CROSSING THE LINE: IRAN-CONTRA AFFAIR
Writing Assignment 2
Chris Benjamin 4513163
HIST102 B025 Fall 14
American Psychological Association
November 16 2014
American Military University
One of the most famous scandals of American history is the Iran-Contra Affair, which took place in 1985, during the Reagan administration. Shortly after taking office, President Reagan found himself facing difficult decisions, as many presidents have done so before and after him. Foreign policy is at the top of every presidents list during their term in office; Reagan’s foreign policy was to achieve “peace through strength”. This policy was put to the test when U.S. ...view middle of the document...
Though the actions of the administration was nothing new for American politics when dealing with foreign affairs, what made it a scandal was the deception our leaders displayed during the events that lead up to the Iran-Contra Affair. To better understand Iran-Contra Affair, first you must know the history behind it. After World War II the U.S. and the Soviet Union emerged as the world’s two main superpowers, both countries seeking capitalism and communism dominance over smaller countries such as Iran and other Middle East countries. The U.S. and Soviet Union struggled for control in the Middle East, more than any other region due to its close proximity to Europe and Russia. The U.S. successfully positioned itself as an ally to Iran who was governed at the time by Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, a pro-Western. Iran’s president governed from 1953 through 1979, during his time in power, he sought to modernize the country and polish its international image. ("Understanding the Iran-Contra Affairs - The Iran-Contra Affairs," n.d.) As his relationship with the U.S. strengthened, opposition within Iran grew unsatisfied with his leadership. In 1978, Iran broke out in riots and demonstration protesting Shah’s lack of religious values and his relationship with the U.S. As pressure grew for Shah to step down, he lost much of his control over the country, and support from the U.S. diminished, shortly after Shah left Iran in 1979. ("Understanding the Iran-Contra Affairs - The Iran-Contra Affairs," n.d.) Iran declared itself an Islamic Republic by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who was previously exiled by Shah. Under Ayatollah, Iran who was once America’s most powerful ally, changed views, and became openly anti-American. Relationships between the two countries continued to spiral downward; the U.S.’s last draw with Iran was the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979 by a religious fundamentalist group called The Muslim Followers of the Line of the Imam. As hostages continued to be a central part of Iran’s fundamentalist groups, the U.S. had no choice but to end relations with Iran and place an embargo on the new government. The U.S. State Department enacted Operation Staunch, an embargo to stop the flow of U.S. arms to Iran.
On the other side of this scandal is Nicaragua, a country the U.S. has had long interest in due to the region’s close proximity to America. Numerous polices have been emplaced in an attempt to ensure the regions protection, and the U.S. national security. As early as 1823, the Monroe Doctrine was established stating the U.S. would prevent European intervention in Latin America, Theodore Roosevelt also established the Roosevelt Corollary adding on to the Monroe Doctrine asserted the right to intervene militarily in Latin America. (Henretta, 2012, p.934) From 1912 to 1932 the U.S. intervened in Nicaragua politics, even sending marines to suppress rebellion, forcing presidents to resign, and even trained Nicaragua’s...