Iran appears to be facing a crisis more serious than anything it has experienced since its war with Iraq in the 1980s.
Diplomatically, President Bashar Assad's regime is under threat from the widening war in Syria, Iran's sole ally in the Arab world. Domestically, the European oil embargo and U.S. banking sanctions are undermining the Iranian economy, bringing inflation, food shortages and unemployment.
Iran is trying to maintain a defiant posture, without much success.
An experimental aircraft that designers hoped would hit 3,600 mph in a test flight over the Pacific on Tuesday "suffered a control failure" and failed in its attempt to go hypersonic, The Associated Press writes.