Courtesy Reuters

Iran in Continuing Crisis

After several years of relative eclipse, Iran returned to the world's headlines during the summer of 1960 and since then has continued periodically to catch the world's attention. It began with the election of a new Majlis, or National Assembly, the first in four years. The Shah, who throughout this period had been personally running the government, previously had made an effort to stimulate "safe and stable" political competition by encouraging the development of a, Mardom (Peoples) Party to function as "His Majesty's loyal opposition." He named as its leader Amir Alam, a landed aristocrat of Khurasan, who was generally regarded as a staunch royalist and good friend of the British. The new party was to serve in the Majlis as government critic and to contest the elections with the incumbent Milliyun (Nationalist) Party led by Premier Manucher Eqbal. This artificial man?uvre toward two-party democracy was scorned by the intellectuals and the majority of the electorate who are politically aware; even though the heat of the hustings led Alam to criticize the régime so severely as to pain and embarrass the Shah and to frighten Eqbal, they did not consider it representative of any really genuine opposition. The National Front, suppressed since the fall of Dr. Mohammed Mosaddeq in 1953, emerged into open political activity, though it scarcely dared to compete formally-certainly not after Abdor Rahman Burumand, member of a prominent Isfahan family and admitted National Frontist, was arrested when he began drawing too large crowds,

More troublesome to the Shah and his government were two independents who sought office. The more prominent, vigorous and embarrassing of these was Dr. Ali Amini, who had been Ambassador in Washington in 1956-58. As Finance Minister under Premier Zahedi, he had been the chief negotiator of the present consortium oil agreement that in 1954 reactivated that industry following its nationalization under Dr. Mosaddeq, Dr. Muzaffar Baqa'i, head of the Toilers Party, originally a supporter of Mosaddeq and the National Front, but subsequently contributor to their

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