Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has appealed to the Iranian people - saying he wants to help them have a freer and more prosperous future.
In a speech in London Mr Straw said the Iranian people "deserved better" than their current government.
I totally agree, but this is who the Iranian people want. They voted for Ahmadinejad who rivals a post-9/11 George Bush in his ability to stoke nationalism and jingoist bravado. As much of an idiot as he sounds to us, with his holocaust denial and idle threats, he is giving the Iranian people exactly what they want to hear in light of hostile actions and words from the west, and in particular, America. Iran had moderated quite a lot of the last decade but that was all pissed away by one ignorant speech given by one ignorant asshole.
This isn't about what Iran deserves, but what the west wants. Well the west isn't going get what it wants because our invasion of Iraq has radicalized the region to the point where they are voting for hard line extremists like Hamas and Ahmadinejad. Our recent global embarrasment in the Dubai ports deal further emphasizes to mideasterners that moderation and modernization don't gain you any currency with America and the hard liners are more than happy to remind them of it.
As of right now, what little bread they have is buttered by extremists and we can expect more western hand-wringing over what to do about a problem we helped to create. Pleading with the Iranian people to get a better government than the one they elected probably isn't going to help. If we haven't sent our reputation too far into the gutter, we now need to treat hard-line governments like we would any other, then the people of those countries can judge their governments on their own merits rather than on our reaction to them.