Yitzhak Shamir’s career as Israel’s Foreign Minister (1979-1983) and his first term at helm of the Israeli government in (1983-84) encompassed the unfolding of the Iranian Revolution, the Iran-Iraq war, the US Embassy hostage crisis and the creation of Hezbollah in Lebanon in 1982 as a response to the Israeli invasion and occupation. The revelation of Israeli weapon sales to Iran that were exposed during the Iran-Contra hearings and the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989 occurred during his second term as Prime Minister (1986-92). Yet neither the accolades nor the accusations published in the days since his death mention any of these events.
Nonetheless, Iran was very much at the forefront and part of the backstory of Israeli foreign policy at the time. U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz cautioned President Reagan’s National Security adviser Robert McFarlane that “Israel’s agenda regarding Iran ‘is not the same as ours’ and that relying on Israeli intelligence concerning Iran ‘could seriously skew our own perception.'”