Iran-Contra affair

related topics
{war, force, army}
{law, state, case}
{government, party, election}
{film, series, show}
{service, military, aircraft}
{company, market, business}
{black, white, people}
{work, book, publish}
{ship, engine, design}
{group, member, jewish}

The Iran–Contra affair[1] (Persian: ماجرای مک‌فارلین, Spanish: caso Irán-contras) was a political scandal in the United States that came to light in November 1986. During the Reagan administration, President Ronald Reagan and other senior U.S. officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, the subject of an arms embargo.[2] At least some U.S. officials also hoped that the arms sales would secure the release of hostages and allow U.S. intelligence agencies to fund the Nicaraguan Contras. Under the Boland Amendment, further funding of the Contras by the Reagan administration had been prohibited by Congress.

The affair began as an operation to improve U.S.-Iranian relations. It was planned that Israel would ship weapons to a relatively moderate, politically influential group of Iranians, and then the U.S. would resupply Israel and receive the Israeli payment. The Iranian recipients promised to do everything in their power to achieve the release of six U.S. hostages, who were being held by the Lebanese Shia Islamist group Hezbollah, who in turn were connected to the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution. The plan deteriorated into an arms-for-hostages scheme, in which members of the executive branch sold weapons to Iran in exchange for the release of the American hostages.[3][4] Large modifications to the plan were devised by Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North of the National Security Council in late 1985, in which a portion of the proceeds from the weapon sales was diverted to fund anti-Sandinista and anti-communist rebels, or Contras, in Nicaragua.[5][6]

While President Ronald Reagan was a supporter of the Contra cause,[7] no conclusive evidence has been found showing that he authorized the diversion of the money raised by the Iranian arms sales to the Contras.[3][4][8] Handwritten notes taken by Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger indicate that Reagan was aware of potential hostages transfers with Iran, as well as the sale of Hawk and TOW missiles to "moderate elements" within that country.[9] Oliver North, one of the central figures in the affair, wrote in a book that "Ronald Reagan knew of and approved a great deal of what went on with both the Iranian initiative and private efforts on behalf of the contras and he received regular, detailed briefings on both." Mr. North also writes: "I have no doubt that he was told about the use of residuals for the contras, and that he approved it. Enthusiastically."[10] North's account is difficult to verify because of the secrecy that still surrounds the affair.

Full article ▸

related documents
Toledo War
Human rights in the Soviet Union
Aldo Moro
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
Roland Freisler
Arms control
Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution
War crime
Spandau Prison
2002 Bali bombings
State Sponsors of Terrorism
Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Turkish Straits
Foreign relations of Libya
Potsdam Agreement
Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi
Patrice Lumumba
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441
Neutrality Acts
Rum Rebellion
Kurt Waldheim
October Crisis
Oslo Accords
Boston Massacre
Yahya Khan
Second Opium War
1926 United Kingdom general strike