The Influence Of The Reagan Administration During The Contra-Iran Affair

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What Reagan administration did during the Contra-Iran Affair was wrong from a political, ethical, and moral standpoint. From a strategic standpoint, there is a different story. In regards to the Iran-Iraq war, the main objective of Reagan’s administration was revealed, which was to lengthen the Iran-Iraq war. The US (along with Israel and its European allies) did not want a powerful Iran under the rule of Islamic Republic. They saw the Islamic Republic of Iran as a force that challenges the interests of the west in the region. The Shah modernized Iran’s military by purchasing large number of weapons and military equipment from the west, particularly from the US. US supported Saddam Husain in order to undermine the influence of Iran in the region …show more content…
Instead of authorizing the sale of weapons to Iran while continuing to support Saddam during the war, the Reagan administration could push the United Nations to play a more active role in stopping the conflict. What Iranians wanted was not continuation of war, but a ceasefire with a clear statement recognizing the aggressor or initiator of war (i.e. Iraq). For 8 years, the UN failed to do so by passing resolutions one after another without condemning Saddam for initiating the war and using chemical weapons against Iranians. Finally, the UN passed resolutions 619 and 620 in 1988; these were the only UN resolutions that condemned Iraq for initiating the war and using chemical weapons against Iranians. Iran accepted the ceasefire when the UN passed resolutions 619 and later 620. This means that the Reagan’s administration could possibly increase a chance of ceasefire between Iran and Iraq before 1988 by ending the sale of weapons to the Iraqis while condemning Iraq for the use of chemical weapons against Iranians. This could also serve as an alternative plan to end the hostage crisis in Lebanon. Reagan’s desire for release of American hostages is understandable; however, what Reagan administration did during the Contra-Iran Affair was not in the best interest of the US because it created a basis for more hostage-takings. Furthermore, selling arms to the both sides of the conflict caused Iranians and Iraqis to suffer from a prolonged war, and significantly increased the number of civilian

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