IRAN: Checkmate

A month ago the Government of Premier Mohamed Said Maraghei, whose middle name means "Fortunate One," was squeezed out of office for refusing to grant Russia oil concessions in Northern Iran. So far the new Government of Premier Morteza Gholi Bayat, whose first name means "Pleasing to God," has not been asked for a concession. But last week, with his consent, the Iranian Parliament lashed Gholi Bayat to the mast and stopped his ears with wax. It passed a bill making it a crime to negotiate oil concessions with a foreign government or company. Penalty for disobeying: three to...

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