My cousin in Iran called my uncle often in the early days of mass protests and police crackdowns. Those moments full of hushed tones and furrowed brows would snap us back to the reality of the situation.
The regime's own cadres oppose Ahmadinejad, and the economic crisis has both deprived the regime of resources and spurred further public discontent. This provides the opening for Iranians to determine the outcome of the struggle.
Look closely at the images of mass demonstrations taking place in Iran this week and you will see them: thousands of brave Iranian women taking to the streets to protest an election they feel was stolen.
From one of many emails received post-elecion: "President Obama: Thank you for being mindful and not wanting to meddle... But why would we write our protest signs in English if we didn't want the West's help?"