A reader writes:

Like so many of your readers, we have skin in the game. In February we were getting a tour of Tehran, driving up Valiasr street drinking fresh pomegranate juice and listening to Meatloaf's "Bat out of Hell" album (!) with three of my husband's nephews, getting a tour of the city from their point of view.

When I think of our beautiful, brilliant nephews out in the streets - and their parents have told us that is where they have been all week - it breaks my heart. I hope they get the lives they want, and I fear seeing their mothers if they don't get through this. I worry about the boys in Ahvaz and Shiraz as well.

We believe that there is indeed an Obama effect in play here.

The candidate debates they had were unprecedented, and following so close to an exciting American election cycle, I think many people actually believed they were going to get a western style election, that is, one characterized by minimal cheating. Essentially, the voters in Iran were punked by a bait and switch election. They weren't voting for Obama but they were voting for democracy. I think they are expressing their disappointment with a high degree of political maturity.

On a side note, my husband is a new American and a cynical voter. He votes because I won't listen to him gripe about our officials if he doesn't vote (he has to show me the sticker). It took this election in Iran to turn him into an American. I can't believe the statements about liberal democracies that have been coming out of his mouth this week. That is, I believe them but I didn't know that he really did. Thirty years in America, five years as a citizen, one week as an American.

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