A Texas politician has claimed that he labored with a senior member of Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential marketing campaign to persuade Iran to delay releasing its hostages throughout the disaster of 1979 in a bid to derail Jimmy Carter’s re-election bid.
Ben Barnes, Texas’s former lieutenant governor, has claimed in an interview with The New York Instances that John Connally Jr – as soon as a governor of the identical state and a high-ranking member of Reagan’s election staff – took him on a secret diplomatic tour of the Center East as a part of a scheme to break Carter by convincing Iran to carry on to its American hostages till after the election.
Mr Carter was the US president when 52 diplomats and US residents have been taken hostage on the American embassy in Tehran by school college students who supported the Iranian revolution.
Regardless of diplomatic efforts from the White Home, the hostages have been held for 444 days and the political disaster considerably broken the Democratic president’s try and be re-elected. Mr Carter was closely defeated by his Republican rival within the election of 1980.
The hostages have been launched minutes after Reagan was sworn in as US president on Jan 20, 1981.
Based on Mr Barnes, Connally introduced him to a number of Center Japanese capitals to foyer regional leaders to persuade Tehran that they’d obtain a greater deal from Republican nominee Reagan in the event that they saved maintain of the hostages till after the election.
Mr Barnes instructed the newspaper that he was persuaded to come back ahead together with his account by the information final month that Mr Carter is receiving home hospice care.
“Historical past must know what occurred,” Mr Barnes instructed the newspaper. “I believe it’s so vital and I assume figuring out that the tip is close to for President Carter put it on my thoughts increasingly and extra. I simply really feel like we’ve received to get it down a way.”
Based on the newspaper, information at Lyndon Baines Johnson Library present that Connally and Mr Barnes left on a visit from Houston on July 18, 1980 to go to Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Israel, and returned to the US on Aug 11.
Mr Barnes mentioned he was sure that the explanation for the journey was to ship the message to Iran to carry the hostages till after the election.
He claimed that when the pair met the primary of quite a lot of Center Japanese leaders, Connally instructed them: “Look, Ronald Reagan’s going to be elected president and you must get the phrase to Iran that they’re going to make a greater take care of Reagan than they’re Carter.”
Mr Barnes added: “He [Connally] mentioned, ‘It could be very good so that you can move the phrase to the Iranians to attend till after this basic election is over.’ And boy, I let you know, I’m sitting there and I heard it and so now it dawns on me, I realise why we’re there.
“I’ll go to my grave believing that it was the aim of the journey.”
Mr Barnes doesn’t counsel that Reagan, who received two phrases as US president, knew something in regards to the journey, however Mr Barnes instructed The New York Instances that Connally briefed the chairman of Reagan’s marketing campaign, William Casey, after they returned to the US.
Mr Barnes claimed that Casey, who went on to be director of the CIA below Reagan, wished to know whether or not “they have been going to carry the hostages”.
“It wasn’t freelancing as a result of Casey was so considering listening to as quickly as we received again to the US.”
In 1992 and once more in 1993, Congress held separate inquiries that investigated alleged collusion between the Reagan marketing campaign and Tehran and located no proof of wrongdoing.
The timing of the discharge of the hostages has over time given rise to conspiracy theories and allegations that Reagan’s staff conspired with Iran in a bid to forestall the discharge and cease Mr Carter pulling off an “October shock” – a information occasion shortly earlier than a presidential election that would swing the vote in a single candidate’s favour.
The Reagan administration was accused by some – particularly former Iranian president Abolhassan Banisadr – of rewarding Tehran by supplying the regime with weapons and releasing Iranian belongings held in US banks.
Connally died in 1993. His eldest son, John Connally III, instructed The New York Instances that he remembered his father taking the journey however that he didn’t know of any communication with Iran.
He mentioned: “No point out was made in any assembly I used to be in about any message being despatched to the Iranians. It doesn’t sound like my dad.”
Casey died in 1987, whereas Reagan handed away in 2004.
Mr Barnes, a Democrat, was a fundraiser for John Kerry’s failed bid for president in 2004 and was Speaker of the Texas Home of Representatives.