We all know the imminent Iranian elections are circumscribed and do not mean a real transition of power. But they are an expression of popular sentiment and thereby have some impact on Iran's government, economy and foreign policy. I don't know how one can feel anything but hope at what seems to be going on:
“What’s happening now is more than what should happen before an election,” said Mashalah Shamsolvaezin, a political commentator and former director of several reformist newspapers. “This is an expression of protest and dissatisfaction by people. They are venting their frustration and feeling very powerful.”...
The rallies appear to have surprised and unsettled the authorities, and Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a message broadcast on state television, warned against any further escalation.
“I don’t want to comment about people coming onto the streets, but they should not turn into confrontation or clashes between supporters of the candidates,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
Somewhat Obama-esque, no? People are not illusioned, I suspect.
But they sense a rare moment in which the constellations might become aligned for a Grand Bargain in the region, and they are understandably exhausted and not a litle unnerved by the brinksmanship of the last few years. The same appears to be true in Lebanon, where the Cairo effect seems at least tangible enough to discuss:
Amazing what mere words can do.