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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