iran contra scandal

1923 Words8 Pages
Iran-Contra Scandal

The Cold War peaked the interest of the entire globe. Each threat, policy and action that took place had ramifications far more reaching then ever imaginable. The world sat on edge because it feared its own destruction, after the introduction of nuclear warfare at the close of World War II, another World War could result in the Earth’s demise. This fear ran through the hearts and minds of citizens of both the United States and the Soviet Union, but it is the citizens elsewhere that had to pay the consequences for these fears. The “race” to become the premier superpower of the world between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. did not always remain as subsided as many like to believe. Many regions of the world were held accountable for fighting the ideological warfare that was to separate the two world powers. One region that has always been very active with warfare since the beginning of time is the Middle East. Fighting has remained one standard of living that many countries in the Middle East have come to live, and die with. When the ideological war came to the Middle East, the primary target became Iran. Iran held the largest wealth in the region at the time because of its proceeds from the sale of oil and the United States feared that the neighboring communist would attempt to take over Iran and then have additional funding and support.

One of the most pivotal moments at the end of the Cold War was the Iran-contra Affair. “The Iran-contra policies centered on two regions of the World which cast shadows of doubt on the public mind, and were difficult for the government to portray in positive terms; Central America and the Middle East. Central America conjured up images of another Vietnam, of the United State being slowly sucked into an anti-communist third-world guerilla conflict for few tangible gains. Iranian ventures revived memories of other foreign policy nightmares, most obviously the Iranian hostage crises of 1979-1980, which had highlighted the potential impotence of American power in the Middle East.”[1] Now the United States was attempting to get hostages back from Iran by selling them arms and then turned around and gave the profits to the contra rebels in Nicaragua for the rebellion against the Sandinistas government. This illegal, and therefore, secret operation was not only a failure, but it also brought relations between the Ameri...

... middle of paper ...

...operation, when open action would not suffice, the policy was then taken underground and shielded from the eyes of Congress.”[25]

“The November 1985 shipment of arms to Iran exposed a number of weaknesses in the expansion of policy which would later form the core of the scandal which hit at the heart of the Reagan Presidency. Action had been taken which had been hidden from the Congress, the system of checks and balances were purposefully circumvented and Congress, alongside several administration officials, misled in order to sustain a covert and possibly illegal transfer of weapons.”[26] “Congressional opinion rested upon the belief that the United States had been held ransom by terrorist cells, and had violated its own publicly declared stance of no deals with terrorists.”[27] Many convictions resulted because of the Iran-contra Affair, but surprising, due to immunity agreements and later pardons, no one still serves any penalty for involvement. However, and probably more importantly, the Iran-contra affair did raise many concerns about the limit of the executive branch as well as government programs capabilities beyond the knowledge and scope of Congressional understanding.

More about iran contra scandal

Open Document