THE Iranian regime will almost certainly reassert full control over the country in the next few days, but it will emerge from this crisis seriously weakened.
One objective consequence of the uprising of democratic protest and frustration among Iran's population is that the regime has lost a great deal of legitimacy, internally and internationally.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, recently the strutting peacock of the Middle East exuding arrogance and self-confidence, will be a vastly diminished figure, plainly at odds with his own society.
In many ways, a savagely weakened Iranian regime is the best result Israel and the US could have wished for.
David Menashri of Tel Aviv University believes the election of Mir Hossein Mousavi, who is as committed to Iran's nuclear program as Ahmadinejad, would have earned Iran an extra 12 or 18months, at least, of grace from the international community while Iran continued to work on the development of nuclear weapons. This election shows once more the extreme danger an authoritarian regime runs when it seeks to legitimise its rule through popular elections.
Although Iran's ruling mullahs vetted the potential candidates so that only orthodox figures ran, Mousavi became the symbol of disgust with corrupt, repressive and economically disastrous clerical rule.
The situation became far more challenging for Ahmadinejad and his clerical allies because of a clear split within the country's ruling establishment. There was simultaneously pressure from below and conflict at the top.
One certain long-term consequence is a weakening of Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. Although his final authority will be essentially maintained, he is now a diminished and partisan figure. He no longer resides above politics as did the late Ruhollah Khomeini. "Khamenei made a mistake by identifying too closely with Ahmedinijad," Menashri told me.
"Perhaps this was to compensate for his lack of religious authority. Khamenei may not have been free to abandon Ahmadinejad if he wanted to."
It is unclear whether Khamenei or Ahmadinejad now retains ultimate control of the Revolutionary Guard.
Menashri, who was born in Iran and studied there as a young man, is one of the world's foremost authorities on Iran.
The sheer brazenness and size of the Iranian electoral fraud becomes clearer every day.
Leaked Iranian Interior Ministry documents allegedly show Mousavi winning 58 per cent of the vote and Ahmadinejad coming third.
Menashri is mildly critical of US President Barack Obama for not expressing stronger solidarity with Iran's democratic demonstrators. However, he gives some credit for the election result to Obama's inspiration.
"The US has been very important in this Iranian uprising," he told me. "In a way, this movement took its inspiration from Obama. Obama gave them hope."
This may be a brave judgment, but Iranians are traditionally more sophisticated, better educated and more cosmopolitan than their Arab neighbours. And they have a long tradition of participating in their own political affairs.
Despite the democratic uprising of recent days, there is a broad national consensus in Iran in favour of its nuclear program. Contradicting this, there is a popular desire for better relations with the West.
If either the US or Israel finds it necessary to carry out a limited military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities later this year, or more likely to impose tough financial sanctions, they will now face a much weakened Iranian government, whose true nature is much clearer to everyone.
These are 10 days or so which certainly shook the world.