HAND0615:Getty

Noah Millman wonders who the military will side with (his whole post is worth a read):

If I’m right about what our policy is, then the current situation, while touchy, is not an obvious setback for it. It may or may not be a setback for the idea of a Grand Bargain that leads to normalization with Iran, but I never believed that this was very likely in the first place; it’s not in the Iranian regime’s interest to normalize relations with America, and it would be very hard for America to normalize relations with Iran without freaking out our various allies in the region (preeminently the Saudis and Egyptians, but obviously the Israelis as well). If the regime survives by brute force, it will be revealed to be relatively weak in terms of popular support and will be less credible globally than it was before.

If the regime simply waits the protests out, then very little will have changed at all. If the regime survives by abandoning Ahmadinejad, then it will be focused on maintaining its credibility internally, and Mousavi will not be in a position to go off the reservation much if at all – so negotiations with America, if they happen will not really go anywhere. If the regime does not survive, it will be because the military turns on it decisively (which I would be really surprised by), and whatever regime emerges to replace it will have to establish its own credibility as a patriotic guardian of the Iranian people. That means no dramatic rapprochement with America, whatever happens behind the scenes.

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