IRAN: Entering a Dangerous Hour

Mourning begins, and so does the Shah's gravest test

The whole country is buckling up for the big bash." So warned a senior Iranian analyst in Washington last week. The Administration, like Iranians themselves, anxiously awaited the start of Muharram, the month of mourning observed by Shi'ite Muslims. Expectations were that this tense, emotional period, which began on Saturday, would almost certainly be the gravest test yet of the Shah's ability to keep control of his troubled land, one of the West's most strategic allies.

Through the week, Iranians prepared for a long siege....

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