The Iran-Contra Affair was a clandestine action not approved of by the United States Congress. It began in 1985, when President Ronald Reagan's administration supplied weapons to Iran¹ — a sworn enemy — in hopes of securing the release of American hostages held in Lebanon by Hezbollah terrorists loyal to the Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran's leader. This article is rooted in the Iran Hostage Crisis.
The U.S. took millions of dollars from the weapons sale and routed them and guns to the right-wing "Contra"² guerrillas in Nicaragua. The Contras were the armed opponents of Nicaragua's Sandinista Junta of National Reconstruction, following the July 1979 overthrow of strongman Anastasio Somoza Debayle and the ending of the Somoza family's 43-year reign.
The transactions that took place in the Iran-Contra scandal were contrary to the legislation of the Democratic-dominated Congress and contrary to official Reagan administration policy.
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