Moreover, the dramatic video of Iranians being beaten or shot by Basijis has done incalculable damage to Iran’s image as the region’s most religiously pure and populist state. Iran’s allies in the region, including Syria, as well as Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Hamas movement in the Palestinian territories, also seem likely to suffer a blow to their credibility, and perhaps to their financing, if the election crisis is resolved with heavy suppression or an extended standoff with the opposition, analysts said.
One gauge of how Arab leaders are reacting to the Iran crisis is their silence. Officials seem eager to avoid even the appearance that they are trying to influence the outcome, political analysts said. The state-controlled media around the region has also been relatively low key in its coverage.
“When you are waiting so much for something that makes you happy, you hold your breath, you make less noise in order not to affect the outcome,” said Randa Habib, a political analyst and columnist in Amman, Jordan.