Iran Regime Facing Crisis After Election

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It is clear that Iran's regime is having a crisis of legitimacy following last week's controversial presidential election. 

But amid large scale street protests, is the regime showing any signs of cracking?      

Prior to last week's tainted election, many thought that Iran's supreme leader, Ali-Khameini, would anoint Mir Hussein Mousavi as the country's new president, showing -at least on the surface- a more moderate face to the West as the regime pushed ahead with its nuclear program behind the scenes.

So why the overwhelming endorsement of the fire-breathing Mahmoud Ahamdenijad?

At the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Tuesday, a panel of Iran experts tried to piece together the complicated puzzle that is the Iranian regime.

One observation was that Ahmadenijad's re-election can be seen as a clear rejection of the Obama administration's outreach efforts, not to mention a strong message to the Iranian people that the Supreme Leader is still firmly in charge and shares Ahmadenijad's radical agenda.

A founding member of Iran's Revolutionary Guards who now speaks out against the Mullahs told CBN News that the Obama administration's response to the regime's current crackdown has not been strong enough.

"This is the minimum expectation from the President of the United States to say strong and firm that 'I promise the people of Iran that we support their struggle for democracy, their rights. And we will not be engaged with a coup government who does not have the majority support of the people of Iran,'" said Moshen Sazegara of the Research Institute for Contemporary Iran.

As for Iran's nuclear program, opportunities for direct dialogue and engagement seem to be slipping away by the day as Iran moves increasingly from theocracy to military dictatorship.

For his part, Ahmadenijad said following his election victory that negotiations on the nuclear issue are "history."

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Erick Stakelbeck

Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Correspondent

Erick Stakelbeck is a sought after authority on terrorism and national security issues with extensive experience in television, radio, and print media. Stakelbeck is a correspondent and terrorism analyst for CBN News.  Follow Erick on Twitter @Staks33.