A year after the sham elections in Iran, it is startling and sobering to see how far the country has declined. Iran has gone from being on the brink of functioning democracy to being an undisputed autocracy, where the government no longer makes a pretense of taking any direction from the people. No one in Iran trusts the government any longer, and people have become highly skilled at giving the appearance of cooperating with the government while doing the exact opposite behind closed doors. It is fair to say that the current regime will never get a second chance to hold a credible election. The organized crime groups affiliated with the central government may have declined in influence somewhat, but if so, it is only because of internal feuding and preemptive criminal campaigns that the central government is conducting on its own. The economy is in obvious decline, with unemployment continuing to trend higher, alongside indications that productivity is declining.
The nuclear power issue continues to be a dangerous distraction, one that the United Nations and United States are actively participating in. Meanwhile, there are far more immediate dangers in Iran that the world is ignoring.