On November 4, 1979, the US embassy in Iran was overtaken by Iranian students supportive of the Iranian Revolution. Over 50 American citizens were taken hostage. The whole of the United States, and indeed the world, looked on, fearing how the situation would end, given the instability in the country since the abdication of the shah and the subsequent return of the one-time exiled Ayatollah Khomeini over ten months earlier. By the end of 1980, things were looking more promising, and shortly after the newly elected US president, Ronald Reagan, had taken the iran election 2017 of office in Washington, DC, on January 20, 1981, news came of the hostages’ release.
During the 1980 election campaign, Ronald Reagan’s running mate and eventual vice president, George H. Bush camp really did have an October surprise up their collective sleeves, many looked to the hostage situation in Iran. The main thrust behind the Iranian hostage crisis conspiracy theory is that it was in the interest of Reagan for the hostages to be released after the election. In 1985, the US government agreed to sell missiles to Iran in exchange for the safe release of hostages held by Khomeini-loyal Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon. There are a number of things to look at here. It is interesting that it was a sale of the arms to Iran, given that it would make sense, from the Iranian point of view, to insist on being given armaments for the return of the hostages.
So what happened to all the money from the alleged sales? Well, that is our next entry on our list. According to accusations that would eventually come forth, the money from the Iran missile sales would be used to fund the Nicaraguan Contras, a rebel group looking to overthrow Nicaragua’s government, which had been democratically elected. Democratically elected or not, the government’s left-wing leanings did not sit well with the American mindset in general—particularly that of the CIA.
It was their hope that the anti-communist Contras could overthrow the government and so swing the political ideology of the country back to the right and more in line with the United States. It eventually came to light that the money had been raised by selling missiles to the Iranians—whom Reagan had descried as ideological enemies of the United States. Aside from the obvious hypocrisy of the situation, the double-dealing was against international law. Perhaps in order to deflect blame, or perhaps in genuine good faith, Reagan announced the Tower Commission to investigate.