Iran: Sui Generis or Soviet Republic?

Karim Sadjadpour sees an apt parallel between Soviet Russia and Iran today, drawing on George F. Kennan's 1947 essay, "The Sources of Soviet Conduct:"

[L]ike the Soviet Union, the Islamic Republic is a corrupt, inefficient, authoritarian regime whose bankrupt ideology resonates far more abroad than it does at home. Also like the men who once ruled Moscow, Iran's current leaders have a victimization complex and, as they themselves admit, derive their internal legitimacy from thumbing their noses at Uncle Sam.

And yet we fear them so.