OIL: Trying to Cope with the Looming Crisis

At a classically chic diplomatic dinner in a stately residence on Washington's Embassy Row one night last week, the conversation flowed as easily as the vintage French wine. The guests, all elegantly dressed, were a sprinkling of the capital's elite: the envoys and finance ministers of half a dozen nations, American and British financiers and top White House Aides Robert Hartmann and Philip Buchen. The host, the modern equivalent of a Levantine legate, was Ardeshir Zahedi, Iran's Ambassador to the U.S. There was pearl-sized gray...

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