While it is still too early to call the protests in Egypt a revolution, Cairo has been under siege for 48 hours. The three-decade long rule of a despot -- and the country's role as an American ally -- is being challenged.
Yet not all of the basij adhere to the ultra-conservative elements of the Islamic Republic that have caught the world's attention in the past two months. Many are actually strong supporters of the reformists
In a misguided attempt to punish Iran for a range of crimes, including its state sponsorship of terrorism, the U.S. has insisted on comprehensive sanctions and deliberately worked to cut Iran off from the rest of the world.
With regard to the Obama administration's next moves towards Iran, at the very least the utmost prudence must be exercised, and unprecedented diplomacy deployed, in order to preserve the American and Western way of life.
Today the Iranian people are gagged. Today the Iranian people are counting their dead, their wounded, and the disappeared. Today Iranians' most fundamental rights are systematically and brutally violated.
It may be the case that factions of individuals within Ahmadinejad's government have been actively working to keep Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, in the dark on a number of domestic matters.