One point of the affair which I haven’t heard discussed by any of the participants or really analyzed by the press or Congress is the way in which Iran made total fools of President Reagan, Rear Adm. John Poindexter, Lt. Col. Oliver North and all the rest of those who were involved in shipping arms to Iran.
I seem to recall that North testified how ironic and amusing he found it that the Iranians were indirectly supporting the contras in their fight against the Sandinistas.
Let’s look at this from the point of the Iranians:
1. They got a large quantity of arms they needed in their war with Iraq at typical open-market prices that would not have been available to them under other circumstances at any price.
2. They replenished their store of hostages with little or no difficulty.
3. They more than embarrassed the Reagan Administration, practically bringing it to its knees in front of the entire world by exposing this ultra-covert secret operation.
It seems more than likely that there was never any so-called “moderate” element in the Iranian government but that this whole episode was a clever scam from the start.
I would say that there is little for North or Poindexter to be proud of.
As for President Reagan, he should look to Secretary of State George Shultz and the Department of State the next time he seeks wise advise in matters such as this.