"The Time for Compromise Is Over."
Not in Iran, it ain't. The supreme leader, the Revolutionary Guards, and almost all of the hard-liners in government have said that they will tolerate no more dissent; they have said that there will be no compromise and that the green movement's demands will not be met. But that doesn't actually mean that some form of compromise isn't possible.
For starters, the green movement's leaders may recognize that they could become irrelevant if they are unwilling to either become more revolutionary (as some of their supporters already have), or compromise to protect the longevity of their movement as a civil rights campaign.
On Jan. 1, Mousavi listed the green movement's demands on civil rights and other reforms, but significantly he was no longer calling for an annulment of the 2009 election. Meanwhile, at the most recent meeting of the Expediency Council, the body that arbitrates disputes between Iran's executive and legislative branches, Mohsen Rezai, the conservative challenger to Ahmadinejad in the 2009 election, suggested that the government should listen to Mousavi's demands, describing them as "constructive." (Some Iran observers say the green movement is leaderless and argue that a headless movement will ultimately fail. And yet we're still hearing chants of "Ya Hossein, Mir Hossein!" at every protest. That's Mousavi.)
Both sides realize that the continuing unrest threatens the country's stability and that neither side is looking to reform the regime into oblivion. The current standoff makes no one happy. The odds aren't horrible that some form of compromise might occur in 2010, a compromise that would allow both sides to claim advances if not outright victory.