BORROWED TIME. I'm not going to try and strain to work myself up into a lather of ineffectual indignation about it, but obviously beating a crowd of 200 women's rights protestors in Teheran in loathsome. The article even comes with bonus Islamic Republic weirdness: "Throughout most of the confrontation, female officers beat female protesters and male police beat male protesters there to support the women. Male police generally are not permitted to touch female suspects."

What I will observe is that there's clearly a rather large level of political unrest in Iran. I'm not really among those who believe there's very much the American government can do to affect the pace of political change over there. Rather, I think the thing to remember here is that there's no need to get panicky and paranoid about a regime that's clearly living on borrowed time. Even if a U.S.-Iranian diplomatic accord doesn't hold up over the long term, the Iranian regime probably won't either. Meanwhile, a rapprochement and greater Iranian integration with the world economy will probably open up somewhat more breathing space and information for Iranian civil society.

--Matthew Yglesias

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