I don’t know how long this situation can endure. Anyone who claims to be able to tell the Iranian future is lying. But it seems clear that the “political clock” has now outpaced the “nuclear clock.”
All this says — nay, screams — to me: Do nothing. It is President Barack Obama’s outreach that has unsettled a regime that found American axis-of-evil rhetoric easy to exploit. After struggling, Obama has also found his sweet spot in combining that détente with quiet support for universal rights. Note the feminine possessive pronoun in this line from his Nobel speech: “Somewhere today, in this world, a young protester awaits the brutality of her government but has the courage to march on.” I saw those bloodied women marching in Tehran in June and will never forget them.
These reformists are looking in their great majority for some elusive middle way combining faith and democracy.
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