Tens of thousands of Iranians took to the streets on Monday to call for the overthrow of the regime -- the first major demonstrations in Iran since 2009. Dozens of protestors were injured and at least one demonstrator was killed.
Could these demonstrations signal the final overthrow of the Iranian regime? Could the protests yield the same result as in Tunisia and Egypt?
The demonstrators followed the example of Egypt's uprising and gathered in the capital city of Tehran and other cities throughout the Islamic Republic. Some of them shouted, "Death to the dictator."
The rallies marked the first major demonstrations since June 2009 when more than one million Iranians called for the overthrow of the regime and its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. At that time, the Obama administration failed to support the protestors. This time, the administration has sent a different message.
"First, let me very clearly and directly support the aspirations of the people who are in the streets of Iran today," said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"They want freedom," said Uri Lubrani, Israel's former Ambassador to Iran and current Iran advisor to Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon. "What I see in Iran is that the majority of the people have had enough of this regime."
"I felt it a year ahead of time myself," he added. "And I reported it a year ahead of time to my mentors who didn't believe me who thought I was daydreaming as it were."
However, the world soon saw that Lubrani's reports weren't a daydream, but became a nightmare when the Ayatollah Khomeini took power in Iran. Now, more than 30 years later, Lubrani believes Iran is due for a change.
"The country is mature for it," Lubrani said. "It's waiting for it. Regimes of the nature of the Iranian Islamic Republic cannot last indefinitely and thirty years is a long time."
Lubrani pointed out few expected the overthrow of Romania's dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989 and few, if any, predicted the overthrow of ousted President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Lubrani said he feels the same way today about Iran as he did in 1979.
"I have the same feeling here," he said. "I cannot prove it. I have no intelligence to support my contention but I feel it's going to happen."
It remains to be seen if Lubrani's contention is right in 2011 as he was in 1979. Iran's regime is more repressive and willing to crack down than Egypt's. But if Ahmadinejad's Iran did fall, it could transform the Middle East and change the world.