The Iranian and U.S flags in Vienna, Austria, July 2015.
Carlos Barria / REUTERs

It remains conventional wisdom in many U.S. foreign policy circles that Iran’s government is ineluctably hostile to U.S. interests by virtue of its ideology and thus is impervious to conciliation. According to this school of thought, there are few differences among the competing forces in Iranian politics, and the labels of  "moderate” and “hard-line" used by some Western observers are misplaced. Since anyone standing for election must be approved by Iran’s Guardian Council, an unelected body of Shiite jurists, all candidates must support the fundamental revolutionary tenets of the Islamic Republic. Measured by a properly balanced

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