The Gulf Iran on the Defensive

Military setbacks aggravate tension at home

How battered is Iran? The question is being asked more and more frequently these days, not only in Arab chanceries but also in Washington and the capitals of Western Europe, as Tehran attempts to cope with a series of unexpected setbacks. After nearly eight years of war with Iraq, Iran suddenly finds itself on the defensive, forced to regroup and rebuild after decisive defeats at the hands of the Iraqi army. The battlefield losses in turn have increased tensions between radical and moderate factions among the ruling mullahs and led the Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini to bestow his title of commander in...

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