IRAN: Oil, Grandeur and a Challenge to the West

The Shah is the Shadow of God.

— Old Persian proverb Ever since the oil crisis that rocked the world last year, the autocratic ruler of Iran has, to many people, indeed seemed to be basking in the light of the Almighty. Iran sits atop an estimated 60 billion bbl. of crude oil, or roughly one-tenth of the world's proven reserves. The disposition of "this noble product" (as Iranians like to call it), and the money to be made from it, is in the firm hands of one man: His Imperial Majesty Mohammed...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!