Iran: End of a Tragicomedy

"Please tell Mr. Ebtehaj to leave prison so as to make our job easy," said the magistrate to a clerk. Thus, on the same absurd note with which it began seven months ago, the case of Iran's most celebrated prisoner ended last week.

Abol Hassan Ebtehaj, 62, is a brilliant but irascible banker and economic planner whose frequent forceful criticism of Iranian corruption and autocracy outraged Cabinet ministers and even members of the Shah's entourage. With equal bluntness he attacked the U.S. for "spoiling us little children" with massive military aid, accused Washington of doling out economic assistance without...

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