NORTH: I must confess to you, Mr. Nields, and I think you have seen it in
my messages to my superiors, I was not entirely comfortable with
the arrangements that had been worked in the summer of 1985
and in the autumn-winter of 1985.
I made it very clear. I was after all the person who in the U.S.
Government who had the responsibility for coordinating our counterterrorist policy.
I had written for the President's words, "We will not make concessions to terrorists." For the very first time in January, the
whole idea of using U.S. weapons or U.S.-origin weapons or Israeli
weapons that had been manufactured in the United States was
made more palatable.
I must confess to you that I thought using the Ayatollah's money
to support the Nicaraguan Resistance was a right idea. And I must
confess to you that I advocated that. To this day, you have referred
to it as a diversion. My understanding of the word "diversion" is
that what we did is we took something off the course that was
originally intended and what we did is we diverted money out of
the pocket of Mr. Ghorbanifar and in the enormous files of intelligence that I had received from our intelligence agencies, it was
very clear that Mr. Ghorbanifar and perhaps others had made
enormous profits on the September and November transactions.
They didn't make them on the November transaction because it
was never completed, but they certainly had in the August-September transaction. And I saw that idea of using the Ayatollah Khomeini's money to support the Nicaraguan Freedom Fighters as a
I still do. I don't think it was wrong. I think it was a neat idea
and I came back and I advocated that and we did it; we did it on
These three occasions were February, May and October, and in
each one of those occasions, as a consequence of that whole process,
we got three Americans back and there was no terrorism while we
were engaged in it against Americans.