September 22: Malcolm Byrne on “Lessons of Iran-Contra: Behind the Scenes of Ronald Reagan’s Iran Gambit, 1985-86”

Based on intensive research into once-classified records, as well as interviews and other accounts from Americans, Iranians and Israelis, Malcolm Byrne’s new book Iran-Contra: Reagan’s Scandal and the Unchecked Abuse of Presidential Power (University Press of Kansas) reexamines the policies and attitudes that constituted the Iran-Contra affair.  In this talk, the author will revisit the Reagan administration’s controversial initiative toward Iran in 1985-1986.  What was its real purpose?  Who were the Iranians involved and what did they want?  What was Israel’s role?  What are the long-term lessons and impact of the operation?

Malcolm Byrne is author of the newly-released Iran-Contra: Reagan’s Scandal and the Unchecked Abuse of Presidential Power (University Press of Kansas, 2014).  He is Deputy Director and Research Director at the nongovernmental National Security Archive based at The George Washington University.  He also heads the US-Iran Relations Project which explores the two countries’ perspectives through documentation and interviews from both sides.

The seminar meets at 4:00 p.m. at the Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Board Room, Ronald Reagan Building, Federal Triangle Metro Stop.

The seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center. It meets weekly during the academic year. See for the schedule, speakers, topics, and dates as well as webcasts and podcasts. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations for its support. Reservations requested because of limited seating: