Pro: For several weeks over the summer, the hordes of Iranians clogging the streets to oppose an apparently rigged presidential election gripped much of the world. Their courage and determination in the face of a brutal government crackdown demonstrated the depth of their willingness to fight for what they believed in. The death of protester Neda Agha-Soltan became a tragic symbol for the movement, showing just how far the ruling regime of Supreme Leader Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad would go to keep its grip on power.
Con: In the end, any hopes that the protests would usher in a flowering of Iranian democracy were shattered by the violent reprisals. And as time went on, it became clear that opposition movement leaders like Mir-Hossein Mousavi were not seeking a clean break with the Islamic Republic, as many Western observers had hoped.