PERSIAN GULF: The Hostage Drama

Rumors of a deal feed hopes of freedom for Tehran's American captives

For nearly a year the 52 American hostages in Iran have been the world's most conspicuous captives.

Hopes for their release have been periodically raised, and then abruptly shattered. Once again last week there was a dizzying flurry of rumors that the prisoners of the Islamic militants might soon get their freedom—perhaps in a deal involving the shipment of U.S. military supplies to embattled Iran. And once again, the final decision over their fate depended on the unpredictable judgment of Tehran's...

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