IRAN: Paying the Penalty

God's club makes no noise; when it strikes there is no cure for the blow.

—Persian Saying

In humid, red-roofed Resht, an Iranian city of 120,000 near the shores of the Caspian Sea, death last week had an appointment with Mahmud Faqizadeh, 31. A burly, handsome young man who worked in the Imperial Forestry Service, black-browed Mahmud had quarreled with an eminent Reshtian businessman, brooded over the affair in the company of a bottle of vodka and then, while drunk, sought out the man and shot him to death.

Mahmud knew that he must pay for his crime. He rose in his...

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