CENTRAL ASIA

THE GREAT GAME, THE 1990S VERSION

The Clinton Administration's decision not to oppose a $1.6 billion plan to build a natural-gas pipeline through Iran is a signal that the U.S. wants to improve relations with the Islamic regime. "It's the flip side of sanctions," says a White House official--an inducement to Iran (which wants the pipeline) to stop supporting terrorism, halt its attempts to acquire weapons of mass destruction and tone down its opposition to the Arab-Israeli peace process. White House officials say they're monitoring the performance of newly inaugurated Iranian President MOHAMMED KHATAMI for favorable signs. It's all part of a modern version of Rudyard Kipling's...

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