The Iran Contra Affair: Reagan's Greatest Failure

All American Hero or Arms Dealer?


  • Connor Whalen Northern Kentucky University



Iran Contra Affair, McFarlane Affair, Reagan's Affair


The paper is focused on the individuals who were involved in the affair directly and those who investigated the under the table dealings of the Reagan administration, as well as Reagan's part in the affair.  It also looks at how the affair came to light, and how the whole affair was swept under the rug within a few years due to popular U.S. Cold War beliefs and the fear of communism spreading. Even those appointed to investigate Reagan could not do much, since he was so popular, and would remain so after what he had done came to light. He was essentially slapped on the wrist for having a "lax managerial style", and was not removed from office. In the end, those convicted for their roles in the arms dealing were pardoned, even as late as 1991, by president HW Bush, who was Reagans vice president.


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References or Bibliography

Boyd, Gerald M. “Reagan Terms Nicaraguan Rebels ‘Moral Equal Of Founding Fathers’.” The New York Times, March 2, 1985, sec. 1.

Sabra, Hassan. “Article Title Not Available.” Ash Shiraa. November 3, 1986.

Shenon, Philip. “Swiss Bank Records In Iran-Contra Case Are Released to U.S.” The New York Times, November 4, 1987, sec. A. faculty. “Albert Hakim: Head Of The Enterprise.” Understanding the iran-contra affairs – the legal aftermath. Accessed November 21, 2022.

Tower Commission Report, February 26th 1987.

Walsh, Lawrence. “Records of Lawrence Walsh Relating to Iran/Contra.” National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, August 4, 1993.

Tyroler, Deborah. “Americas Watch Reports Systematic Killings By Contras; Human Rights Abuses By Nicaraguan Government.” (1987).

“Background of U.S. Policy in Latin America and the Rise of the Somoza Dynasty in Nicaragua.” Understanding the Iran-Contra affairs – the Iran-Contra Affairs. Brown University. Accessed November 21, 2022.

“Bush Calls Reagan to Rejoice over Chamorro Victory.” UPI. UPI, February 27, 1990.

“Ronald Reagan Had Alzheimer’s While President, Says Son.” The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, January 17, 2011.

“The 2nd Boland Amendment.” Understanding the Iran-Contra affairs – the Iran-Contra Affairs. Brown University. Accessed November 21, 2022.



How to Cite

Whalen, C. (2023). The Iran Contra Affair: Reagan’s Greatest Failure: All American Hero or Arms Dealer?. Journal of Student Research, 12(1).



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