IRAN: Inside All's Suitcase

One day last month. Colonel Hashem Sepahpur of the Teheran military governor's office ran into an old acquaintance, an ex-army captain named Ali Abbasi. "Salaam," cried out the colonel in greeting. Ali, a frail, limping man of about 40, responded with a cordial "Salaam," but hurried on, nervously clutching a worn leather suitcase. "I'm going to the doctor now," he called back.

Ali's behavior interested the colonel; ten years before. Ali had resigned his commission, saying that "the army is rotten through and through"; since then he had held influential, behind-the-scenes jobs in the Red Tudeh Party. In 1946, Ali...

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