Iranian Hostage Crisis – In 1979, revolution rocked Iran as Muslim fundamentalists who resented the shah’s campaign to westernize and secularize his country removed the shah. As Iranian oil stopped flowing into the stream of world commerce shortages appeared, and OPEC hiked petroleum prices. After a 10-day retreat in Camp David, Carter made a speech on July 15, 1979 condemning the nation’s materialism, while he took action to expand the power of his personal staff. On November 4, 1979, a howling mob of anti-American Muslim militants stormed the US embassy in Teheran, Iran, and took all of its occupants hostage. The captors then demanded that the US ship back the exiled shah, who had arrived in the US for medical treatment. The shaky Iranian government refused to intervene, and while Americans agonized over the situation, the Soviet Army invaded Afghanistan on December 27, 1979. Carter slapped an embargo on the export of grain and high-technology machinery to the USSR, and called for a boycott of the Olympic games in Moscow. Carter attempted economic sanctions to force the Iranians to give up the hostages, and also waited for the emergence of a stable government with which to negotiate, but the turmoil went on indefinitely. The Americans attempted a commando rescue mission, and it failed, seemingly underscoring the nation’s helplessness. The stalemate with Iran dragged on throughout the rest of Carter’s term, providing an embarrassing backdrop to the president’s struggle for reelection.