Former President Reagan says he wonders now whether the Iran-Contra affair that rocked his second term in the White House wasn't "a setup, a sting operation, by the Iranians."
Reagan's latest comment on the most controversial foreign policy initiative of his eight years in office comes in a new book, "Speaking My Mind," published by Simon and Schuster.The book is a collection of speeches, each preceded by a short essay containing Reagan's reflection on the subject or the occasion.
One of the speeches is his March 4, 1987, address after the release of the Tower Commission report on his administration's decision to sell arms to Iran while seeking Iranian help for the release of American hostages.
The commission, appointed by Reagan to look into the controversy, said his decision to sell arms to Iran "rewarded a regime that clearly supported terrorism and hostage-taking."
Reagan, in his speech, took responsibility for things that had "happened on my watch," but also said he "didn't ask enough about the specifics of the total Iran plan."
He has since said there are many aspects of the affair he still does not understand.
In his new remarks, the former president defended the initiative although he said that "something clearly went wrong with our original plan."