Time Magazine today named Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, revolutionary leader of Iran, its 1979 Man of the Year.

Time said it chose Khomeini as the individual who "has done the most to change the news for better or for worse."

"The lean figure of Khomeini towered malignly over the globe," Time said in its cover story.

"As the leader of Iran's revolution he gave the 20th century world a frightening lesson in the shattering power of irrationality, of the ease with which terrorism can be adopted as government policy," the magazine said.

Both the White House and the State Department said they would have no comment on Time's decision to honor Khomeini with the title first given to Charles Lindbergh in 1927. Adolf Hitler was Time's Man of the Year in 1938.

In an article explaining the selection, Time said Khomeini was not a western politician but still had the most important political gift: "the ability to rouse millions to both adulation and fury."

The story in the Jan. 7 issue added: "The revolution that he led to triumph threatens to upset the world balance of power more than any other political event since Hitler's conquest of Europe."