated. It isn’t much of a demand for a country with more than 2,500 [years of] civilization. We don’t deny Holocaust. We don’t- we do accept Israel’s rights. And actually, we want- we want severe reform on this structure. This structure is not going to be tolerated by the majority of Iranians. We need severe reform, as much as possible.
 
ROBERTS: Interesting perspective this morning from Mohammed-

CHETRY: Yes.

ROBERTS: The student demonstrator there in Tehran.
 
MOHAMMED: Ok, and finally-

ROBERTS: Go ahead.

MOHAMMED: Excuse me, sir. I have a message. I have a message [for] the international community. Will you please let me tell it?

ROBERTS: Yes, go ahead.

CHETRY: Yes.
 
MOHAMMED: Okay. Americans, European Union, international community- this government is not definitely- is definitely not elected by the majority of Iranians. So it’s illegal. Do not recognize it. Stop trading with them- impose much more sanctions against- against them. My message to the international- my other message to the international community, especially I ask President Barack Obama directly- how government, that doesn’t recognize its people’s rights and oppress them brutally and mercilessly, can have nuclear activities. This government is a huge threat to global peace. Will a wise man even shot [sic] [unintelligible] to an insane person. We need your help international community. Don’t leave us alone.

ROBERTS: All right.

CHETRY: Well, Mohammed, what do you think that the international community should do besides sanctions?
 
MOHAMMED: Actually, this regime is really dependent on- on importing gasoline, more than 85% of Iran’s gasoline is imported from the foreign countries. I think international community must sanction exporting gasoline to- to Iran, and that might shut down the government.
 
ROBERTS: Okay. Again, a perspective from inside Tehran from Mohammed, a student who’s been involved in the demonstrations, and a plea from Mohammed this morning for the international community to do more to support their movement.

CHETRY: Yeah- powerful message. Thanks for that perspective.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center