This week marked the 30th anniversary of the 1979 seizure of the American Embassy in Teheran by followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. To celebrate the 444-day-long violation which came to personify the regime's sanctimonious thuggery and disdain for international norms, the mullahs organized yet more "Death toâ€¦" mass demonstrations.
Astoundingly, tens of thousands of anti-regime marchers piggy-backed on these rallies in Teheran, Tabriz, Isfahan and Shiraz - not to chant insults at America, but to plead: "Obama, Obama - either you're with them or you're with us."
The "them" is the syndicate dominated by capo di tutti capi Ali Khamenei, Revolutionary Guard sotto capo Mohammad Ali Jafari, and presidential mad-hatter Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The "us" refers to an amalgamation of individuals and groups who are sick and tired of "Death toâ€¦" and want Iran to be a normal country.
PRESIDENT Barack Obama noted the anniversary by saying, "Iran must choose. We have heard for 30 years what the Iranian government is against; the question, now, is what kind of future it is for."
But this is a question the president, who this week marked the anniversary of his own election, cannot reasonably forever ask.
He has made it clear that he "wants to move beyond this past" and seek "a relationship with the Islamic Republic" rooted in "mutual interests and mutual respect."But Khamenei is not swayed. "The American government is a really arrogant power" and he's not "deceived" by Obama's "reconciliatory behaviorâ€¦"
Khamenei needs America to be his Great Satan as the edifice of his regime slowly crumbles. Even some of the "students" who took over the US embassy are today locked-up as enemies of the state. The dissenters set out to create representative government with an Islamic face. What they got instead is authoritarian government with a stony Islamist facade. The revolution has consumed its makers.
Even the ruling clique has taken to internal bickering. This, in addition to Iran's standard one step forward, two steps backward "negotiating" technique, explains the latest flip-flopping about shipping enriched uranium out of the country.
IN ITS infancy, the mullahtocracy violated the extraterritorial sovereignty of the Israeli and American embassies. Thirty years on, Iran is on the brink of building an atom bomb and perfecting ballistic missiles capable of reaching beyond Europe. The Iranian regime is today the principal cause of instability in the Middle East; its ambitions extend to Latin America and Africa.
The world reacted to the capture by the Israel Navy of the Iranian arms ship Francop Wednesday with its usual attention deficit syndrome; a quick gaspâ€¦ and then on to the World Series. The vessel was loaded with the equivalent of 20 cargo planes of weaponry and intended for Hizbullah, suzerain of Lebanon, proxy of Teheran. The Francop follows in the wake of the Santorini and the Karine-A. We shudder to think how many other ships have gone undetected.
Iran is now in naked contempt of clause 5 of UN Security Council Resolution 1747 (2007) which forbids it from exporting arms; and of clause 15(a) of Resolution 1701 (2006) which prohibits sending weapons to factions in Lebanon.
Last month, Yemen captured an Iranian ship laden with weapons intended for Shi'ite extremists fighting the country's ruler. It's no secret that Iran has been shipping weapons by sea to the Polisario rebels battling moderate Morocco. But in arming its Hizbullah and Hamas proxies, Iran pulls out all stops - truck convoys through Sudan, trains through Turkey, donkeys, tunnels - whatever it takes.
This week Israelis heard Major-General Amos Yadlin, chief of Military Intelligence, reveal that Iran has provided Hamas with rockets that have a 60-km. range capable of striking Tel Aviv. Hizbullah already has similar weaponry. Barring a "lucky" strike, the only practical use for such rockets is to slaughter Israeli civilians en masse.
WE CLOSE out the week on a glimmer of hope - the certainty that evil regimes don't have to last forever. Next week marks the fall of the Berlin Wall which led to the collapse of the Soviet Empire.
If only Barack Obama could walk in the footsteps of John F. Kennedy (Ich bin ein Berliner) and Ronald Reagan ("Tear down this wall!"), and provide the moral leadership the civilized world needs to help the people of Iran take down this regime.