Can the U.S. Deal with a Divided Iran?

Iranian rulers have lost vital credibility. Will talks with the U.S. follow?

Maryam Hasanzadeh / AFP / Getty

Iranian hard-line students demonstrate outside the British embassy in Tehran after the Supreme Leader denounced the London government as "treacherous."

"The most treacherous government is Britain," Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, intoned at Friday prayers on June 19, and I had to laugh. The Supreme Leader, in the midst of announcing a crackdown on the Green Revolution demonstrators, was sounding like the lead character in the most famous contemporary Iranian novel, My Uncle Napoleon, a huge hit as a television series in the 1970s. Uncle Napoleon is a beloved paranoid curmudgeon, the Iranian Archie Bunker. He blames everything — the weather, the economy, the moral vagaries of his family — on the...

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