The Current Discussion: Are we witnessing a pro-regime coup in Iran? What should the world do in response? How will the election aftermath affect Iran's projection of power into the Middle East?
Street protests in Iran are both inspiring and alarming. It is always inspiring when people decide to stand up for their rights, undeterred by repression. What's alarming is that it's unclear whether what we are witnessing is a mere power struggle or a popular movement for change.
By change, I mean that the protesters would succeed in forcing the highest echelon of power to concede to a more transparent and more open system - one that allows wider diversity of views and political movements.
It may be too much to expect that the current protests would end the era of Wilayat Al Faiqih, the supremacy of religious authority over Iranian politics and society. But if the protests evolve into a more organized movement, they will accomplish the long-standing demands of the more progressive reformists for an end to the monopoly of a tiny group of religious and social elite on political and economic decision-making.