Page last updated at 14:11 GMT, Thursday, 18 June 2009 15:11 UK

Press sees 'real test' for Iran

Thousands of Iranians rally in Tehran
Iranians have protested daily since the election results

Events in Iran continue to generate much reporting and comment in media across the Middle East and beyond.

Commentators vary in their opinions as to where the mass protests over alleged electoral fraud will eventually lead, but most agree that Iran this week appears to be a country divided.

Editorial in pan-Arab Al-Quds Al-Arabi

The ongoing demonstrations in Iran, organised by supporters of reformist presidential nominees who lost the recent elections, are a real test for the religious ruling institution in Tehran, which never faced such incidents since it came to power 30 years ago... The ruling religious institution is facing a serious split, which is expected to worsen if demonstrations continue.

Editorial in Saudi Al-Watan

The Iranian presidential elections revealed the strong desire of Iranian people for change... But the stability of Iran does not only matter to the political system in Iran, it matters to all neighbouring countries and the region in general. Although the Iranian state seems to be coherent, the division of the Iranian people is worrisome.

Commentary by Tariq al-Hamid in pan-Arab Al-Sharq al-Awsat

What we are witnessing in Iran today is only a desperate attempt to save face before the international community. The international community, which used to say that Iran was a democratic state and was capable of solving regional issues, realised that it cannot even resolve its internal problems.

Commentary by Rashid Fahd Rashid in Saudi Arabia's Al-Riyadh

This is the upheaval of a generation deprived of its simplest legitimate rights in awareness, understanding and political, cultural and economic choices... Has the countdown started to the end of this phase of [the Iranian Islamic] revolution? It seems this needs time, but change is inevitably coming.

Editorial in Egypt's Al-Akhbar

What is happening in Iran is an internal matter... No matter what the result of the struggle between the reformists and the conservatives, what is important to us is that the new president adopts a different foreign policy than that which put Iran in a conflict with most countries of the world. Tehran has to stop the policy of interfering in the business of others through its agents here and there.

Commentary by Abd-al-Hamid al-Majali in Jordan's Al-Ra'y

What is new in these elections is the rift it revealed at the base and apex of a political system which was believed to be coherent and unified in creed and policy, and fully supported by the people.

Commentary by Batir Wurdam in Jordan's Al-Dustur

In case the ruling elite in Iran is able to set President Ahmadinejad for another term, change is inevitably coming. It is the natural result for social, cultural and economic changes the regime can no longer resist with traditional means.

Commentary by Umar al-Ghul in Palestinian Al-Hayat al-Jadidah

The Ahmadinejad-Khamenei Iran - despite the celebrations following the forgeries of the elections - is heading to oblivion and without any direction. It would not be any exaggeration at all to say that the ayatollah's regime has lost its legitimacy among the Iranian people, which opens the way for the possibility of great changes in the near future.

Editorial in Israel's Jerusalem Post

US policy on Iran remains unsettled... Still, America's president could take the brazen [Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei down a peg or two by expressing solidarity with Iranians' clear desire for real freedom. Will he?

Commentary by Hadi Uluengin in Turkey's Hurriyet

Thinking that [the regime] will collapse and a kind of a "revolution" like those in Ukraine and Georgia will happen seems fanciful, at least at this stage... A "secular regime" project [in Iran] is not on the agenda in the near future.

Commentary by Ibrahim Karagul in Turkey's Yeni Safak

I believe that serious developments may happen in Tehran. I did not take the previous political reactions and the demonstrations seriously. But this time the situation is different and it is very serious, even if it is not a counter-revolution.

BBC Monitoringselects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.

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