Issue 364 - 13 Jun 1989

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was always capable of dramatic and unsettling actions. The fatwa ordering the execution of Salman Rushdie was only the most recent example. His demise, so long predicted and until now invariably postponed, was his last contribution to the turbulence of the Islamic Republic. The senior figures of the regime had literally been praying that he would survive long enough to give his imprimateur to the constitutional arrangements which were to go into effect after his death. Khomeini let his subordinates down by a mere three weeks, and left them with a fine political mess.

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