Mr Ledeen is follows Iran closely and feels that if the current "Green" movement could replace the current regime, that it would mean Iran would give up the bomb. I hope he is right. I think he is wrong. However, he is spot on about Obama being unable to think outside the box. I also think Bush failed in that department also.
While I freely acknowledge the fact Mr. Ledeen is more an expert than I am with regards to Iran, I feel more than just words are needed to help the “Green Revolution”. Unfortunately our President (and Foggy Bottom) have missed out on a real opportunity to make a difference. And, even though I am a card carrying Republican, I feel Bush also failed to take advantage of the burgeoning unrest in Iran.
I still maintain that the current regime can weather out the storm of unrest, especially since they have allies in Russia and China who are vested in the “status quo” and are both willing to provide economic and technical help (I read somewhere that Iran, with Chinese assistance, has dramatically increased its ability to refine gasoline.. Mr. Ledeen, correct me if I am wrong) .
Don’t expect President Obama to do more than talk and don’t expect any meaningful sanctions from the international community. China is the real key and China WILL NOT support any UN Sanctions. They see the current regime as a useful tool that acts as a pain and distraction to the U.S. Make no mistake, the Chinese will play hardball and support the current regime as long as possible. It is in their interests.
As for the Bomb, even if the “Greens” take over, the sheer weight of the effort Iran has put into making a bomb will give it a life of its own. There are too many vested interests for it to grind to a halt. Iran sees the chance to regain the luster of ancient Persia and once more “assume” its rightful role as one of the world’s first tier powers. No Nukes, No Luster. Just ask China, India, Pakistan, and even France, who, without Nukes and its UN Veto power, would just be a big version of Lichtenstein.
When Soviet Union collapsed, we all thought that the Cold war and bad times were behind us. All that happened is that we turned a Communist Totalitarian State into a Capitalist Totalitarian State.
Even if the “Greens” topple the current regime, don’t expect a happy ending to this. Iran is determined to get the Bomb and they will, regardless of who is nominally in charge.
My two cents.