In the late 1980s the U.S. government had an opportunity to change its relationship with Iran from hostile to nonadversarial. It had been hostile since 1979, when the Islamic revolution overthrew the brutal U.S.-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Iranians held 52 Americans hostage for more than a year. Then suddenly, in April 1992, the administration changed course. Why? Sheldon Richman highlights one compelling reason: the CIA and Pentagon feared their budgets and staffs would be slashed with the end of the Cold War, and needed a new antagonist.