Iran: The Tough Landlord

"Landlords are shifty poltroons," says Iran's reform-minded Premier Ali Amini.

"Being one myself, I know how to deal with them." Amini's method: a land distribution program aimed at transforming Iran's 16 million peasants from semifeudal serfs into farmer-owners. Premier Amini fortnight ago embarked on a program that will sell off Iran's 25,000 privately owned villages (two-thirds of all farm land) to peasant cooperatives. As an added twist of the screw, the government will get even with rich landowners who for decades have cheated on their taxes; compensation for expropriated lands will be based...

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