Ackerman reports on a press conference by Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council:

[If] a compromise can’t be found, then the opposition enters a new phase, having to face a choice between accepting Ahmadinejad and moving to a more radical position. “There are people loyal to the system, who don’t want to bring the system down but at the same time believe the system is quite imperfect [and wish to] ensure the system changes through peaceful means,” Parsi said. If they fail, “then we face a significantly more radical movement in Iran, with more bloodshed than we’ve seen.”
The important criterion for American policy right now has to be to reject Ahmadinejad’s attempts at portraying his victory as final. That means no negotiations, which is “creating some problems with the Obama administration, which is so very dedicated to the process of diplomacy,” Parsi said. While the administration has placed the onus for any diplomacy on Iran, if Iran calls the U.S.’s bluff and talks renew, it will send the message that the international community views the opposition’s efforts as futile.

--PA

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.