HARTFORD, Conn. — The Rev. Benjamin Weir, held hostage in Lebanon for 16 months, said Saturday that the Reagan Administration's secret arms sales to Iran seriously undermined U.S. credibility in the Middle East.
Weir, a Presbyterian cleric who now lives in Berkeley, Calif., spoke at a news conference after an ecumenical conference. He lived for 32 years in Lebanon and traveled throughout the region before he was kidnaped on May 8, 1984, in Beirut by Shia extremists.
He was held captive for 16 months, 14 of them in solitary confinement, before he was released on Sept. 14, 1985.
Weir repudiated the sale of arms to Iran by the Administration, which may have led to his release.
"That inconsistency and confusion has certainly undermined what was left of U.S. credibility in the Middle East," Weir said. "It certainly makes it a lot harder."