Twice in these past twelve months portentous change has shaken the Middle East. First, the demise of the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran and its replacement by a fundamentalist, theocratic regime; and second, on an entirely separate plane, the successful negotiation of a contractual peace between Egypt and Israel. These have truly been sensational changes in terms of their strategic significance. Though unrelated and dissimilar in their respective thrusts, each is revolutionary. Each in its own way has profoundly altered the balance of forces in that turbulent area. And not surprisingly, each has required American, European, Soviet, and other leaders to reassess some of the basic premises upon which their policies toward the Middle East have for years been predicated. Within the area, as well as outside it, each has evoked sharply mixed reactions—hope, concern, apprehension, and dissension, depending upon the point of view of the beholders.