After the humiliation of Geneva, the West badly needed the tonic of a diplomatic success. Just such a pick-me-up came last week from the Middle East. First Britain and Egypt settled their decades-old squabble over control of the Suez Canal Zone. Their agreement, on so emotional an issue, represented statesman-like restraint on both sides, and skillful conciliation by the U.S.

East of Suez, in Iran, the three-year-old oil dispute—which began with tense anti-Western riots in the streets—also was on the way to ending amicably. The result was that Premier Fazlollah Zahedi felt free to proclaim openly his sympathy with the...

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