Hooman Majd writes a letter from Tehran on the state of affairs in Iran:
Few in Iran believe that the nuclear program is a quest for a Shia bomb to obliterate Israel once and for all. No, the Iranian people, from my greengrocer to college students who resent their government, still consider the nuclear question in generally nationalistic terms. The particular regime in power is of passing relevance. So sanctioning Iran’s central bank and embargoing Iranian oil, tactics the White House may be using as a way to avoid having to make a decision for war, will neither change minds in Tehran nor do much of anything besides bring more pain to ordinary Iranians. And making life difficult for them has not, so far, resulted in their rising up to overthrow the autocratic regime, as some might have hoped in Washington or London.
Majd also reports that Western policies toward Iran baffle the Iranians he meets, and he observes that there is no chance that outside pressure or attack is going to turn most of the population against the regime:
And most Iranians inside Iran would support the nation — even the regime — should foreign forces initiate aggression against their country. Khatami, who still enjoys the residual affection of many reform-minded Iranians for his principled stand on human rights, political prisoners, and the need for a more democratic system, said as much in December as the “smell” of war wafted over Tehran. (It wasn’t just my optician.) In case of war, Khatami said publicly, we Iranians are all united. Galloping Middle Eastern regime-change bandits such as Ahmed Chalabi, hawkish American politicians, and exiles keen on regime change from the outside would be wise to listen. Those same people would also be wise to recognize what Iranians seem to instinctively know — that Shia clerics are ultimately survivors; they are not suicidal, whether they hold power or not [bold mine-DL].
Of course, it is common sense that a population whose country is under attack would rally behind their government, even if it were one that they otherwise disliked. In the end, Iranians have more in common with their government than they have with the foreign powers that are launching the attack. Something that Western advocates for military action never really address is the completely illegal and unprovoked nature of the policy they are proposing, and that usually leads them to overlook the natural solidarity that an unprovoked attack would create inside Iran.