Iran-Contra Affair/Scandal The Convergence of U.S. Cold War and Middle East Policies
Background: Ronald Reagan Vietnam Syndrome is over! USSR is an Evil Empire Reagan DoctrineROLL BACK, not just contain Soviet influence around globe Why have we allowed terrorists to hold our citizens over a year
Background: Contras US has long relationship with the Somoza family of Nicaragua Dictators Friendly to UFC and anti-communists
Background: Contras Somozas overthrown by the Sandinistas Reagan smells a communist rat! 1981: Approves CIA program: Helps create a counter- revolutionary, para-military organization: THE CONTRAS 19 million$ Honduran training camp
Background: Contras 1984CIA mines Nicaraguan harbors Nic. Goes to International Court of Justice Wins judgment vs. US US is guilty of violating the sovereignty of Nic. Reagan administration refused to recognized the Courts jurisdiction and ignores the verdict
Background: The Boland Amendment 1984: Congress is pressured by international community as well as by growing concern w/in US to pass Boland It forbids government agencies from supporting directly or indirectly military or paramilitary operations in Nic.
Background: Embargo vs. Iran 1980: In response to Iranian Hostage Crisis, US breaks all diplomatic and trade ties w/ Iran Weapons and trade embargono buying or selling allowed.
Background: Hostages in Lebanon From 1982-1992: Thirty Americans taken hostages by pro-Iranian, Islamic extremists Reagan: We do not negotiate with terrorists.
Two Problems for Reagan. How to continue to support the Contras in light of Boland? How to free American hostages w/o negotiating with terrorists? Iran-Contra is born!
The Flow Chart of Iran-Contra Israel invades Lebanon US sends Marines into Lebanon US hostages are taken in the Middle East, especially Lebanon US (through ISRAEL) sell arms to Iran (vs. Iraq 1980-88) Profits from arms sales DIVERTED to Contras Iran paid, Iran negotiates hostages release and then more hostages taken