June 17, 2009

LKL Web Exclusive: Actress Shiva Rose on latest in Iran

Posted: 11:06 AM ET

This is an LKL Web Exclusive from actress Shiva Rose, who is of Iranian descent. She has appeared in numerous television series and movies, including "CSI: Miami" and "The Practice."  Shiva was on LKL last night discussing the latest developments in Iran, and wrote this exclusive commentary:86173245

Iran is where I was raised for the first ten years of my life. Although I consider myself an Iranian-American my soul still feels a longing for its motherland, the physical earth where I took my first steps. I am watching the unfolding of the events in Iran with bated breath.

In 2000 when Gore had to concede to Bush I felt such a deep sense of abandonment and despair that I was wondering why we as Americans didn’t take to the streets. Recently in 2008 with Obama’s victory I finally felt like I could believe again in our system and that there truly was “hope” for our future. I suppose that’s why I can genuinely relate to those marching in Iran. Of course there the situation is much more oppressive but the sense of fighting for our votes to be counted is what I can understand. It is pretty astounding that there hasn’t been anything on this scale since the revolution of 1979. During the Khatami elections in 2005, there were a few outcries when he lost to Ahmadinejad, but it seems the people are now more galvanized. When Khatami once seemed like he was alone in his fight, now four years later, there is a significant sea change with Khatami’s support of Mousavi.

From the reports we know that the marches are a constant flood of people from all areas of Iranian life. There are students, families with children, elderly, factory workers, women in chadors all marching to support Mousavi from Tehran’s Freedom Square to Shiraz and Isfahan. There are even demonstrations in Dubai. I worry and fear though that this situation may erupt into a Tiananmen Square massacre. Already there are the reports of students killed at the universities yesterday and the ones killed in the marches. The regime has very few options. Even if the Ayatollah’s authorize an investigation, how will it be reliable and accepted? The fact that they claim that they were able to count 45 million ballots by hand in two hours is pretty preposterous and leads one to doubt their subtlety in duping a nation.

I am wracking my brain trying to think of what we can do. I suppose the best thing is to just be witnesses. Even with the shutting down of the Internet in Iran, we are still able to get footage taken by phones and twitter. This is a new landscape for totalitarian regimes and maybe the ammunition we need to keep human rights available for all of us.

Filed under: International • Iran • Larry King Live • LKL Web Exclusive

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Michael C. McHugh   June 17th, 2009 11:12 am ET

I hope that the young people of iran will overthrow that fascist regime, even though they will probably have to pay a high price to do so. If their is a revolution, though, it must be theirs, and not perceived as being connected to the US or other outside powers.

We Americans know little about Iran any more. We haven't even had an embassy there in 30 years, and few us have have visited the country. It's very difficult even to get visas.

As someone who remembers the hostage crisis of 1980-81 all too well, and how it ended the Carter presidency, I am in no hurry to get closely involved with Iran again. I realize we made many mistakes dealing with them over the years, and do not want to repeat those. Even so, I hope it becomes a more democratic country, and that we can have a more normal relationship in the future.

Ted   June 17th, 2009 11:43 am ET

We should remember that 30 years ago the fathers and mothers of those young people who march on the streets today did overthrow the Shah and brought the mullahs to power. They invaded the US. Embassy and kept the personal hostage for a long time. In other words, they caused this government to take power. They shouted "Death to the USA"!!!
Now they had enough and want out! Fine. If you were able to overthrow the Shah then do the same with the mullahs. We support you with sympathy and best wishes, however please do not ask us to do the job that must be done by the people of Iran.

Ron San Bruno, Ca   June 17th, 2009 6:49 pm ET

What is going on in Iran is a struggle between old religion and new religion. However we interpert it , there are faces that no longer wish to hide themselves behind a vail of suppression . The women of Iran must fight now to become equal worshipers in thier religion, not the subordinate maid's of thier religion . Life in Iran will never be free until these hard line Supreme Leaders modify thier rule into a twenty first century state of mind .

John, San Antonio, TX   June 17th, 2009 7:01 pm ET

I have yet to hear a single Iranian asking us to send troops to help overthrow the Mullahs or Ahmadinejad. What they are asking of us is our moral support which I believe most Americans as well as most people around the world are happy to provide. Iran (Persia) has a very ancient history and the people there are quite advanced in their culture and education. I would love to see our leaders and theirs no longer have to pass threats back and forth.

g ontario   June 17th, 2009 7:25 pm ET

today republicians are sayiny support the people off iran next week they will be terorrist again president obama is on the right road

Fran Zimmerman   June 17th, 2009 7:31 pm ET

Would it be wonderful if every country was a democracy! Who are
we to insist ? How many countries must we march into and fight
their politics? Can someone please tell me who put us in charge
of the world. Wake up friends. As a Mother, I would not want to send my sons to war ,in a war, that no one ask us to fight. Most likely
they will return in a box covered by our beautiful flag.

Lets solve our own problems! Give Obama a chance, instead of
writing about his interview where he killed a fly. Get a life....

Ron San Bruno, Ca   June 17th, 2009 9:07 pm ET

It was his quick reaction and follow through that I admired.In front of the whole world he took care of business simply and to the end . War has nothing to do with it . Both were using instinctes, the fly lost , basic life manuver . SKILL !

Daniel   June 17th, 2009 9:15 pm ET

Could you please tell us the difference in policies between the president and tho opposition? As I understand it there is no big difference between the two.
Now it looks like Mousawi wants Iran to be like the US but I beleive that is not the case.

Gerry -Miami Beach   June 17th, 2009 9:16 pm ET

Can the Guardian Council order a new presidential election, and wouldn't that satisfy the iranians and the world at large?

Sam Jones   June 17th, 2009 9:17 pm ET

What about the members of the Bahai' community that have been imprisoned for over a year just because they are members of the Bahai' faith. Please do not forget these people as well.
Thank you,

James   June 17th, 2009 9:21 pm ET

I would think that if a country has someone called "the Supreme Leader" that would be a fair indication something is wrong.

B.J.Fish   June 17th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

Good to see Iranian people using their voices.Active in their system.Up to Iranians, and their leaders, to decide where they want to go..Where they stand on the world stage.

It seems Iranians are doing fine at voicing their opinions .

Another election wouldn't do anything.Probably make things worse.Again Let Iranian's and their leaders sort this out. Peacefully

Keep morality high, mortality low..

I think their doing fine without any outside influence

It's all part of election fever..

Do people really have a say at the end of the day?

Perhaps In some ways..

We'll have to see how thing go before we find out how Iranians influence their leaders.

I am sure their leaders are listening

Thank-you for this space and your time


Randy F   June 17th, 2009 11:14 pm ET

Few have realized that the core problem of the world is the lack of morals. Most people don't realize that the population has fallen from spiritual ideals. It is not a government problem, a banking problem, a mortgage problem. is a general lack of morals through out society. The change needed is spiritual, not material. Whether we are Christians, Moslems, Buddists, Jewish, etc. we must realize that we all worship the same God, and that all of the religions have come from the same God. and that all humans were created by the same God.
This is what the Baha'is believe, who are being imprisoned and killed in Iran. How is wishing for human rights, equality, justice, peace be considered bad? The Mullah's in their prejudice and hatred have condemed the Baha'is to death for this. They have not realized the most fundamental principle, that the same God, has created all mankind.

Ted   June 18th, 2009 8:21 am ET

Randy F
God has nothing to do with religion, religion was created by people, because it was always a good business.
Buddha created the Buddism, Mohammed the Islam, Peter and the apostoles the Christianity, Moon the Moon Sect, etc., etc. They all wanted power and riches through their creation.
There is only one cathegory through humans should be judged, good people or bad people, regardless of religion, race, nationality or sex.
Put your Bible back on the bookcase, go to your neighbor and bring hin a cup of coffee or a beer and drink it with him together. It is a good start.

Warren Blaney   June 19th, 2009 11:21 pm ET

Hello. This E-mail was issued to shed some light on the comments of Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i, which he made in his Friday, June 19th, 2009 sermon, in particular his Branch Davidian/ Clintons comment, and, on the Iran situation in general. Credentials: I converted to Islam in 1993 as a Sunni Muslim. As an African-American, my motivation was self empowerment though education. I am familiar with the Arab language -Arabic, Islamic history, Islamic and Arab mannerisms, Quranic recitation, traditional and contemporary Quranic interpretation, Islamic law, Islamic womens issues, and more. I have read and studied from hundreds of islamic lituratures both obscure and common, historical and contemporary. And, I have studied at the feet of Islamic Scholars, both American a foreign born. I have friends both Sunni and Shi'ite, extremist, secular and degrees in between. Having said that, I myself am no Islamic scholar. I am an informed Muslim and to be frank, there is no alternative route to becoming an informed Muslim besides intense study. Put another way, I have prayed besides ethnic Arab Muslims who praised the extent of my Islamic knowledge, while I Was very unimpressed with the extent of theirs. Getting to the issue. First you must keep in mind that, in the mind of Muslims -Sunni and Shi'ite alike- the Holy Quran is the verbatim word of God Almighty -Creator of all things that exist, period. Second, all learned Muslims know and or believe that God will hold them accountable for learning his (Gods) instructions and orders, and punish them if they know but disobey. You must learn and then you must obey. Here I should mention that while it is true that linguistically the word Islam means 'the religion of peace' in fact the word Islam means the religion of peace with God Almighty, for one knows that if he (or she) disobeys God then he enters in to a rebellion-relationship with one (God) who can not be over-powered i.e. you can't win in a rebellion against God. Islamically this is reffered to as 'fear of God', and learned Muslims take it very, very, very seriously. Third, Islam is a legal system. It does not leave room for opinion in areas where God Almighty has given specific instruction. Additionally a very specific formula exists for arriving at a position or course of action (problem solving) in areas where there is no specific instruction. Forth, God instructs us, In the Quran, that all the non-Muslim people on earth are inferior, in that they are in an active rebellion against God and therefore destined for failure and are not to be followed in their thinking or religious methodologies. Leading this group are the polytheist traditions and people, followed by the Christians and Jews of the the 7th century types. Contemporary Christians and Jews are even further from the original creeds and are spoken of with varying degrees of condescension in Islamic circles. Fifth, God Almighty instructs the Muslims the set up (establish) Islamic societies for the purpose of allowing and facilitating full out Islamic obedience to God as a means of attaining peace with him (God). We are obligated to do certain things as well as all other things which facilitate those things. In other words, we can not undermine our own efforts. Today, we fully understand that secular social settings are a tremendous distraction in the pursuit of obedience to God, thus the Pope resides in Vatican City (a theocratic jurisdiction) instead of Manhattan. so, if you truly want to obey God, reside in a place where God's instruction goes unchallenged (a theocracy). Sixth, Iran is a theocracy, a safe zone, for Shi'ite Muslims. Seventh, the Iranian people see the non-Iranian world around them and they want what they see. Wanting what one sees, without full appreciation of the likely outcome(s), Psychology models show us, is an absence of full maturation of the thinking faculty. Eighth, God tells the Muslims, Via Quran and the living example of the Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) that they will be held accountable for who and in what manner they follow their leaders, and leaders will be held accountable for the manner in which they lead. Ayatollah Khāmene’i is a very well educated Muslim. He knows a hundred times more than I know. He will not lead the people except in a manner that he knows will not get him in trouble with God Almighty. To ensure an Islamic safe zone for the Muslims who want to live the extremely rigid Islamic lifestyle, Ayatollah Khāmene’i will exercise force against those who, in their ignorance, wish to diminish the quality of that safe zone. Ideally, the whole planet would become an Islamic safe zone with special zones maintained for pious Christians and Jews who are inclined to live in peace with Muslims. as a side-note, Christians and Jews are the only non-Muslim faiths that we are authorized to live in peace with. In the Quran, God orders us to wipe out all other creeds when and if the opportunity presents itself. Pretty scary stuff, I know. With regards to his Branch Davidian/ Clintons comment the theme is consistent; Secular societies tend to destroy theocratic societies. First they identify a justification to attack, and then they implement a course of action to that end. The Branch Davidians were an American Christian theocracy that were brutally (via burning and bullets) put down by secular America, so, how much more brutally will secular America put down an Persian Islamic theocracy. God Almighty has issued no authorization to the leadership of Islamic society to lead except in a very specific manner. So, now the Iranian people want to be lead in a new direction. If they have their way, Ayatollah Khāmene’i knows that the problems and challenges of the west will come to Iran and he doesn't want that for his people. Christians believe that the problems of the modern world are part of a larger plan (not controllable); Learned Muslims know/believe that the problems of the modern world are the result of flawed choices (controllable). Khalas. I hope this E-mail helps you understand that Ayatollah Khāmene’i is caught between a rock and a hard place: his charges and God Almighty. If you knew what he knew and believed what he believed, what would you do if you were in his shoes? I can fully appreciate that the ideas presented in this E-mail will, to varying degrees for various individuals, be difficult to reconcile with everything you think you understand and know about Islam. I also realize that some readers, for a range of reasons, won't be able to accept these concepts. I, personally, support the Iranian people and I hope they get the change that they desire, even though I know their relationship with God will be challenged or become altogether non-existent. May God have mercy on us all.

-Joe Blow Muslim on 06/19/09

p.s. Larry King, I know you are Jewish and I love what you do. All Muslims don't hate all Jews. Keep up the great work.

sam dad   June 21st, 2009 12:11 am ET

Dear Shiva,
Your commentary was very influential especially for me that recently came to the united states.I am following iran's news continuously and can control my emotions when i see how helpless people just because asking for their right are killed by the cruel fully armed regime.Even they can't show their ailments and sufferings due to free media and press shutting down by the regime and the news that come i think are tip of iceberg.I really don't know like you what to do to calm down.
I think the best thing that we can do is to let people all over the world know more and more about the massacre occuring in iran and by means of demonstrating and getting together ask other governments to severely condemn Iran's regime for their brutal behaviour.
Hope we soon see a free Iran that iranian really deserve
Thank you

Dodie ~ California   June 21st, 2009 5:57 pm ET

Shiva Rose stated: “In 2000 when Gore had to concede to Bush I felt such a deep sense of abandonment and despair that I was wondering why we as Americans didn’t take to the streets.” I asked myself the same question. Why are we not challenging our government? Have we learned how to roll over on our backs only too well? How programmed are we???

At least your people are willing to stand up for their rights because they know they are being oppressed! We Americans are so used to being controlled by huge corporate America; we do not even know it any more! Very Sad!!!

President Obama can only do so much! He is trying to regulate corporate America with much opposition from the large corporations that support our politicians. Even for him, this is an up-hill battle because we have been operating under this system for so long. We need to back him and challenge Corporate America. If we do not step up to the plate, eventually corporate America will create a two class system…the 1% filthy rich and the 99% poor. We have already moved from democracy to Capitalism and now beginning to moving toward a type of fascism. It’s only a matter of time.

Shiva Rose: beautifully stated!

Blanche   June 21st, 2009 9:27 pm ET

Greetings from New Mexico:

I just spent a delightful Sunday reading "My Remarkable Journey" –what a treat. My attention span is usually five minutes, but I just couldn't put your book down until I finished reading it. Thank you and keep up the good work –I love your humor and honesty. Best Wishes.

alison   June 22nd, 2009 4:15 am ET

i also think that we cannot do much but bear witness and make it known that we do not believe in what they are doing to the people.

Andy   June 29th, 2009 7:14 pm ET

The Iranians are quite brave to stand up to a corrupt government. Yes, Americans should have responded to the 2000 fiasco, but people in this country have become very insulated. This was not the case in the 1960s when there were large demonstrations and riots, but in the end, those types of demonstrations do not make significant change, or if they do, not the type of change we need. I suggest that Iranians organize action groups and carry out strikes, labor shutdowns, and sit-ins. Hit them where it hurts, in the pocketbook, and things will change.

nelson   July 8th, 2009 12:43 am ET

It is interesting that though the world and the middle east rae threatened by the prospect of nuclear proliferation as concerns for the Iranians nuclear ambitions that it took time out to mour Micheal Jackson.

pearl   September 22nd, 2009 11:15 am ET

Why doesn't anyone show the real history of health care in this country? We had too much government at one time and now we have too little according to some views. One of the main reasons the health care is so expensive is because of all the red tape and paper work that hospitals and doctors have to fill out before a patient is processed. Why don't you tell the truth to the American people regardless of your political views? I have yet to see media go to the hospitals and doctor offices to show what is going on. Nobody is willing to unveil the truth, because everybody in the media is in bed either with the politicians or insurance companies. I don’t see any investigative reporting when it comes to health care. Please walk the talk media, because what you are reporting is distorted truth.

Why are we so ignorant about what is going on around the world? Iranians wanted democracy when they took to the streets 30 years ago, but that is not what the super powers of the world wanted for them. Before making your brilliant comments please study up and read a little about what actually happened over there and who brought "evil Khomani" over there. I can tell you it was not Iranians. Anybody who believes that, I am sorry to say, is a FOOL! The anti government movement that is going on in Iran is because of the actions taken during President Bush’s administration and the 75 Million dollar budget passed in the senate to support such activities over there. Anybody who believes revolutions happen over night in such countries needs to read up a little and get educated. If president Obama’s administration does not support the movement over there, nothing will come out of these demonstrations. As much I hate to acknowledge, Iran is a very important country strategically for USA. The government that is over there is the product of wrong foreign policy decisions of Carter administration. I would like to ask him “ President Carter what happened to your human rights concerns that you had when the Late Shah was in power? Were they thrown out to the ocean once he left? The human right violations that have been going on over there are beyond imagination, then why don’t you ever talk about it. Is it because your idealistic actions resulted in more terrorism in the Middle East and in the lives of deceived Iranians? Folks please stop putting Iranians down and start looking deeper into the real truth of what is going on over there, and what our foreign policy decisions and media reporting can do to countries like Iran. Aren’t we better ff to have more Japans and West Germanys than countries like Cuba and Venezuela or China? Please support our government actions regardless of your political views to create more democracies around the world. Yes folks there are human and financial costs associated with achieving democracy. You cannot have your cake and eat it too. Look what the communist and dictators of the world have done with no shame and how successfully they have spread their cause throughout the world. Then why are we so ashamed of spreading what most of the world wants, which are democracy and free enterprise? If our system is so bad then why is there such long waiting list for immigration visas from non-democratic countries into this country? God Bless America!

flossmore   October 15th, 2009 1:10 pm ET

There is no reasoning with the Iranians......these "know it alls" really know nothing about diplomacy. Threatening to eradicate another country off the map......why would any sane and reasonable person ever say such a thing?
Answer.....they are not sane or reasonable.

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