Events in Iran since election day on June 12 have been truly breathtaking. The Islamist status quo faces a crisis of legitimacy, very reminiscent of that which raged through Eastern Europe twenty years ago, and the upsurge of popular rage further calls to mind the popular wrath that drove Shah Muhammed Reza Pahlavi from the Peacock Throne thirty years ago.
In an insightful blog post
on Saturday, Laura Secor of The New Yorker
asks the question though: Will this end with Wenceslaus Square, or Tienanmen Square? Can Iran have a Velvet Revolution, akin to that in Prague, or bloody repression, as in Beijing in 1989?
Michael Hirsch in Newsweek
also addresses the issue, today. He points out the inherent vulnerabilities of the Islamic Republic, and that there might not be a right answer for the clerics. The could hold onto power for now, but the regime's shortcomings of legitimacy bode ill for its future.