Radicals Reborn

Iran's student heroes have had a rough and surprising passage

It was, Ibrahim Asgharzadeh now insists, all his idea. On Nov. 4, 1979, Asgharzadeh, then a radical 24-year-old engineering student, led a furious mob down Taleghani Street in Tehran, crashed through the U.S. embassy's gates and began a 444-day siege that not only humiliated America but also cemented a new Iranian political order. But these days, Asgharzadeh is a changed man. At 44, he is a yuppie-ish politician with a seat on Tehran's municipal council, and he is frequently denounced by hard-liners. He has shaved his beard and clearly prefers cracking jokes to raising a clenched fist. Puffing as he escorts...

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