The Green Movement’s bloody street protests may not have toppled Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei—but they will.

“This is the beginning of the end of the Islamic Republic as we know it,” I told my editors at NEWSWEEK in a hastily written e-mail from Tehran on the night of June 20, 2009. “I don’t know how long is it going to take for the Islamic regime to fall. Khamenei has learnt many lessons from the Shah’s downfall and is not making the same mistakes.” It seemed clear in any case that the rule of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was doomed. His regime had abandoned its claim to legitimacy earlier that day when Revolutionary Guards violently crushed a peaceful mass protest against the shamelessly rigged June 12 presidential election. By that assault on the Iranian people, Khamenei revealed himself to be no better than Iran’s deposed shah or any other common dictator.

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