The Iran-Contra affair happened during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Senior US officials secretly sold arms to Iran, contravening the embargo which had been enacted at the time. In return for the shipment of arms, Iran promised to exert pressure on Hezbollah to release American hostages it held. Later on in the affair, Oliver North (a US military commander) decided to redirect the proceeds of the arms sale to fund the Contras – a right-wing insurgency fighting against the socialist government in Nicaragua (South America). This was illegal at the time because of the Boland Amendment which was passed unanimously in the House of Representatives in 1982.