IRAN: Caviar for Mossadegh

Each spring, without fail and without regard to political boundaries, the massive female sturgeon of the Caspian Sea points her sluggish body—sometimes 300 years old, 24 feet long and weighing a ton—toward the warmer waters of the Iranian littoral and prepares to lay her eggs there. If she is unlucky, fishermen net her along the way, stun her with clubs, slice open her belly, and scoop out as many as 3,000,000 pearly black eggs. Lightly salted, the sturgeon's roe eventually winds up on some of the best set dining tables of Paris and New York. Price in Manhattan: up...

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