Not the apparently falsely-elected Ahmadinejad -- the ideology behind his religious state. As Eloquently encapsulated by Fareed Zakaria in a CNN interview:
Fareed Zakaria: One of the first things that strikes me is we are watching the fall of Islamic theocracy.The idea that the state does not act from divine authorization that is clear to the competent cleric undermines not the power of the state -- it has still got its guns, for example -- but it undermines the political philosophy and the religious justifications that have given the state its heretofore-unchallenged power. Now that it's obvious that political insiders are manipulating government for their own ends and not in keeping with divinely-ordained purpose, the legitimacy of the government and its activities will erode until the country is understood by all its neighbors and inhabitants as a naked police state -- or its inhabitants will succeed in reforming the government (I don't speculate as to whether this is largely by reform or mainly by violence; I simply see only two routes).
CNN: Do you mean you think the regime will fall?
Zakaria: No, I don't mean the Iranian regime will fall soon. It may -- I certainly hope it will -- but repressive regimes can stick around for a long time. I mean that this is the end of the ideology that lay at the basis of the Iranian regime.
The regime's founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, laid out his special interpretation of political Islam in a series of lectures in 1970. In this interpretation of Shia Islam, Islamic jurists had divinely ordained powers to rule as guardians of the society, supreme arbiters not only on matters of morality but politics as well. When Khomeini established the Islamic Republic of Iran, this idea was at its heart. Last week, that ideology suffered a fatal wound.
CNN: How so?
Zakaria: When the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, declared the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a "divine assessment," he was indicating it was divinely sanctioned. But no one bought it. He was forced to accept the need for an inquiry into the election. The Guardian Council, Iran's supreme constitutional body, met with the candidates and promised to investigate and perhaps recount some votes. Khamenei has subsequently hardened his position but that is now irrelevant. Something very important has been laid bare in Iran today --- legitimacy does not flow from divine authority but from popular support.
The fact that neighbors understand Iran as a fascist regime might not seem to help anything -- residents will still live in increasingly unvarnished oppression -- but it will likely impact Iran's capacity to recruit supporters with purely religious motivations. Dividing Islamists from the Iranian state will have a beneficial impact on the state of the propaganda battle being waged in the Middle East. When the word "martyrdom" takes on the connotation of self-sacrifice by pro-democracy advocates resisting the tyranny of dictators who fix elections with blatantly illegal vote fraud, we will have improved the language with which we discuss conflict in the Middle East.
Who knows: instead of Iraq importing Iranian enemies to undermine democracy and stability, Iran may start exporting freedom-loving Shia whose bitter experience with Iran's oppressive state leave them ardent supporters of a state committed to counting votes.