For risking life and limb and reporting movingly from Iran, he deserves this? By "seeing this coming," I meant simply that he saw before this election a wave of exuberance, openness and democratic fervor that helped complicate the picture of an allegedly totalitarian Iran. Others didn't see it, because they were already convinced it was irrelevant. But Cohen was right in seeing the potential of this movement that many neocons wanted to dismiss so recently. And he deserves props for acknowledging that he had under-estimated the vile core of the regime.

Events are still far too fluid for judgment, but the very fact that an opposition movement did this well in the elections and the regime reacted this desperately seems instructive to me. Iran's regime has been crumbling for a while. And to try to see an opening in that is not being an apologist for Khamenei. It is being an optimist for peace and reform.

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