Middle East: Shots Across the Border

Relations between the Moslem nations of Iraq and Iran have never been very warm. Most Iraqis are Arabs, but the majority of Iranians pride themselves on being ethnically distinct Persians. Each country has large numbers of its citizens residing across unguarded boundaries in the other, which encourages illegal immigration and smuggling.

But the most pressing issue between the two is the Kurds—the fiercely independent tribesmen who inhabit neighboring areas of both nations. For six years, Kurds in Iraq, led by Mustafa Barzani and seeking autonomy, have been in rebellion against the Baghdad government. Last week Barzani's guerrilla war...

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