Managed to talk to some in Iran via phone last night. A few of these people are either apolitical or at times sympathetic and loyal to regime's reformist parties. These have participated in elections held by the regime in the past many years and think (or thought) they could change the direction of the country by participating in regime's election, be it sham or not. I talked to them to get a feeling among the regime's loyal opposition. These people never wanted a regime change of any sort and like I said, thought the way forward is through regime's approved channels for reform and moderation. To give you a better background on these people I talked to, I must even say that they've taken trips to Mecca & Najaf as pilgrims and are devout modest Muslims or come from religious backgrounds. Typical middle class family with firm religious and spiritual beliefs but not hostile to the west or foreigners. Most have families outside of the country but they are among the ones who helped bring Khomeini to power in 1979 by taking parts in demos and rallies.
In a weird turn, now I am told that they'll never participate in any election as long as this fraudulent leadership is around. They told me that they've participated in post election rallies because they also felt the regime has stolen their votes and been dishonest with them. They've been very upset with the violence against the people. And most notably they were freaking angry at the regime's lack of concern for what it happens to its own people or even the Chinese & Chechen Muslims. They were upset that the regime is constantly caring for the rights of Palestinians or a radical Egyptian immigrant killed in Germany but not its own people. All in all, the mood I got from them was of disbelief in the system and shock/rage at the regime. I did not ask them what they want or seek but I was indirectly told that now the majority of people boldly want to have this system/establishment changed for good. They've no faith in the regime any more. One told me they've seen poor people (supposedly portrayed as pro-Ahmadinejad) rooting for the protesters and want Mousavi. These guys have also taken to the streets to protest the election results but they also realized that this is no longer about the votes. This is about the system's survival.
If this is a widespread mood among the regime loyal opposition forces, then it should be celebrated. It definitely means the regime loosing its supporters one by one. The feeling I got from talking to these people was that the people now feel confident and do not fear the wrath of a crazy government any more. The question is: Who Can Exploit This Sense of Confidence and Maturity? Sporadic protests will drain the energy of people and will not lead to anything substantial. Something big has to happen soon. Otherwise the regime will stand longer than it should simply by using excessive violence and suppression tactics.