Transcript: Sens. Chris Dodd and Lindsey Graham

STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Bill, you, as I said, spent much of the last week in Iran. Could you get a sense from the people you were able to talk to how much they wanted the United States involved? First of all. And also, give us some sense of the scale of the protests. You know, there's this debate here over how much of the election was stolen, over how many people these opposition protesters actually represent.

BILL KELLER, NEW YORK TIMES EXEC. EDITOR: Well, Iranian public opinion is a hard thing to measure, but it's not just Tehran and it's not just a sort of effete group of university students and professors. It's definitely more widespread than that.

The thing you would see over and over again as you sort of round a corner, and there would be a group of young men, mostly, throwing rocks or wheeling a kind of burning dumpster out into traffic, and then the riot police would come after them.

And then came the really interesting part, which is all of the traffic backed up for blocks and blocks in all directions, would start honking in support of the guys throwing the rocks, not in support of the police.

You had working-class families waving V's out the window, little kids with green ribbons tied around their fingers. So the support is clearly -- you know, Ahmadinejad talks about the unity of the Islamic people of Iran, but the people clearly are a lot more complicated than that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And your columnist, Roger Cohen, writes this morning about even some of the security forces not seeming all that eager to carry out their responsibilities.

KELLER: I think that's right, although they have these Basiji, who are kind of the authorized militia, who are utterly ruthless. I got to see them in action a little bit in Esfahan, where I went for a day, a place that doesn't really get any press coverage, and it was a kind of a glimpse of what we might be in store for in Tehran if the window closes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Cokie, we've also seen a remarkable aspect of this velvet revolution, if it is one, is the power of the women in Iran.

COKIE ROBERTS, ABC NEWS: Right. And being very brave. I mean, when you talk about this special force, they've been vicious against the women, just in everyday life, much less in this situation. And so, to have women being brave out there and saying, you know, this is the change that we have to see -- now, you know, Iran's interesting this way because there is a huge class of highly-educated women, who, many of them who have left, and a lot of people here are supporting this revolution because of -- or if it is a revolution -- because of the role of women and the oppression of women.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And, Sam, you covered Ronald Reagan. Of course, we heard Senator Graham talking about Ronald Reagan's tardy response to what was happening in the Philippines, when Marcos tried to steal an election, but then that very forceful speech he gave at the Berlin wall. Is President Obama being Reagan-esque enough?

SAM DONALDSON, ABC NEWS: I think President Obama is about on the right track.

Page
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...