As Iny readily acknowledges, the culinary arts know nothing of political boundaries, and the foods of Iran and Iraq are not conspicuously different from Middle Eastern cooking in general. Fruits are used lavishly and unexpectedly: ground lamb kabobs in a sour cherry sauce or a quince stew (again made with lamb--the favorite meat of the region) may startle American palates. Filo pastries, yogurt, and bulgur are also staples. Rice cookery is a fine art in Iraq particularly, and Iny explains the varied textures which can be achieved by baking, steaming, and pre-soaking. There's a dandy chapter on pickling (everything from eggplant to turnips) and one on preserves--Baghdad's famous nectarine preserves, or raspberries cooked down and canned with vodka for extra zest. The food in general is heavily spiced (turmeric, coriander, mint, saffront) and/or outlandishly sweet; the directions are sensibly adapted to American markets and eating habits.