Live

Watch CBSN Live

Iran Expert: "Bad Times Are Ahead"

David Makovsky, a Distinguished Fellow at the Washington Institute, told Bob Schieffer on "Washington Unplugged" today that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speech this morning backing Iran's disputed election results could be a harbinger of future violence.

"He's basically warning the people that there will be a crackdown if they continue," said Makovsky. "This is a clear ominous sign – I think that the bad times are ahead."

Makovsky argued President Obama has "taken the proper approach" by saying he does not want to be seen as "meddling" in Iranian affairs.

"No one should think this is a made-in-America idea," he said.

Asked by Schieffer where things go from here, Makovsky predicted "we'll have fewer people in the streets, because the Ayatollah's words will scare a lot."

"But at the same time the people that do go to the streets will be more hardcore," he said, adding: "I think they know to avoid violence but that will be the trigger for the backlash against them."

"They hope that by keeping the pressure on on some level, you're not going to undo the Islamic revolution, but maybe you can force some sort of accommodation," continued Makovsky.

Still, he was not optimistic about the days to come.

The Iranian regime "can be utterly ruthless, and I fear violence," he said. "I hope I'm wrong, believe, me, I pray I'm wrong. But I fear that they're ruthless enough that they'll crack down."

View CBS News In