The Iran Contra Affair Scandal In Politics

1771 words - 7 pages

The Iran-Contra Affair, a covert arrangement that occurred in the 1980s during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, is one of the biggest, most complex, scandals in politics, but has largely been forgotten. It was mostly a political scandal, although finances were a very important part of the scandal. In the most basic terms, the administration of President Ronald Reagan secretly sold arms to Iran in hopes that, in exchange, they could use their influence to encourage the release of American hostages in Lebanon (Sabato 1 of 1). Also, money was secretly funded to the contras in Nicaragua who were fighting the Sandinistas. The biggest reason it was a scandal, besides the fact that many laws were broken and the scandal basically violated American policy, was that the President himself made a statement on November 13, 1986, saying that “We did not – repeat - did not trade weapons or anything else for hostages – nor will we.”(Busby 1 of 3). It was soon revealed, through a Lebanese newspaper reporting on the arms deal, that this was not true and the buzz about this scandal began.
The Iran-Contra Scandal had two parts, both involving foreign countries and covert, illegal acts. “It was a grand scheme that violated American law and policy all around: Arms sales to Iran were banned; the U.S. government had long forbidden ransom of any sort for hostages; and it was illegal to fund the contras above the limits set by Congress” (Sabato 1 of 1). President Reagan was very passionate about removing Communism throughout the world, so he was involved with the Contra’s cause in Nicaragua (The Iran-Contra 1 of 2). He wanted to support their efforts, which he did financially. Then the Boland Amendment was passed in 1984, which stated that military aid could not be given to Nicaragua (IRAN 1 of 2). Also, Congress limited the amount of funding that could be given to the contras (Sabato 1 of 1). So the Reagan administration secretly raised money and sent to it the contras by using the National Security Council (Iran-contra 1 of 1). Money was also diverted from the sales of arms to Iran in hopes that Iran would use its influence to convince Lebanon to release seven American hostages (Busby 1 of 3). It was discovered that only 12 million of the 30 million dollars from Iranians actually reached government officials. The rest of the money from the arms sales was diverted to the contras (The Iran-Contra 1 of 2). In 1985, Iran made an offer to buy weapons from the United States, despite the embargo that prohibited the sale of arms to Iran during the war between Iran and Iraq (The Iran-Contra 1 of 2). Two thousand and four TOW missiles were sent secretly, as well as eighteen HAWK missiles in hopes of gaining assistance in the release of American hostages (Busby 1 of 3). All aspects of the operations involved in this scandal were violating American policy. The operations were revealed when a plane carrying supplies for Contra forces crashed (Busby 2 of 3). The Iran Contra Scandal...

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