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Arms Payoff for Hostage Release - JPG
On November 2, 1986, an American hostage was released by an Iranian group that had held him captive for more than seventeen months. It was soon reported that his release was linked to a transfer of military spare parts to Iran. President Ronald Reagan commented that such a story "has no foundation" and "is making it more difficult to get the other hostages out." Herb Block comments, "But the story was true, and the trading of arms actually provided an incentive for the taking of more hostages. Appearing on television, Reagan said forcefully, ‘We did not, repeat not, trade weapons or anything else for hostages.' When this was proven to be untrue, he later made a carefully worded retraction. He left it to Attorney General Meese to disclose the diversion of arms-sales funds to Nicaraguan contra rebels, a violation of an act of Congress."
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