Iran Contra Affair

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In 1979, an Iranian government supported terrorist group overtook the US embassy. They captured 52 people. In an order to obtain the release of the American hostages being held in Lebanon, The Reagan Administration secretly began to sell weapons to Iran. This went against an American ban on arms sales to Iran, which had been in affect since the embassy had been seized. (Corrigan 40-41) These deals were arranged through Robert McFarlane, who was the head of the National Security Council. One of McFarlane’s main staff members was Marine Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North. McFarlane gave North the responsibility of handling the details of the deal and told him not to send anything to Iran until the hostages had been released. North wanted to keep the deal going so he allowed Israel to ship the weapons before any hostages had been released. McFarlane criticized North, but North kept his job. McFarlane was replaced with Rear Admiral John M. Poindexter. North tried to convince Poindexter to continue the arms-for-hostage deal with Iran. North realized that there was a massive amount of money being made in this trade. He used some of this money made could be used to support an anti-communist organization in Central America. This organization, that was active in Nicaragua, was known as the Contras. The Contras were also highly supported by Reagan and his administration, seeing as we were in the Cold War against Communism. (Lawson 41-60) In the early 1980s, Congress passed a series of amendments known as the Boland Amendments. The Boland Amendments made it illegal for the U.S. military to further aid the Contras. (Cohen) The National Security Council was formed in 1947 to acquire secret information about the military plans of Russia throughout the Cold War. (Lawson 49) In 1985, North and McFarlane gave several letters to Congress, in which he lied about the questions that they had been asked about their involvement in supporting the Contras in Nicaragua. North...
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