Iran General NewsU.S. wants response to Iran allegations

U.S. wants response to Iran allegations

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AP: The State Department on Friday called on Iran to respond clearly to allegations that its incoming president was a leader of the student movement that orchestrated the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979.
“It is the responsibility of the Iranian government to respond to these charges frankly and clearly,” said spokesman Sean McCormack.
Associated Press

By BARRY SCHWEID, AP DIPLOMATIC WRITER

WASHINGTON – The State Department on Friday called on Iran to respond clearly to allegations that its incoming president was a leader of the student movement that orchestrated the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979.

“It is the responsibility of the Iranian government to respond to these charges frankly and clearly,” said spokesman Sean McCormack.

The White House said Thursday that Iran’s incoming president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was a leader of the student movement during a fundamentalist revolution that overthrew the pro-U.S. Shah and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

Six former hostages have identified the president-elect as one of their captors.

McCormack said those former hostages “have talked very specifically about what they remember as his participation in interrogations.”

“I don’t think that we have heard definitively from them on that score,” he said of Iran’s leaders.

An ongoing U.S. investigation has not produced “anything that would contradict what these former hostages have said,” McCormack said.

Other ex-hostages have said they have no basis for making such accusations.

McCormack declined to say whether the investigation had corroborated the allegations involving Iran’s incoming president.

“I would say that we remain very concerned over charges regarding President-elect Ahmadinejad,” the spokesman said. “The taking of the American embassy is something many Americans remember with both outrage and disgust.”

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