The Iran-Contra affair was a political scandal which was revealed in 1986 as a result of earlier events during the Reagan administration. This article provides a list of major political scandals of the United States. The United States Presidency of Ronald Reagan, also known as the Reagan Administration, was a Republican administration headed by It began as an operation to increase U. S. -Iranian relations, wherein Israel would ship weapons to a moderate, politically influential group of Iranians opposed to the Ayatollah Khomeini; the U. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Israel topics. Seyyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini ( Persian:, pronounced muːsæviː-je xomejniː}}( September 24, 1902 – June 3 1989 S. would reimburse Israel with those weapons and receive payment from Israel. The moderate Iranians agreed to do everything in their power to achieve the release of six U. S. hostages, who were being held by Hezbollah. Hezbollah (حزب الله, literally " party of God " is a Shi'a Islamic political and Paramilitary organisation The plan eventually deteriorated into an arms-for-hostages scheme, in which members of the executive branch sold weapons to Iran in exchange for the release of the American hostages, without the direct authorization of President Ronald Reagan. In Political science and Constitutional law, the executive is the branch of government responsible for the day-to-day management of the State. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iran topics.  Large modifications to the plan were conjured by Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North of the National Security Council in late 1985. Oliver Laurence North (born October 7 1943 in San Antonio Texas) is an American best known for his involvement in the Iran-Contra Affair. A National Security Council (NSC is usually an Executive branch governmental body responsible for coordinating policy on national security issues and advising chief In North's plan, a portion of the proceeds from the weapon sales was diverted to fund anti-Sandinista and anti-communist rebels, or Contras, in Nicaragua. The Sandinista National Liberation Front ( Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional) is a socialist Nicaraguan Political party. Anti-communism refers to opposition to Communism. Historically the word "communism" has been used to refer to several types of communal social organization and The Contras is a label given to the various rebel groups opposing Nicaragua 's FSLN (Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional Sandinista Junta of National Nicaragua (ˌnɪkəˈrɑgwə officially the Republic of Nicaragua () is a representative democratic republic and the largest nation in Central America  While President Ronald Reagan was a supporter of the Contra cause, there has not been any evidence uncovered showing that he authorized this plan. 
After the weapon sales were revealed in November 1986, Ronald Reagan appeared on national television and stated that the weapons transfers had indeed occurred, but that the United States did not trade arms for hostages.  The investigation was compounded when large volumes of documents relating to the scandal were destroyed or withheld from investigators by Reagan administration officials.  On March 4, 1987, Reagan returned to the airwaves in a nationally televised address, taking full responsibility for any actions that he was unaware of, and admitting that "what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated, in its implementation, into trading arms for hostages. Events 51 - Nero, later to become Roman Emperor, is given the title Princeps iuventutis (head of the youth Year 1987 ( MCMLXXXVII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link displays 1987 Gregorian calendar) "
Many investigations ensued, including those by the United States Congress and the three-man, Reagan-appointed Tower Commission. The United States Congress is the bicameral Legislature of the federal government of the United States of America, consisting of two houses Commissioned on November 26 1986 by American President Ronald Reagan, the Tower Commission was in response to the Iran Contra scandal Neither could find any evidence that Reagan himself knew of the extent of the multiple programs.  In the end, fourteen administration officials were charged with crimes, and eleven convicted, including Caspar Weinberger the Secretary of Defense during these events. Caspar Willard "Cap" Weinberger ( August 18, 1917 &ndash March 28, 2006) was an American politician and Secretary The United States Secretary of Defense ( SECDEF) is the head of the U  They were all pardoned in the final days of the George H. W. Bush presidency, who had been vice-president at the time. George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12 1924 served as the forty-first President of the United States from 1989 to 1993 
The affair is comprised of two matters: arms sales to Iran, and funding of Contra militants in Nicaragua. Direct funding of the Nicaraguan rebels had been made illegal through the Boland Amendment. The Boland Amendment was the name given to three US legislative amendments between 1982 and 1984 all aimed at limiting US government assistance to the  The affair emerged when a Lebanese newspaper reported that the U. S. sold arms to Iran through Israel in exchange for the release of hostages by Hezbollah. Hezbollah (حزب الله, literally " party of God " is a Shi'a Islamic political and Paramilitary organisation  Letters sent by Oliver North to John Poindexter support this. Oliver Laurence North (born October 7 1943 in San Antonio Texas) is an American best known for his involvement in the Iran-Contra Affair. John Marlan Poindexter (born August 12, 1936 in Odon Indiana) is a retired American naval officer and Department of Defense official  The Israeli ambassador to the U. S. says that the reason weapons were eventually sold directly to Iran was to establish links with elements of the military in the country. The Contras did not receive all of their finances from arms sales, but also through drug trafficking. The involvement of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA in Cocaine trafficking in Central America during the Reagan Administration as part 
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Middle East was faced with frequent hostage-taking incidents by hostile organizations. The Iran hostage crisis ( Persian: تصرف سفارت آمریکا was a diplomatic crisis between Iran and the United States where 52 George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12 1924 served as the forty-first President of the United States from 1989 to 1993 The Lebanon hostage crisis refers to the systematic kidnapping in Lebanon of 96 foreign hostages of 21 national origins between 1982 and 1992 In 1979, Iranian students took hostage 52 employees of the United States embassy in Iran. The Iran hostage crisis ( Persian: تصرف سفارت آمریکا was a diplomatic crisis between Iran and the United States where 52 On January 20, 1981, the day Ronald Reagan became President, the hostages were freed following the Algiers Accords. Events 250 - Emperor Decius begins a widespread persecution of Christians in Rome. Year 1981 ( MCMLXXXI) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link displays the 1981 There are other agreements forged in Algiers See Algiers Agreement The Algiers Accords of January 19, 1981, were brokered This was not the end of hostage taking in the Middle East. In 1983, members of Al-Dawa, an exiled Iraqi political party turned militant organization, were imprisoned for their part in a series of truck bombs in Kuwait. The Islamic Dawa Party or Islamic Call Party ( Arabic حزب الدعوة الإسلامية Ḥizb al Daʿwa al-Islāmiyya) is historically a militant Shiite The State of Kuwait ( دولة الكويت IPA [dawlatt̪ alkuwajt̪]) is a sovereign Arab Emirate on the coast of the Persian Gulf, enclosed In response to the imprisonment, Hezbollah, an ally of Al-Dawa, took 30 Western hostages between 1982 and 1992, many of whom were American. Hezbollah (حزب الله, literally " party of God " is a Shi'a Islamic political and Paramilitary organisation 
Michael Ledeen, a consultant of National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, requested assistance from Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres for help in the sale of arms to Iran. Michael Arthur Ledeen (b Los Angeles California, August 1, 1941) is a scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a contributing The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Adviser (abbreviated NSA, or sometimes ANSA Robert Carl "Bud" McFarlane (born July 12 1937 was National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan from 1983 to late 1985 and was one The Prime Minister of Israel is the head of the Israeli government and is the most powerful political officer in Israel (the President of Israel being a titular figurehead (שמעון פרס born Szymon Perski on August 2 1923, is the ninth President of the State of Israel.  At the time, Iran was in the midst of the Iran-Iraq War and could find few Western nations willing to supply it with weapons.  The idea behind the plan was for Israel to ship weapons through an intermediary (identified as Manucher Ghorbanifar) to a moderate, politically influential Iranian group opposed to the Ayatollah Khomeni; after the transaction, the U. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Israel topics. Manucher Ghorbanifar (nickname Gorba) is an Expatriate Iranian arms dealer. Seyyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini ( Persian:, pronounced muːsæviː-je xomejniː}}( September 24, 1902 – June 3 1989 S. would reimburse Israel with the same weapons, while receiving monetary benefits. The Israeli government required that the sale of arms meet high level approval from the United States government, and when Robert McFarlane convinced them that the U. S. government approved the sale, Israel obliged by agreeing to sell the arms. 
In 1985, President Reagan entered Bethesda Naval Hospital for colon cancer surgery. The National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda Maryland, United States, also known as the Bethesda Naval Hospital, is considered the flagship of the Colorectal cancer, also called colon cancer or large bowel cancer, includes Cancerous growths in the colon, Rectum and While the President was recovering in the hospital, McFarlane met with and told him that Representatives from Israel had contacted the National Security Agency to pass on confidential information from a sect of moderate, politically influential Iranians opposed to the Ayatollah. The National Security Agency/ Central Security Service ( NSA/CSS) is a cryptologic intelligence agency of the United States government  These Iranians sought to establish a quiet relationship with the United States, before establishing formal relationships upon the death of the Ayatollah.  McFarlane told Reagan that the Iranians, to demonstrate their seriousness, offered to persuade the Hezbollah terrorists to release the seven U. S. hostages.  Reagan allowed McFarlane to meet with the Israeli intermediaries because he believed that establishing relations with a strategically located country, and preventing the Soviet Union from doing the same, was a beneficial move. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 
Following the Israeli-U. S. meeting, Israel requested permission from the U. S. to sell a small number of TOW antitank missiles (Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided) to the moderate Iranians, saying that it would demonstrate that the group actually had high-level connections to the U. The BGM-71 TOW is a US Anti-tank guided missile. TOW Tube-launched Optically-tracked Wire-to-command-Link guided Missile Set S. government.  Reagan initially rejected the plan, until Israel sent information to the U. S. showing that the moderate Iranians were opposed to terrorism and had fought against it.  Now having a reason to trust the moderates, Reagan approved the transaction, which was meant to be between Israel and the moderates in Iran, with the U. S. reimbursing Israel.  In his 1990 autobiography An American Life, Reagan states that he was deeply committed to securing the release of the hostages; it was this compassion that motivated his support for the arms initiatives. An American Life is the 1990 Autobiography authored by former American President Ronald Reagan.  The president requested that the moderate Iranians do everything in their capability to free the hostages held by Hezbollah. 
In July 1985, Israel sent American-made BGM-71 TOW antitank missiles to Iran through an arms dealer named Manucher Ghorbanifar, a friend of Iran's Prime Minister. The BGM-71 TOW is a US Anti-tank guided missile. TOW Tube-launched Optically-tracked Wire-to-command-Link guided Missile Set Manucher Ghorbanifar (nickname Gorba) is an Expatriate Iranian arms dealer. Prime Minister of Iran was a political post in Iran had existed during several different periods of time starting with the Qajar era (when the country was internationally known Hours after receiving the weapons, one hostage, the Reverend Benjamin Weir was released. Benjamin Weir was an American Hostage in Lebanon during the Iran-Contra Affair ( 1985) 
After a botched delivery of Hawk missiles, and a failed London meeting between McFarlane and Manucher Ghorbanifar, Arrow Air Flight 1285, a plane containing nearly 250 American servicemen, crashed in Newfoundland on December 12, 1985. Arrow Air Flight 1285 was a McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63CF Jetliner, registered N950JW which operated as an international charter flight carrying Development Development of the HAWK missile system began in 1952 when the United States Army began studies into a medium range Semi-active radar homing Arrow Air Flight 1285 was a McDonnell Douglas DC-8-63CF Jetliner, registered N950JW which operated as an international charter flight carrying Events 627 - Battle of Nineveh: A Byzantine army under Emperor Heraclius defeats Emperor Khosrau II 's Persian Year 1985 ( MCMLXXXV) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link displays 1985 Gregorian calendar) On the day of the crash, responsibility was claimed by the Islamic Jihad Organization, a wing of Hezbollah that had taken credit for the kidnapping of the very Americans in Lebanon whom the Reagan administration sought to have released. The Islamic Jihad Organization was the name used by telephone callers demanding the departure of all Americans from Lebanon and taking responsibility for a number of Kidnappings  The crash came on the fourth anniversary of another attack for which Islamic Jihad took credit: the near-simultaneous bombings of six targets in Kuwait, the French and American Embassies among them. The 1983 Kuwait bombings were attacks on six key foreign and Kuwaiti installations on December 12, 1983, two months after the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing Members of Hezbollah had participated in, and were jailed for, those attacks, but most of the conspirators were members of al-Dawa. The accident was investigated by the Canadian Aviation Safety Board (CASB), and was determined to have been caused by the aircraft's unexpectedly high drag and reduced lift condition, which was most likely due to ice contamination.  However, an article in the June 2007 Middle East Review of International Affairs, by Nathan Thrall, published by the Global Research in International Affairs Center (GLORIA) of the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), based in Herzliya, Israel presents evidence of Iran's complicity. Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA is a quarterly journal on Middle East issues edited by Barry Rubin and published by the Global Research The Interdisciplinary Center ( IDC) (המרכז הבינתחומי is a private (non-profit College located in Herzlia, Israel. Herzliya (הֶרְצְלִיָּה is a city of 84100 residents located on the central coast of Israel. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Israel topics. 
Robert McFarlane resigned on December 5, 1985, citing that he wanted to spend more time with his family; he was replaced by Admiral John Poindexter. Caspar Willard "Cap" Weinberger ( August 18, 1917 &ndash March 28, 2006) was an American politician and Secretary George Pratt Shultz (born December 13 1920 served as the United States Secretary of Labor from 1969 to 1970 as the U Edwin "Ed" Meese III (born December 2, 1931 in Oakland California) served as the seventy-fifth Attorney General of the United Donald Thomas Regan ( December 21, 1918 &ndash June 10, 2003) was the 66th United States Secretary of the Treasury, from 1981 to 1985 | |-| |-| |- | |-| |-| |-| |-| |} The Oval Office is the official office of the President of the United States. Events 63 BC - Cicero reads the last of his Catiline Orations. Year 1985 ( MCMLXXXV) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link displays 1985 Gregorian calendar) John Marlan Poindexter (born August 12, 1936 in Odon Indiana) is a retired American naval officer and Department of Defense official
Two days later, Reagan met with his advisors at the White House, where a new plan was introduced. This one called for a slight change in the arms transactions: instead of the weapons going to the moderate Iranian group, they would go to moderate Iranian army leaders.  As the weapons were delivered from Israel by air, the hostages held by Hezbollah would be released.  Israel would still pay the United States for reimbursing the weapons. Though staunchly opposed by Secretary of State George Shultz and Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, Reagan authorized the plan, stating that, "We were not trading arms for hostages, nor were we negotiating with terrorists. The United States Secretary of State (commonly abbreviated as SecState) is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with Foreign affairs George Pratt Shultz (born December 13 1920 served as the United States Secretary of Labor from 1969 to 1970 as the U The United States Secretary of Defense ( SECDEF) is the head of the U Caspar Willard "Cap" Weinberger ( August 18, 1917 &ndash March 28, 2006) was an American politician and Secretary " Now retired National Security Advisor McFarlane flew to London to meet with Israelis and Ghorbanifar in an attempt to persuade the Iranian to use his influence to release the hostages before any arms transactions occurred; this plan was rejected by Ghorbanifar. 
On the day of McFarlane's resignation, Oliver North, a military aide to the United States National Security Council (NSC), proposed a new plan for selling arms to Iran, which included two major adjustments: instead of selling arms through Israel, the sale was to be direct, and a portion of the proceeds would go to Contras, or Nicaraguan guerilla fighters opposed to communism, at a markup. Oliver Laurence North (born October 7 1943 in San Antonio Texas) is an American best known for his involvement in the Iran-Contra Affair. The White House National Security Council ( NSC) in the United States is the principal forum used by the President for considering National The Contras is a label given to the various rebel groups opposing Nicaragua 's FSLN (Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional Sandinista Junta of National Guerrilla warfare is the unconventional warfare and combat with which a small group of combatants use mobile tactics (ambushes raids etc North proposed a $15 million markup, while contracted arms broker Ghorbanifar added a 41% markup of his own.  Other members of the NSC were in favor of North's plan; with large support, Poindexter authorized it without notifying President Reagan, and it went into effect.  At first, the Iranians refused to buy the arms at the inflated price because of the excessive markup imposed by North and Ghorbanifar. They eventually relented, and in February 1986, 1,000 TOW missiles were shipped to the country.  From May to November 1986, there were additional shipments of miscellaneous weapons and parts. 
Both the sale of weapons to Iran, and the funding of the Contras, attempted to circumvent not only stated administration policy, but also the Boland Amendment. The Boland Amendment was the name given to three US legislative amendments between 1982 and 1984 all aimed at limiting US government assistance to the  Administration officials argued that regardless of the Congress restricting the funds for the Contras, or any affair, the President (or in this case the administration) could carry on by seeking alternative means of funding such as private entities and foreign governments. 
On January 7, 1986, John Poindexter proposed to the president a modification of the approved plan: instead of negotiating with the moderate Iranian political group, the U. Events 1325 - Alfonso IV becomes King of Portugal. 1558 - France takes Calais, the last continental Year 1986 ( MCMLXXXVI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar) S. would negotiate with moderate members of the Iranian government.  Poindexter told Reagan that Ghorbanifar had important connections within the Iranian government, so with the hope of the release of the hostages, Reagan approved this plan as well.  Throughout February 1986, weapons were shipped directly to Iran by the United States (as part of Oliver North's plan, without the knowledge of President Reagan) and none of the hostages were released. Retired National Security Advisor McFarlane conducted another international voyage, this one to Tehran. Tehran (or Teheran) ( Persian: تهران Tehrān) is the capital and largest City of Iran, and the administrative center of He met directly with the moderate Iranian political group that sought to establish U. S. -Iranian relations in an attempt to free the four remaining hostages.  This meeting also failed. The members requested demands such as Israel's withdrawal from the Golan Heights, which the United States rejected. Borders of Israel The Golan Heights ( الجولان al-Jawlān, הגולן ha-Golan) is a strategic Plateau and mountainous 
In late July 1986, Hezbollah released another hostage, Father Lawrence Martin Jenco, former head of Catholic Relief Services in Lebanon. Following this, William Casey, head of the CIA, requested that the U. William Joseph Casey ( March 13, 1913 &ndash May 6, 1987) was the Director of Central Intelligence from 1981 to 1987 S. authorize sending a shipment of small missile parts to Iranian military forces as a way of expressing gratitude.  Casey also justified this request by stating that the contact in the Iranian government might otherwise lose face, or be executed, and hostages killed. Reagan authorized the shipment to ensure that those potential events would not occur. 
In September and October of 1986 three more Americans — Frank Reed, Joseph Ciccipio, Edward Tracy — were abducted in Lebanon by a separate terrorist group. The reasons for their abduction are unknown, although it is speculated that they were kidnapped to replace the freed Americans.  One more original hostage, David Jacobsen, was later released. The captors promised to released the remaining two, but the release never happened. 
After a leak by Iranian radical Mehdi Hashemi, the Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa exposed the arrangement on November 3, 1986. Oliver Laurence North (born October 7 1943 in San Antonio Texas) is an American best known for his involvement in the Iran-Contra Affair. Hojjat al-Islam Sayyed Mehdi Hashemi (died 28 September 1987) was an Iranian cleric and senior official in the Islamic Revolutionary Ash-Shiraa (or Al-Shiraa) is a Lebanese magazine It was the first to report that the United States had been selling weapons to Iran Events 644 - Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second Muslim Caliph, is killed by a Persian slave in Medina. Year 1986 ( MCMLXXXVI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar)  This was the first public reporting of the weapons-for-hostages deal. The operation was discovered only after an airlift of guns was downed over Nicaragua. Eugene Hasenfus, who was captured by Nicaraguan authorities, initially alleged in a press conference on Nicaraguan soil that two of his coworkers, Max Gomez and Ramon Medina, worked for the Central Intelligence Agency. Eugene H Hasenfus (born January 22, 1941 in Florida) is a United States citizen who was an unemployed Construction worker and former near as long as it used to be several months ago It has been actively summarized and split into sub-articles and there is a dynamic talk page discussion of all  He later said he did not know whether they did or not.  The Iranian government confirmed the Ash-Shiraa story, and ten days after the story was first published, President Ronald Reagan appeared on national television from the Oval Office. | |-| |-| |- | |-| |-| |-| |-| |} The Oval Office is the official office of the President of the United States. In his speech on November 13, Reagan confirmed the transactions and stated the reasons for them:
"My purpose was. Events 1002 - English king Ethelred orders the killing of all Danes in England, known today as the St . . to send a signal that the United States was prepared to replace the animosity between [the U. S. and Iran] with a new relationship. . . At the same time we undertook this initiative, we made clear that Iran must oppose all forms of international terrorism as a condition of progress in our relationship. The most significant step which Iran could take, we indicated, would be to use its influence in Lebanon to secure the release of all hostages held there. "
The scandal was compounded when Oliver North destroyed or hid pertinent documents between November 21 and November 25, 1986. Oliver Laurence North (born October 7 1943 in San Antonio Texas) is an American best known for his involvement in the Iran-Contra Affair. Events 164 BC - Judas Maccabaeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family restores the Temple in Jerusalem. Events 1034 - Máel Coluim mac Cináeda, King of Scots dies Donnchad, the Year 1986 ( MCMLXXXVI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar) During North's trial in 1989, his secretary Fawn Hall testified extensively about helping North alter, shred, and remove official United States National Security Council (NSC) documents from the White House. Fawn Hall (born 1959 was a Secretary to Lt Colonel Oliver North and a notable figure in the Iran-Contra affair, helping him shred confidential documents The White House National Security Council ( NSC) in the United States is the principal forum used by the President for considering National According to The New York Times, enough documents were put into a government shredder to jam it.  North's explanation for destroying some documents was to protect the lives of individuals involved in Iran and Contra operations. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iran topics.  North said that he gathered documents that indicated he had sufficient authority for his actions. He took more than a dozen notebooks containing 2617 pages of names, phone conversations, meetings, lists of action items, and details on operations recorded from January 1, 1984 to November 25, 1986, including highly classified information. New Year See also New Year The Ancient Romans began their consular year on January 1st since 153 BC Year 1984 ( MCMLXXXIV) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1984 Gregorian calendar) Events 1034 - Máel Coluim mac Cináeda, King of Scots dies Donnchad, the Year 1986 ( MCMLXXXVI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar) It wasn't until years after the trial that North's notebooks were made public, and only after the National Security Archive and Public Citizen sued the Office of the Independent Council under the Freedom of Information Act. The National Security Archive is a 501(c(3 non-governmental non-profit research and archival institution located within The George Washington University in Public Citizen is a Washington DC -based public interest group engaged in Consumer Advocacy, government accountability clean democracy and ethical United States Office of the Independent Counsel was an independent Prosecutor &mdash distinct from the Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice 
During the trial North testified that on November 21, 22, or 24, he witnessed Poindexter destroy what may have been the only signed copy of a presidential covert-action finding that sought to authorize CIA participation in the November 1985 Hawk missile shipment to Iran. Events 164 BC - Judas Maccabaeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family restores the Temple in Jerusalem. Events 498 - Kofi Aseidu- After the death of Anastasius II, Symmachus is elected Pope in the Lateran Events 380 - Theodosius I makes his adventus, or formal Development Development of the HAWK missile system began in 1952 when the United States Army began studies into a medium range Semi-active radar homing  US Attorney General Edwin Meese admitted on November 25 that profits from weapons sales to Iran were made available to assist the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. The United States Attorney General is the head of the United States Department of Justice (see) concerned with legal affairs and is the chief law enforcement Edwin "Ed" Meese III (born December 2, 1931 in Oakland California) served as the seventy-fifth Attorney General of the United Events 1034 - Máel Coluim mac Cináeda, King of Scots dies Donnchad, the On the same day, John Poindexter resigned, and Oliver North was fired by President Reagan.  Poindexter was replaced by Frank Carlucci on December 2, 1986. Frank Charles Carlucci III (born October 18 1930) is a former government official in the United States, associated with the Republican Party Events 1409 - The University of Leipzig opens 1755 - The second Eddystone Lighthouse is destroyed by fire Year 1986 ( MCMLXXXVI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar) 
On November 25, 1986, President Reagan announced the creation of a Special Review Board to look into the matter; the following day, he appointed former Senator John Tower, former Secretary of State Edmund Muskie, and former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft to serve as members. Events 1034 - Máel Coluim mac Cináeda, King of Scots dies Donnchad, the Year 1986 ( MCMLXXXVI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar) John Goodwin Tower ( September 29, 1925 – April 5, 1991) was the first Republican United States senator from Texas Edmund Sixtus "Ed" Muskie ( March 28, 1914 – March 26, 1996) was an American Democratic Politician Brent Scowcroft (born March 19 1925 in Ogden Utah) was the United States National Security Advisor under Presidents Gerald Ford and This Presidential Commission took effect on December 1 and became known as the "Tower Commission". In the United States, a Presidential Commission is a special task force ordained by the President to complete some special research or investigation Events 800 - Charlemagne judges the accusations against Pope Leo III in the Vatican The main objectives of the commission were to inquire into "the circumstances surrounding the Iran-Contra matter, other case studies that might reveal strengths and weaknesses in the operation of the National Security Council system under stress, and the manner in which that system has served eight different Presidents since its inception in 1947. " The commission was the first presidential commission to review and evaluate the National Security Council.
President Reagan appeared before the Tower Commission on December 2, 1986, to answer questions regarding his involvement in the affair. John Goodwin Tower ( September 29, 1925 – April 5, 1991) was the first Republican United States senator from Texas Edmund Sixtus "Ed" Muskie ( March 28, 1914 – March 26, 1996) was an American Democratic Politician Events 1409 - The University of Leipzig opens 1755 - The second Eddystone Lighthouse is destroyed by fire Year 1986 ( MCMLXXXVI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar) When asked about his role in the authorizing the arms deals, he first stated that he had; later, he appeared to contradict himself by stating that he had no recollection of doing so.  In his 1990 autobiography, An American Life, Reagan acknowledges authorizing the shipments to Israel. An American Life is the 1990 Autobiography authored by former American President Ronald Reagan. 
The report published by the Tower Commission was delivered to the President on February 26, 1987. Events 747 BC - Epoch (origin of Ptolemy 's Nabonassar Era 364 - Valentinian I is proclaimed Year 1987 ( MCMLXXXVII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link displays 1987 Gregorian calendar) The Commission had interviewed 80 witnesses to the scheme, including Reagan, and two of the arms trade middlemen: Manucher Ghorbanifar and Adnan Khashoggi.  The 200 page report was the most comprehensive of any released, criticizing the actions of Oliver North, John Poindexter, Caspar Weinberger, and others. It determined that President Reagan did not have knowledge of the extent of the program, especially not the diversion of funds to the Contras, although it argued that the President ought to have had better control of the National Security Council staff.  The report heavily criticized Reagan for not properly supervising his subordinates or being aware of their actions.  A major result of the Tower Commission was the consensus that Reagan should have listened to his National Security Advisor more, thereby placing more power in the hands of that chair. 
The Democratic-controlled United States Congress issued its own report on November 18, 1987, stating that "If the president did not know what his national security advisers were doing, he should have. The United States Congress is the bicameral Legislature of the federal government of the United States of America, consisting of two houses Events 326 - The old St Peter's Basilica is consecrated 1302 - Pope Boniface VIII issues the Papal bull Year 1987 ( MCMLXXXVII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link displays 1987 Gregorian calendar) " The congressional report wrote that the president bore "ultimate responsibility" for wrongdoing by his aides, and his administration exhibited "secrecy, deception and disdain for the law. " It also read in part: "The central remaining question is the role of the President in the Iran-contra affair. On this critical point, the shredding of documents by Poindexter, North and others, and the death of Casey, leave the record incomplete. "
Reagan expressed regret regarding the situation during a nationally televised address from the White House Oval Office on March 4, 1987; Reagan had not spoken to the American people directly for three months amidst the scandal. Events 51 - Nero, later to become Roman Emperor, is given the title Princeps iuventutis (head of the youth Year 1987 ( MCMLXXXVII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link displays 1987 Gregorian calendar)  President Reagan told the American people the reason why he did not update them on the scandal:
"The reason I haven't spoken to you before now is this: You deserve the truth. And as frustrating as the waiting has been, I felt it was improper to come to you with sketchy reports, or possibly even erroneous statements, which would then have to be corrected, creating even more doubt and confusion. There's been enough of that. "
He then took full responsibility for his actions and those of his administration:
"First, let me say I take full responsibility for my own actions and for those of my administration. As angry as I may be about activities undertaken without my knowledge, I am still accountable for those activities. As disappointed as I may be in some who served me, I'm still the one who must answer to the American people for this behavior. "
Finally, the president stated that his previous assertions that the U. S. did not trade arms for hostages were incorrect:
"A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not. As the Tower board reported, what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated, in its implementation, into trading arms for hostages. This runs counter to my own beliefs, to administration policy, and to the original strategy we had in mind. "
Domestically, the scandal precipitated a drop in President Reagan's popularity as his approval ratings saw "the largest single drop for any U. S. president in history", from 67% to 46% in November 1986, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll.  The "Teflon President", as Reagan was nicknamed by critics, survived the scandal, however, and by January 1989 a Gallup poll was "recording a 64% approval rating," the highest ever recorded for a departing President at that time. 
Internationally the damage was more severe. Magnus Ranstorp wrote, "U. Dr Magnus Ranstorp is the Research Director of the Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defence College directing a large funded project on Strategic Terrorist Threats to S. willingness to engage in concessions with Iran and the Hezbollah not only signalled to its adversaries that hostage-taking was an extremely useful instrument in extracting political and financial concessions for the West but also undermined any credibility of U. S. criticism of other states' deviation from the principles of no-negotiation and no concession to terrorists and their demands. 
In Iran Mehdi Hashemi, the leaker of the scandal, was executed in 1987, allegedly for activities unrelated to the scandal. Hojjat al-Islam Sayyed Mehdi Hashemi (died 28 September 1987) was an Iranian cleric and senior official in the Islamic Revolutionary Though Hashemi made a full video confession to numerous serious charges, some observers find the coincidence of his leak and the subsequent prosecution highly suspicious. 
Oliver North and John Poindexter were indicted on multiple charges on March 16, 1988. In the Common law legal system an indictment (ɪnˈdaɪtmənt (in-DITE-mint is a formal accusation of having committed a criminal offense Events 597 BC - Babylonians capture Jerusalem, replace Jehoiachin with Zedekiah as king Year 1988 ( MCMLXXXVIII) was a Leap year starting on Friday (link displays 1988 Gregorian calendar)  North, indicted on 16 counts, was found guilty by a jury of three minor counts. The convictions were vacated on appeal on the grounds that North's Fifth Amendment rights may have been violated by the indirect use of his testimony to Congress which had been given under a grant of immunity. The Fifth Amendment ( Amendment V) of the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights, is related to legal procedure In 1990, Poindexter was convicted on several felony counts of conspiracy, lying to Congress, obstruction of justice, and altering and destroying documents pertinent to the investigation. In the Criminal law, a conspiracy is an agreement between Natural persons to break the law at some time in the future and in some cases with at least one overt act The crime of obstruction of justice includes crimes committed by Judges Prosecutors attorneys general, and elected officials in general His convictions were also overturned on appeal on similar grounds. Arthur L. Liman served as chief counsel for the Senate during the Iran-Contra Affair. Arthur L Liman (1932-1997 was a partner at the New York law firm Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, and was well known for his public service 
The Independent Counsel, Lawrence E. Walsh, chose not to re-try North or Poindexter. United States Office of the Independent Counsel was an independent Prosecutor &mdash distinct from the Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice Lawrence E Walsh, (born January 8, 1912) is an American Lawyer and former judge and Deputy Attorney General who was appointed to the Office of the Caspar Weinberger was indicted for lying to the Independent Counsel but was later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush. Caspar Willard "Cap" Weinberger ( August 18, 1917 &ndash March 28, 2006) was an American politician and Secretary George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12 1924 served as the forty-first President of the United States from 1989 to 1993 
In 1992 George H. W. Bush pardoned six convicted administration officials, namely Elliott Abrams, Duane R. Elliott Abrams (born January 24, 1948) is an American lawyer who has served in foreign policy positions for two Republican U Clarridge, Alan Fiers, Clair George, Robert McFarlane, and Caspar Weinberger. 
George W. Bush selected some individuals that served under Reagan for high-level posts in his presidential administration. George Walker Bush ( born July 6 1946 is the forty-third and current President of the United States.  They include:
In Poindexter's hometown of Odon, Indiana, a street was renamed to John Poindexter Street. Odon is a town in Madison Township, Daviess County, Indiana, United States. Bill Breedan, a former minister, stole the street's sign in protest of the Iran-Contra Affair. He claimed that he was holding it for a ransom of $30 million, in reference to the amount of money given to Iran to transfer to the contras. He was later arrested and confined to prison, making him, as satirized by Howard Zinn, "the only person to be imprisoned as a result of the Iran-Contra affair. Howard Zinn (born August 24 1922 is an American Historian, political scientist, social critic, activist and Playwright, best known "