The recent runoff election in Iran catapulted the ultra-conservative mayor of Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, onto the international stage and set off a blaze of speculation. But while the face of the presidency may have changed, the soul of the regime has not.
From the vantage point of the United States and Israel, the Iranian government remains a repressive autocracy at home and a sponsor of terrorism abroad. It's also a regime they view as close to developing nuclear weapons. With Ahmadinejad as president, Iran's government is now dominated by hard-liners, with the reformists marginalized. This development certainly does not augur well for the future of relations between Iran and the United States and Iran and Israel, or for the cause of freedom within Iran. However, the added problem is that the regime now asserts that the election (with its high turnout) affirms the regime's legitimacy and validates its system of government.