Don’t expect a “Green Revolution” to save us from having to face the challenges posed by the Iranian regime. Although some, like Gerald Seib, remain optimistic:
Yet slowly, things appear to be changing. For one thing, the world increasingly views Iran’s mistreatment of its own dissidents as a problem on a par with its nuclear program. One small sign of this came Thursday in the U.S. Senate, where a bipartisan group of senators unveiled a bill that would compel the Obama administration to target economic sanctions on Iran at officials who abuse their citizens’ human rights, not just at those involved in the country’s nuclear program.
the ability and will of the regime to prevent a mass demonstration that could blossom into something more was clearly evident last Thursday on the anniversary of the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The lesson of Tiananmen Square is that popular uprisings can be put down and, once put down, regimes can retain power for a very long time.
Fred Kaplan is more pessimistic. None of the available alternatives (bomb, sanctions, engagement, a nuclear Iran would be a good thing) is particularly confidence-building:
The real frustration about this whole issue, the reason why even reasonable people are flirting with actions that are dangerous or futile, is that, ultimately, we have little control over what happens next. It’s an extreme case of what we’ve experienced across much of the world since the fracturing of power that followed the end of the Cold War. It’s something we haven’t yet grown used to.