19 Years Ago in TIME

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he wants to negotiate on nukes but is not tamping down his strong rhetoric. His defiance of the West is in the mold of the AYATULLAH KHOMEINI, who led Iran's Islamic revolution.

Since he took power in 1979, the Ayatullah has threatened to spread his uncompromising brand of Islamic fundamentalism across the fragile, oil-rich states that line the Persian Gulf and to upset the global balance of power. He has sought his goals openly in Iran's seven-year war with Iraq, and he has promoted them stealthily through terrorist bombings and kidnapings abroad. Now Khomeini's brooding presence...

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