IRAN: In a Persian Alley

At 45, ruggedly handsome Brigadier General Mahmoud Afshartous was Iran's top cop. He played no politics, and he enforced the law impartially, an attitude so exceptional in Iran that it seemed somehow vindictive. Four months ago Mohammed Mossadegh, his great-uncle by marriage, appointed Mahmoud chief of the National Police. He was reportedly slated to head up the army too, as soon as Mossadegh pried it loose from the Shah. Mahmoud was going places.

One evening last week, the usually precise Mahmoud arrived at his office two hours late. He riffled through his mail...

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