So, like most people who weren't there, I grew up hearing the old saw that President Reagan "scared the Iranians and got the hostages released where President Carter had failed."
Funny thing, when you study the timing of it - turns out President Reagan had jack shit to do with getting the hostages released. After 444 days (about 15 months, or 1-1/4 years) in captivity, they're released before the "you are now President" ink dries - meaning just hours after he took the oath of office? Yeah. History - and lying assholes - has played games with giving President Reagan credit for something he had nothing to do with.
Sorry, but 35 years of President Reagan getting credit for something he could not possibly have had any significant impact on makes the "conspiracy theory" of promising the Iranians "When I'm President, I'll make sure you get all kinds of weapons, if only you hold onto those hostages a few more weeks, so I can get all the credit for setting them free!" suddenly sound a whole lot more plausible.
(Okay, yes the release of hostages in 1981 and the later illegal sale of arms to Iran five years later were likely unrelated, except possibly in the context that there may already have been an existing relationship between unethical people. I don't know. I'm sure real historians have already dug around, and that's beyond the scope of this rant.)
Just to come back around - the point of this rant is make sure the truth about the Iranian hostages gets out - President Carter got them freed, NOT President Reagan - over a year of negotiations doesn't suddenly end within hours of a new guy taking office, bullshit if he's the "world's biggest cowboy."