According to a letter written by President Ronald Reagan to a retired Lt. General in the Marine Corp on October 26, 1983 – Reagan blamed the government of Iran for what he called “the brutal slaying” of our Marines in Beirut, Lebanon.
The Beirut Barracks Bombings (October 23, 1983, in Beirut, Lebanon ) occurred during the Lebanese Civil War when two truck bombs struck separate buildings housing United States Marines and French military forces—members of the Multinational Force (MNF) in Lebanon —killing 299 American and French servicemen.
An obscure group at the time calling itself “Islamic Jihad” claimed responsibility for the bombings (source: Iran unrequited war http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1000142405297020363060457807245244344756).
What follows is a unedited and non redacted copy of that letter:
October 26, 1983
Lt. General Victor H. Krulack USMC (Ret.)
San Diego, California
Your editorial was right non. Nancy and I were in Iran (to select an example) in 1978. Whatever the Shah’s shortcomings might have been, we saw land distribution, low cost housing going up and young ladies at the university studying to be doctors and lawyers.
Today those young ladies are back in the black robes and covered faces of the long ago and are denied the right to be educated.
And just between us there is no question in our minds but that the government of Iran was very much involved in the brutal slaying of our Marines.
Brute who do I make a check out to for the kitchen and is it or is it not deductible so I can inform the fellow handling my affairs?
I won’t be able to be at the club November 10th. I’ll be on a trip to Japan and Korea.
All the best
Source: Reagan: A life in letters pg 438
See also related video: Reagan keynote speech on Marine deaths http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFA5f0n-Nak
See video: Marines in Beirut 1983 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJhzGY0ObIQ&list=PL5D8350700FD9B367