TBILISI, Georgia—On a day when some 70 Iranians protested outside the Iranian Embassy here against the killing of General Qasem Soleimani by a U.S. drone strike, other Iranian journalists, dissidents, digital nomads, diplomats, and teachers mingled until dawn with Americans at Tbilisi’s Dive Bar.

Sahar, Dive Bar’s manager, is an Iranian artist. Across the walnut bar mounted on illuminated glass blocks, she gazes at the room with an ironic smile. Addressing the recent tensions between our countries, she says, “Fine, let there be war. At least it will get rid of our crazy government!”