I explained that the very ideology of Iran’s Islamic leaders was the sole reason for no progress in a negotiated settlement. They simply would not close an honest deal with infidels.
In the 1980s, the Reagan administration was involved in deep negotiations with Iran over arms sales and normalization of US-Iranian ties. National Security Council staffer Oliver North could barely contain himself over the prospect of peace with Iran.
Hashemi Rafsanjani, then speaker of Parliament, promised American authorities resumption of diplomatic relations once the founder of the Islamic regime, Ayatollah Khomeini, was dead. In exchange, he asked for arms and America’s help in diminishing Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi military machine.
I was in the Revolutionary Guard then, but as a CIA spy. My Guard commander mocked the Americans for believing Speaker Rafsanjani’s promises. The Iran-Contra Affair, in which US arms sales to Iran funded “freedom fighter” Contras in Nicaragua, ended embarrassingly for President Reagan’s administration.