TAPPER: That's exactly right, Christiane. And the Obama administration has been sending out messages, not just to allies in the region but to all countries in the region that they need to get ahead of this movement. You have seen the king of Jordan try to initiate, try to get ahead of it try to talk about pro-democracy reforms. You've seen other steps taken by the leadership in Yemen, Bahrain, Algeria in which they're trying to take some steps to at least try to convince their people they're on the side of reform and it has not always been convincing. But that's been the message they've been telling the Saudis for example to support reform efforts in Bahrain which is so close to Saudi Arabia of course, reform efforts that would include power sharing with the Shia majority in that country, even though the kingdom is run by Sunnis.
And this has not been an easy process. It is going to take a long time. But that's been the message coming from President Obama and the administration.
AMANPOUR: And Reza, just a last final word. Do you think, as everybody asks about Iran, that there is a tipping point coming to Iran as well, or not?
ASLAN: Look, the economic situation that led to the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt and elsewhere are far worse in Iran. I mean, the inflation rate in Egypt is 12% in Iran, it's twice that. A higher unemployment rates. Higher property rates in Iran. And certainly let's not forget, the paradigm set about how to go about organizing in these authoritarian regimes began with the Green movement.
So everybody is waiting to see if what started in Iran in 2009 will end in Iran. That's hard to say. The regime has learned a lesson from what happened in 2009. But Bob's right, it's an untenable situation. The economy is on the verge of collapse, it's becoming increasingly isolated, its nuclear program is in shambles. And I think change is coming to Iran though it may not be the sort of profound revolutionary regime change that everyone is waiting for. I think that change is inevitable.
AMANPOUR: And many people -- we've talked briefly on al Qaeda. Bob Kagen, is this an opportunity for al Qaeda, these democratic revolutions that are sweeping around here, or democracy sweeping here, is it an opportunity for al Qaeda or is it a blow to al Qaeda?
KAGAN: I think it's a blow to al Qaeda. I think that the more you see the people who are taking part in the revolutions, the desire for democracy and freedom that they express, they have no interest in al Qaeda's message. Al Qaeda's message is one of hatred, it's one of really a kind of theocratic tyranny. It's not a message of democracy. They consider -- al Qaeda considers democracy an enemy. And there's just very little sign, in fact there's no sign that I have seen that there's any enthusiasm for al Qaeda.
The only danger we face right now, with regard to al Qaeda or any kind of terrorist group is if Libya completely implodes and becomes a failed state then they able to take up residence in Libya and operate from there. And that's the United States has a very profound interest in how Libya turns out and I think will need to get involved, I hope not to a great extent, but possibly more than I think people are imagining now.
AMANPOUR: Bob Kagan, Reza Aslan and Jake Tapper, thank you very much.
And I'll be back from Tripoli with a note at the end of the program.