Foreign News: The High Cost of Giving

Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, sole owner of the crown's 2.5 million acres, is Iran's biggest single landholder. Since 1950 he has distributed his vast farm properties to the peasants of some 100 of his villages. To help establish a new class of independent farmers, a Development Bank has lent the new small holders money at low interest. But his fellow landlords (who own 70% of Iran's arable acres, the vast majority of its 40,000 villages) have heeded neither the Shah's example nor his exhortations to sell some of their land to the peasants. In fact, at one point a few years...

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