The Gulf: Straws in the Desert Wind

The signs are inconclusive but fascinating. First, Iran has failed to launch the "all-out" ground offensive that was supposed to destroy the Iraqi government of President Saddam Hussein. Then, last week, both Iran and Iraq, at the behest of United Nations Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, agreed to refrain from attacking civilian targets, at least for a while. Later they also agreed to allow U.N. observers to be stationed between their armies. In the meantime, the speaker of the Iranian parliament, Hashemi Rafsanjani, declared that Iran would call off its assaults on shipping in the Persian Gulf...

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