In the Middle Eastern nation of Iran, discontent simmered for decades. The Iranian people despised their leader, Reza Shah, who catered to foreign businesses while ruling Iran as a dictator. In 1979 discontent boiled up into all-out revolution. Led by the charismatic Ayatollah Khomeini, the Iranian people seized control and created a new government based on the Islamic religion. The Iranian Revolution quickly became a showdown between the ideas and values of Islam and those of the West-particularly the United States. The most dramatic event in this showdown occurred in late 1979, when Iranian students captured a group of U.S. Embassy staff, holding them hostage for more than a year. During the following decades, the revolution recast the face of the Middle East: it set in motion a movement of Islamic fundamentalism-a movement that has taken center stage in world events in the twenty-first century. The Iranian Revolution is an ongoing story. However the story ends, the revolution is surely one of world history's most pivotal moments.