Timeline of the Iran–Contra affair
The Iran–Contra affair was a political scandal in the United States that came to light in November 1986. During the Reagan administration, senior administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, the subject of an arms embargo. Some U.S. officials also hoped that the arms sales would secure the release of hostages and allow U.S. intelligence agencies to fund the Nicaraguan Contras. Under the Boland Amendment, further funding of the Contras by the government had been prohibited by Congress.
- 1981: Operation Seashell / 1981 Armenia mid-air collision
- 1983/4: Operation Tipped Kettle: a 1980s US-Israeli government operation transferring weapons seized by Israeli forces from the Palestine Liberation Organization in Lebanon during Operation Peace for Galilee to the Nicaraguan Contras.
- 20 August 1985: Israel sent 96 American-made BGM-71 TOW antitank missiles to Iran through an arms dealer named Manucher Ghorbanifar. Hours after receiving the weapons, the Islamic fundamentalist group Islamic Jihad released one hostage they had been holding in Lebanon, the Reverend Benjamin Weir.
- 14 September 1985 – 408 more TOWs
- 24 November 1985 – 18 Hawk anti-aircraft missiles
- 4 December 1985: Robert McFarlane resigns
- 4 December 1985: 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 paramilitary fighters waging guerrilla warfare against the democratically-elected Sandinista government, at a markup. North proposed a $15 million markup, while contracted arms broker Ghorbanifar added a 41% markup of his own.
- 16 December 1985: Paul S. Cutter and another are convicted of attempting to sell arms to Iran
- 17 February 1986 – 500 TOWs
- 5 May 1986: indictments in the Brokers of Death arms case relating to arms sales to Iran, with Cyrus Hashemi the key US Customs informant
- 24 May 1986 – 508 TOWs, 240 Hawk spare parts
- 4 August 1986 – More Hawk spares
- 5 October 1986: Corporate Air Services HPF821, an aircraft delivering supplies to the Contras, is shot down in Nicaragua; Eugene Hasenfus is sole survivor
- 28 October 1986 – 500 TOWs
- 3 November 1986: After a leak by Iranian Mehdi Hashemi, the Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa exposed the arrangement on 3 November 1986.
- 26 November 1986: Tower Commission appointed
- 19 December 1986: Lawrence Walsh appointed Independent Counsel for Iran/Contra Matters
- 18 November 1987: Congressional Committees Investigating The Iran-Contra Affair publish their report
- January 1989: charges in the Brokers of Death arms case dropped
- 4 August 1993: Final report of Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh published
- The Iran-Contra Affair 20 Years On. The National Security Archive (George Washington University), 2006-11-24
- Amir Oren, Haaretz, 26 November 2010, The truth about Israel, Iran and 1980s U.S. arms deals
- "The Iran-Contra Scandal". The American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
- "Iran-Contra Report; Arms, Hostages and Contras: How a Secret Foreign Policy Unraveled" March 16, 1984. Retrieved on 2008-06-07
- "Letter Accepting the Resignation of Robert C. McFarlane as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs". Retrieved 2012-12-04.
- "United States v. Robert C. McFarlane". Independent Council for Iran/Contra Matters. 1993. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
- Walsh, Lawrence (August 4, 1993). "Vol. I: Investigations and prosecutions". Final report of the independent counsel for Iran/Contra matters. Independent Council for Iran/Contra Matters. Retrieved 2009-05-15.
- Cave, George. "Why Secret 1986 U.S.-Iran "Arms for Hostages" Negotiations Failed". Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs. Retrieved 2007-01-09.
- Final Report of the Independent Counsel for Iran/Contra Matters