Iran-Contra Scandal

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The Iran-contra scandal of the 1980’s, first brought to light in November 1986, is a complicated mess of scandal, arms dealings, hostage deals, and illegal acts (“Iran-Contra Affair” Infoplease.com). The original purpose of the arms sales was to improve United States-Iran relations (Sanders SNU.edu). However, when American hostages were taken throughout the 1980’s, members of President Reagan’s staff negotiated implicit deals with Iranian groups, which resulted in the U.S. selling arms in return for the release of hostages (Wolf PBS.org). Later, the deal was modified so that the U.S. sold arms directly to Iran at a high markup, with no guarantee of hostages being released, and the markup funding the contras in Nicaragua (“The Iran-Contra Report” Presidency.UCSB.edu). The contras were a Nicaraguan rebel group whom the Administration was forbidden by Congress to financially assist (“Iran-Contra Affair” Infoplease.com). The Iran-contra scandal relates to Congress in that it attempted to circumvent Congress’s “power of the purse” and oversee the executive branch. The executive branch raised money itself, unaccountable and unsupervised by Congress, and disposed of that money in an illegal manner. As happens often between the executive and legislative branch, there was a power struggle between the two branches.

There were two parts to the scandal; the first being arms transfers to Iran, and the second being the aid of the contras in Nicaragua. The root of the Iranian scandal was a terrorist group, Hezbollah, taking American hostages (“Foreign Affairs, 1985-1992 ‘Irangate’” U-S-History.com). President Reagan, frustrated by his inability to free the hostages, began pursuing alternate methods of procuring freedom, and therefore b...

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...ientists, n.d. Web. 21 Dec. 2009. .

Reagan, Ronald. “Address to the Nation on the Iran Arms and Contra Aid Controversy”. White House, Washington, D.C. 13 Nov. 1986. Address. Web. .

Sanders, Brad. “Iran Contra Scandal”. US Arab Relations. South Nazarene University, n.d. Web. 21 Dec. 2009. Web. .

“The Iran-Contra Report”. University of California. University of California, Santa Barbara, n.d. Web. 21 Dec. 2009. congressional%20report%20key%20sections.htm>. Wolf, Julie. “The Iran-Contra Affair”. PBS.org. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), n.d. Web. 21 Dec. 2009. .

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