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Ex-Hostage Weir Questions Policy

November 09, 1986|From the Washington Post

WASHINGTON — The Rev. Benjamin Weir, the first American hostage in Lebanon released after White House-approved covert arms shipments reportedly began going to Iran, said he regretted the "trading of arms for hostages," calling it a "questionable tactic."

Appearing Friday on the ABC News program "Nightline," Weir said that although "I certainly want to see those (U.S. hostages) that I know released, I would not want to see an escalation of the war between Iran and Iraq as part of that price."

Weir's remarks came as Reagan Administration officials attempted to deal with disclosure of the secret White House program, begun in 1985, that led to the release of three U.S. hostages held in Lebanon by Islamic Jihad.

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