There are many ever changing variables at work making it very difficult to predict what will happen with Iran and Mullah regime. I am sure I will be proven wrong too. :-)
When Khamenei goes, there are equal number of IR hardliners as there are moderates or reformists or Rafsanjani’s gang (or a coalition of a few vs. Ahmadinejad’s hardline faction). At the end of the day, same dog, different fleas.
I remember exchanging a comment or two with you just over a year ago regarding the Iranian economy and, specifically, the sanctions that the West was intending to impose.
The sanctions have so far do not seem to have had any significant impact on the IR regime, at least not the few elite Mullahs and their lackeys who control somewhere around 90% of the Iranian economy. But, the sanctions have been largely misdirected, and have hurt the ordinary Iranian people and have given the IR more of an excuse to milk the average Iranian dry and at the same time blame the West.
There is an interesting article by JPost called “Bankrupting Iran is not enough”. It actually draws comparisons between then USSR and now the Islamic Republic. Here it is if you haven’t read it yet:
Despite recent public statements by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that sanctions by America and the UN “are not working”, a confidential report submitted to the Iranian parliament said that continued economic isolation was having dire consequences.