Might it be that Obama’s election helped to inspire the dissenters in Iran? Most Iranians, from what I read, believe that all countries rig their elections. The election of Obama disproves that thesis. Is Obama’s election, therefore, one of the things that has inspired the reaction we’re seeing in Iran?
If memory serves, during the Cold War, some of our enemies would show their own people news footage of demonstrations against the US government. They would say the US is so bad, that even Americans don’t like it. Sometimes, the audience reacted differently: Americans are allowed to protest without being shot?