Iran is changing. The behavior of the people today would have not been tolerated 35 years ago in the immediate post-Revolutionary period. The cumulative effect of these behavioral and cultural changes is a transformation of Iranian society that will likely never be reversed.
Aside from the intriguing clues to Robert Gates' probable role in constructing a false picture of the Iranian nuclear danger, Porter's book is essential reading for all Americans wary of manufactured paths to war that have become a major theme in U.S. foreign relations after World War II.
What do Rouhani's past actions suggest about his morals and personality? It suggests that Rouhani's first priority has been to use any tool possible -- even if it means deceiving the Iranian people -- in order to achieve his political ambitions.
After an initial hard diplomatic push at the beginning of his first term, President Obama has overwhelmingly relied on economic pressure over diplomacy. However, Iran's recent election of Hassan Rouhani has provided renewed hope that diplomatic progress could be on the horizon.
The only thing that has changed in Iran since Netanyahu last did his war dance is that Iran has elected a new president who, unlike his radical predecessor, seems determined to tamp down tensions in the region.
In the coming weeks and months there will be much analysis exploring the potential implications of the election of Hassan Rouhani as Iran's next president. Will Iran become more flexible in its nuclear negotiation with the west?
The truth is that calling this election "free" disregards all the machinations and state meddling that preceded the vote itself. All eight candidates were approved by the Guardian Council on condition of their commitment to Iran's Supreme Leader.
In the same way Richard Nixon may have been the only American statesman of his era to have the credibility with the left and the right to negotiate with Communist China, Rouhani maybe just the right Iranian politician at this time in history.
Fresh from such a stunning upset, Rowhani will need quickly to show Iranians some results, in particular on the economic front. Rowhani now needs to persuade supreme leader Khamenei to give him the running room to try a new approach.