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Drezner on Russia, Iran, and US Interests
Yesterday on FP.com, the Tufts Fletcher School’s Daniel Drezner wrote about the problems Russia is causing itself by being seen to meddle in Iran’s internal politics (in stark contrast to Obama's smart response). Basically, he picks up on an Andrew Sullivan blog in which Iranians seem to believe that something like a Russian Coup is actually happening, and that the Russians are now very concerned about this and trying to backtrack, likely unsuccessfully.
I also think Drezner’s right on in terms of where things are headed, which is now in stark contrast to where the situation was just a couple days ago. Until recently, Obama was accurate in saying that there was little difference in terms of policy outcomes between an Ahmadinejad and Mousavi win (and he was certainly right to say it, so as to not pronounce an American favorite, thereby handicapping that person). Now, as Drezner rights, the situation in Iran is at a fundamentally different point (my emphasis):
I'm pretty sure a Rubicon has been crossed in Iran that can't be uncrossed. This isn't 1999 and 2003 -- too many days have passed with the Khamenei regime on the defensive. The regime as it existed for the past twenty years -- hemmed-in democracy combined with clerical rule -- is not going to be able to continue. With the largest protests of the past week scheduled for tomorrow, I think this ends in one of two ways: the removal of Ahmadinejad and Khamenei from power, or bloodshed on a scale that we cannot comprehend.
Actually, come to think of it, those two outcomes are not mutually exclusive.