IRAN: Gesture of Atonement

Among the 600 Iranians and Americans who filed into Teheran's Majd Mosque last week to attend memorial services for the three Americans killed by desert bandits (TIME, April 8) was one of the best friends the U.S. has in Iran—a slight, scholarly man named Hussein Ala. When the service was over, Hussein Ala proceeded to the palace of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi and formally resigned as Prime Minister of Iran.

Ironically. Ala's political head was being offered up as a gesture of atonement to the country he much admires. Even though there was little likelihood that the murders would affect...

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