Iran The Politics of Humanitarianism

When Iran's leaders said they would accept relief assistance from any source after the mighty earthquake that bulldozed the nation's northwest provinces two weeks ago, they were careful to stipulate two exceptions: Israel and South Africa. It did not occur to them to tag on a third -- the writer Salman Rushdie. And so Tehran last week faced the choice of spurning an $8,700 donation or accepting money from a man sentenced to die by the Ayatullah Khomeini for the alleged blasphemies in his book The Satanic Verses.

By week's end Iran had not said which way it would go on...