Iran General NewsIran leader linked to 1979 hostage crisis – report

Iran leader linked to 1979 hostage crisis – report

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Reuters: Three Americans held hostage in the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran remember Iran’s president-elect as a key player in the seizure, The Washington Times reported on Thursday. In interviews with the newspaper, the former hostages recalled Iran’s ultra-conservative President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad interrogating captives, the report said.
Reuters

WASHINGTON – Three Americans held hostage in the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran remember Iran’s president-elect as a key player in the seizure, The Washington Times reported on Thursday.

In interviews with the newspaper, the former hostages recalled Iran’s ultra-conservative President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad interrogating captives, the report said.

“As soon as I saw his picture in the paper, I knew that was the bastard,” retired Army Col. Charles Scott, 73, a former hostage, told the newspaper.

“He was one of the top two or three leaders,” said Scott, of Jonesboro, Georgia. “The new president of Iran is a terrorist.”

Another former hostage, retired Navy Capt. Donald Sharer remembered Ahmadinejad as “a hard-liner, a cruel individual,” the newspaper reported.

“I know he was an interrogator,” said Sharer, 64, of Bedford, Iowa. He told the Times that he was once questioned by Ahmadinejad but did not recall the subject of the interrogation.

Kevin Hermening of Mosinee, Wisconsin, a 20-year-old Marine security guard when the embassy was stormed, told the paper that he had contact with Ahmadinejad right after the takeover.

“He was involved in interrogating me the day we were taken captive,” Hermening was quoted as saying. He said interrogators sought the combinations for “safes and other things that were locked.”

Ahmadinejad, who won Iran’s presidential election by a landslide last week, was a 23-year-old university student at the time of the takeover in November 1979 and was a founding member of the radical student group that organized the storming of the U.S. Embassy compound, the Times said.

Ahmadinejad’s office has denied he helped storm the embassy but did not comment on whether the president-elect had other duties during the 444-day hostage ordeal, it said.

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