Today's Story Line:

Iran may be more serious about renewing ties with the US than most know. Quote of note: "We don't say Iran is a pure, innocent country singing in the international chorus of angels. But are we sure it is the worst?" - European diplomat in Tehran.

Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid is hard to read. But four months into his administration, the Monitor takes a closer look.

Taiwan reacts to China's most recent threats.

Faye Bowers Deputy world editor


*READ IN IRAN: The Monitor's Scott Peterson traveled to Qom, the conservative heartland of Iranian Islam, to sit on rugs and cushions to interview Shiite cleric Hojjatoleslam Sadegh Larijani. After Scott finished, Mr. Larijani asked if he could ask Scott a question. Scott was astonished to see that Larijani had downloaded from the Internet his last piece that ran in the Monitor on Feb. 22 - a story on the young seeking a freer, less clerical Iran. He asked Scott if he thought the young couple skiing highlighted in the story were an accurate snapshot of Iran's youths. Scott replied that they were indeed a "snapshot," but one of many pictures that make up modern-day Iran.


*TROOPS FOR CONGO: The UN Security Council planned to authorize a 5,500-strong force to monitor the Congo's shaky cease-fire in what has been called Africa's first world war. The United States sponsored the resolution. "We're very close," US Ambassador Richard Holbrooke said.

The combatants signed a cease-fire accord last summer in Lusaka, Zambia. But fighting has continued in the war, which has cost thousands of lives and uprooted about 1 million people.

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