The regime’s only allies in the world are terrorist armies and Bashar Assad’s Baath Party state in Syria. Assad himself, like Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, is a pariah among the Arabs, Persians, Turks, Kurds, Azeris, and Israelis who make up the region.
Iranian civilians risk violent beatings and worse by the thousands for standing up to the regime in the streets and treating it as the enemy it clearly is. There is no better time for the rest of us to do so, as well, especially since such gestures carry far less risk for us. The Pasdaran have no divisions in Washington, Paris, or London.
Obama Administration officials still hope they can talk Khamenei out of developing nuclear weapons and supporting Hamas and Hezbollah. This is delusion on stilts. Khamenei can’t even compromise with his own regime or his hand-picked presidential candidates. He placed them under house arrest, along with a Grand Ayatollah, and deployed thousands of violent enforcers into the streets. Not only does he confront the world, he is at war with his very own country.
Understand the mind of a totalitarian. “Probe with a bayonet,” Vladimir Lenin famously said. “If you meet steel, stop. If you meet mush, then push.”
Read the whole thing. This situation does appear to make the chances of diplomacy monumentally less likely to be effective. I'm cautiously optimistic that the internal revolt may yet bring real change, or that some form of hard diplomacy may still work. Obama promises hard diplomacy with the regime. Assuming diplomacy has any real chance of working, it's going to have to be really hard--as hard as steel.
Also posted on Stubborn Facts.