I wish this piece in The Christian Science Monitor were possible. I really do. As much as I strongly support a massive military response to threats against America--to make future threats that much less likely--it would be wonderful if we could just appeal to the Iranian people and solve all our problems with Iran.
But, the idea that we could isolate the religious leadership, Iranian President Imajihadi (or whatever his name is), and the Revolutionary Guard, and that they would stand by and let it happen, is naive on a monumental scale. I imagine that the moment we started giving economic support to the Iranian people, and they responded positively to our gestures, there would be a crackdown that would make past crackdowns look like costume parties.
A relevant quote:
The internal vulnerabilities of Iran's ruling circles make this a perfect time to extend an olive branch to the people of Iran with a diplomatic initiative that involves economic incentives and development opportunities for the poor, the middle class, and the reformers. Multilateralism is a must if we want this to happen, because Europe, Russia, Japan, and others maintain good relations with Iran's business sector, the kind necessary in order to provide socioeconomic development assistance. If the Revolutionary Guard and the president block these gestures then "it is on their heads," and we will likely see them increasingly marginalized.
One can only imagine the Revolutionary Guard's response were they to be "marginalized."