The Iran-Contra Affair (also called the Iran-Contra Scandal, the Iran-Contra Matter and Iran-gate) was the result of an illegal arms deal between the United States, sworn enemy Iran and the Nicaraguan Contras, a terrorist group operating against the democratically elected government of Nicaragua.. The Reagan Administration sought to hide evidence of its collusion in this illegal circumvention of a Congressional ban on arms support for Iran and the Contras by shredding tons of documents in violation of direct subpoena of these documents. Many details of the affair are still classified and the level to which money from cocaine sales in the US were used to fund this illegal war are shrouded in secrecy, though that this occurred is well documented by the FBI. Essentially, arms were sold to Iran against an international embargo which was spearheaded just years earlier by the United States. The proceeds from this arms sale were then used to purchase additional arms for the Contra Guerilla group operating in the mountains of Nicaragua. These arms were often used against civilian populations in the Contras' war against the government of Nicaragua.
After the arms sales were revealed in November 1986, President Ronald Reagan appeared on national television and denied that they had occurred. However, a week later, on November 13, he returned to the airwaves to affirm that weapons were indeed transferred to Iran. He denied that they were part of an exchange for hostages.