Iran's culture is deep. Its people are complex. Its doors have for too long shut out the rest of the world. A Monitor reporter who returned to Iran after being barred for more than four years found Iranians eager to talk.
The US promised to support Iraq's fight to oust Al Qaeda fighters from occupied cities in Anbar Province – but no boots on the ground. Iran has also offered support.
The Syrian opposition is fragmented, the regime's core appears coup-resistant, and the West fears President Bashar al-Assad less than the radical Islamist alternative.