Iran: A Revolution Loses Its Zeal

Faced with a population tired of hardship, Khomeini's successor signals his desire to soften some Islamic strictures and attract more foreign investment

The icons of Iran's Islamic revolution are not what they used to be. The former U.S. embassy in downtown Tehran, where radical students held 52 U.S. hostages for 444 days, retains only the faintest echo of those angry days. The anti-U.S. slogans on the compound's walls are faded, and the Revolutionary Guards standing outside are definitely part of a new generation. A bearded, young guardsman asks of a passing foreigner, "Are you American?" To a nod, he responds with a big smile and says, "Very good."

Outside the city, a huge gold-domed shrine marking the tomb of Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini, who...

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