It was the death of the Shah and subsequent Iraqi invasion of Iran that led the Iranian government to negotiate with the United States over the hostages. With Algeria’s mediation, and via Canadian intervention, the Iranians released the sixty-six captives on January 20, 1981, just minutes after the swearing in of President Ronald Reagan. Khomeini’s defiance of what he perceived was American regional hegemony ensconced him and his theocratic, anti-Western rule as a new regional power and wedged a deeper schism between the Arab/Persian and Sunni/Shia worlds that sent ripples and then waves of conflict and unrest through Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, Yemen, and beyond. It also launched a forty-year U.S.-Iranian grudge match and a cold war characterized by embargoes, sanctions, and proxy conflicts.  

These factual events contributed to the rise of Saudi Arabia’s Osama Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda terror group, multiple Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, the Taliban in Afghanistan, recurring Gulf Wars, 9/11, and even the Arab Spring, and Daesh or ISIS. They also serve as the backdrop to our story, covering up stirrings that threaten an apocalypse with a reach far beyond that of the Arabian/Persian Gulf.