Iran without Illusions
Hubbell, Stephen, The Nation
The view from Ayatollah Khomeini's study once took in a garden dense with tamarind, quince and fragrant jasmine. Today, all that remains is a murky goldfish pond and a few scabrous zinnias. But the past still hangs heavy here in the sacred city of the Imam's birth; according to local legend, it was on the veranda opposite this window in 1978, a year before the Shah's demise, that SAVAK agents martyred Khomeini's oldest son, Mustafa. And it was at a Koranic school around the corner the same year that police opened fire on a demonstration of clerics and seminary students, setting in motion a cycle of violence that would culminate in the Islamic Revolution. With all this in mind, I turned to my host, Hojatolislam Ali Asrar Ahmadi Khomeini, the late Imam's first cousin and pretender to his spiritual legacy, and inquired genially if he objected to having an American resting on this hallowed spot.
The old man fingered his beard and frowned. "We can live with other nations and other religions," he mumbled solemnly, "if they don't try to make trouble for us." He sat silently for a few seconds, staring into a cup of cloyingly sweet tea and showing no inclination to continue. Suddenly, his furrowed face brightened. "But we are so very happy you …
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Publication information: Article title: Iran without Illusions. Contributors: Hubbell, Stephen - Author. Magazine title: The Nation. Volume: 257. Issue: 4 Publication date: July 26, 1993. Page number: 135+. © 1999 The Nation Company L.P. COPYRIGHT 1993 Gale Group.
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