Iran-Contra affair

[ (i-ran, i-rahn, eye-ran; kon-truh, kohn-trah) ]

A scandal in the administration of President Ronald Reagan, which came to light when it was revealed that in the mid-1980s the United States secretly arranged arms sales to Iran in return for promises of Iranian assistance in securing the release of Americans held hostage in Lebanon. Proceeds from the arms sales then were covertly and illegally funneled to the Contras, rebels fighting the Marxist Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.