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Iran Contra Timeline

Page history last edited by Vernon Lucas 6 years, 10 months ago

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Timeline of the Iran-Contra Affair

The events leading to the Reagan administration’s illegal deals to sell weapons to Iran in order to fund the Contras in Nicaragua unfolded over several years. The Contras were a paramilitary group fighting against the fairly elected leftist Sandinista government. The U.S had imposed an embargo against Iran after Islamic  fundamentalists had taken American hostages in Tehran in 1979. The ensuing scandal engulfed the Reagan administration.

 

July  1979 Sandinista guerillas overthrow a right-wing dictatorship in Nicaragua

November 1979 Islamic militants take 52 Americans hostage inside the U.S. embassy in Iran U.S. passes an embargo against selling weapons to Iran

 

January 1981 President Ronald Reagan assumes office; Iranian hostages released the same day

 

December 1981  Reagan signs an executive order to authorize a covert C.I.A. operation to support the Contras, a right-wing rebel group who seek to overthrow the leftist Sandinista government of Nicaragua 

 

August 1982  U.S. Marines land in Lebanon to stabilize the government following an Israeli invasion to oust the Palestinian Liberation Organization headquartered in Lebanon

 

1982 – 1984   Evidence of U.S. efforts to overthrow the Sandinistas leaks out in the press, including C.I.A. sabotage manuals Congress passes Boland Amendments, barring the use of federal money to overthrow the Nicaraguan government

 

1983  Hezbollah, a political paramilitary group backed by Iran, begins taking hostages in Lebanon to protest the imprisonment by American-backed governments of their allies in 

other parts of the Middle East 

 

November 1984 Sandinista candidates win national elections in Nicaragua

 

February 1985  Reagan approves National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane’s idea to negotiate with Iran for the release of Hezbollah’s hostages

 

September  1985   Reagan administration officials secretly negotiate to sell weapons to Iran in exchange for help securing the release of American hostages in Lebanon

 

April 1986  Oliver North, now National Security Adviser, proposes diverting $12 million from the sale of weapons to Iran to fund the Contras in Nicaragua

 

May  1986  McFarlane, now a private consultant to the White House, and North secretly fly to Iran with spare parts for missiles

 

November  1986  The Attorney General discloses the Iran-Contra connection Reagan announces the firing of North and the resignation of other officials involved in the 

scandal

 

1987 – 1992  Congress holds a series of investigations, brings down indictments and hears appeals In December 1992, President George H. W. Bush pardons six people involved in the scandal, including McFarlane Source: American Social history Project/Center for Media and Learning, 2010

 

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