The U.S. and Iran

The story behind Reagan's dealings with the mullahs

The tale sounded really too bizarre to be believed. The U.S. conniving at arms shipments to Iran? Sending a secret mission to palaver with the mullahs? Trying to keep the whole thing from Congress and most of the U.S. Government? And all over Iran, of all places! The country that held Americans hostage for 444 days beginning in 1979, the land whose fanatical leader, Ayatullah Ruhollah Khomeini, has never ceased to denounce America as the "Great Satan," the state widely suspected to this very day of fomenting terrorist attacks against Americans.

Yet there is no question that it happened. Initially in...

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