The images emerging from post-election Iran are both terrifying and encouraging. Terrifying because of the brutality being inflicted upon citizens protesting what most likely was a fixed election. Encouraging because they demonstrate to the world the broad swath of people who are fed up with the repressive regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the hard-line clerics.
Even with the press restrictions, the stories and images are streaming out, exposing the true nature of the regime, and signaling to the international skeptics that the authorities are as dangerous as they are ruthless.
Given Iran's nuclear ambitions and the threat it poses to Israel, the Middle East and the rest of the world, the outcome of such civil unrest should concern us all.
It's not clear how much would change in Iran even if the opposition should succeed, an outcome that appears increasingly unlikely. Still, it's possible that the country will be forced to shift its policies, even if only to soothe its own populace.
To rejoin the civilized world, Iran needs to open itself to the West and eliminate its support for terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah and Hamas.
As we watch from afar, we can only hope that transpires.