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Former US Hostage: Iranian leader is a terrorist

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by basso, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    jimmy carter, the gift that keeps on giving...

    http://www.washtimes.com/world/20050630-124235-3835r.htm

    --
    Iran leader linked to '79 embassy crisis
    By Joyce Howard Price and David R. Sands
    THE WASHINGTON TIMES
    Published June 30, 2005
    Americans held in the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Iran said yesterday they clearly recall Iranian President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad playing a central role in the takeover, interrogating captives and demanding harsher treatment for the hostages.
    "As soon as I saw his picture in the paper, I knew that was the b*stard," said retired Army Col. Charles Scott, 73, a former hostage who lives in Jonesboro, Ga.
    "He was one of the top two or three leaders," Col. Scott said in a telephone interview. "The new president of Iran is a terrorist."
    The new president's hard-line political views and his background as a student radical in the Iranian Revolution are well known.
    But recollections of Mr. Ahmadinejad's direct and personal role in the embassy drama promises to complicate the already rocky relations between Iran's new president and the Bush administration.
    Donald Sharer, a retired Navy captain who was for a time a cellmate of Col. Scott at the Evin prison in northern Tehran, remembered Mr. Ahmadinejad as "a hard-liner, a cruel individual."
    "I know he was an interrogator," said Capt. Sharer, now 64 and living in Bedford, Iowa. He said he was personally questioned by Mr. Ahmadinejad on one occasion but does not recall the subject of the interrogation.
    Col. Scott recalled an incident when Mr. Ahmadinejad berated a friendly Iranian guard who had allowed the two Americans to visit another U.S. hostage in a neighboring cell. Col. Scott, who understands Farsi, said Mr. Ahmadinejad told the guard, "You shouldn't let these pigs out of their cells."
    Col. Scott said he responded by making a rude gesture to Mr. Ahmadinejad.
    The man about to become Iran's sixth president since the revolution became "red-faced" and stormed out of the cell.
    U.S. officials have condemned the voting procedures that led to Mr. Ahmadinejad's upset in a runoff win over moderate cleric Hashemi Rafsanjani on June 25.
    Iran's hard-line Islamic rulers, who have long and close ties to the incoming president, barred all but a handful of the 1,000 candidates who sought to run in the election.
    It has long been known that Mr. Ahmadinejad, then a 23-year-old engineering student at Tehran's Elm-o Sanaat University, played a critical role in planning the embassy takeover in November 1979.
    An ardent supporter of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Mr. Ahmadinejad was a founding member of the Office for Strengthening Unity Between Universities and Theological Seminaries. The OSU, as it became known, was closely linked to Ayatollah Khomeini.
    The OSU organized the storming of the U.S. Embassy compound in Tehran. Mr. Ahmadinejad backed the decision and reportedly proposed the student radicals should storm the Soviet Union's embassy as well.
    Mo Jazayeri, executive editor of the London-based Iran Focus, a news service that features reporting critical of Iran's Islamic regime, said in a telephone interview that Mr. Ahmadinejad "played an important role as the main security chief" inside the embassy compound.
    Iran Focus yesterday circulated a November 1979 Associated Press photo that it claimed showed a young Mr. Ahmadinejad beside a blindfolded American hostage. But neither the Associated Press nor The Washington Times could verify that the figure in the photo was the future Iranian leader.
    Mr. Ahmadinejad's office has denied he helped storm the embassy and said the man in the photo is not the president-elect. But the office did not comment on whether Mr. Ahmadinejad had other duties during the 444-day hostage ordeal.
    Another former hostage, Kevin Hermening of Mosinee, Wis., said he came into contact with Mr. Ahmadinejad right after the takeover.
    "He was involved in interrogating me the day we were taken captive," recalled Mr. Hermening, who, at 20, was the youngest hostage.
    Mr. Hermening, a Marine security guard at the Tehran embassy, said his interrogators were seeking the combinations for "safes and other things that were locked."
    "There is absolutely no reason the United States should be trying to normalize relations with a man who seems intent on trying to force-feed the world with state-sponsored terrorism," Mr. Hermening said.
     
  2. triplet

    triplet Contributing Member

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    All right.... let's bomb Iran.
     
  3. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    works for me. should've done it in 1979.
     
  4. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    Hostage-Takers: Iran's Leader Had No Role

    By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer
    16 minutes ago

    TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's president-elect belonged to the group that seized the U.S. Embassy in 1979, but he played no role in either capturing or holding Americans hostage, according to friends, associates and a former hostage-taker interviewed Thursday.

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the hard-liner elected Iran's new president last week, initially opposed the embassy takeover, although he later dropped his opposition, an aide said.

    A former hostage-taker also said, "He was not part of us."

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050630...7aiuUys0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3b2NibDltBHNlYwM3MTY-

    ;)
     
  5. Major

    Major Member

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    Iran is going to be an interesting test case of our support for Democracy... this guy was democratically elected. There are some reports of fraud, but he apparently won quite a bit of support across the country, and he was neither the reform candidate, nor the candidate that the spiritual leaders wanted - so he wasn't supported by either party in power, from what I can gather.

    So now... what happens when democracies vote for things we don't like? That will be an interesting situation to watch.
     
  6. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    Very true!

    And I guess all politicians have skeletons in their closet and the people have to choose the best they can! Bush was a coke fiend and a deserter and this guy may have been a hostage taker.

    Oh well! To each his own.
     
  7. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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    A few South American countries may have an interesting take on that question.
     
  8. Oski2005

    Oski2005 Contributing Member

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    At least Carter tried to free the hostages instead of trading them for weapons. If the rescue mission had gone to plan, I wonder what your tune would be.
     
  9. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    why the wink? you find the iranians and al-jazeera more creible than one of their hostages?

    i'll see your ;) and raise you a :eek:

    http://www.iranfocus.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=2677


    --
    Iran Focus

    London, Jun. 29 - Iran Focus has learnt that the photograph of Iran’s newly-elected president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, holding the arm of a blindfolded American hostage on the premises of the United States embassy in Tehran was taken by an Associated Press photographer in November 1979.

    Prior to the first round of the presidential elections on June 17, Iran Focus was the first news service to reveal Ahmadinejad’s role in the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

    The identity of Ahmadinejad in the photograph was revealed to Iran Focus by a source in Tehran, whose identity could not be revealed for fear of persecution.

    [​IMG]

    Soon after the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Ahmadinejad, who was studying in Tehran’s University of Science and Technology, became a member of the central council of the Office for Strengthening of Unity Between Universities and Theological Seminaries, the main pro-Khomeini student body.

    The OSU played a central role in the seizure of the United States embassy in Tehran in November 1979. Members of the OSU central council, who included Ahmadinejad as well as Ibrahim Asgharzadeh, Mohsen Mirdamadi, Mohsen Kadivar, Hashem Aghajari, and Abbas Abdi, were regularly received by Khomeini himself.

    Former OSU officials involved in the takeover of the U.S. embassy said Ahmadinejad was in charge of security during the occupation, a key role that put him in direct contact with the nascent security organizations of the clerical regime and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards, which he later joined.

    After the 444-day occupation of the U.S. embassy, Ahmadinejad joined the special forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office, based in Evin Prison. The “Revolutionary Prosecutor” was Assadollah Lajevardi, who earned the nickname the Butcher of Evin after the execution of thousands of political dissidents in the 1980s.

    Defectors from the clerical regime’s security forces have revealed that Ahmadinejad led the firing squads that carried out many of the executions. He personally fired coup de grace shots at the heads of prisoners after their execution and became known as “Tir Khalas Zan” (literally, the Terminator).
     
  10. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    The election in Iran is interesting. The religious council forbid anyone not of their liking from running, so it wasn't the ideal practice of democracy.

    However, it is far closer to democracy than anything we see from U.S. allies in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Kuwait, Uzbekistan, etc. The elections in Iran were miles away closer to democracy than anything our allies in the region have come up with.
     
  11. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    true, and by that standard soviet russia was comparable to athens...
     
  12. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    Since when were the Athenians our allies? Why are you comparing ancient civilizations to something that existed in the last century?

    You can pretend it doesn't make a difference or isn't relevant if you want, but you were the one on this bbs proclaiming how democracy was on the march because Egypt talked about allowing some opposing parties to field candidates, and the Saudis were going to hold some minor elections. It is odd that you would talk about it, and then later when the topic is brought up again you try and dismiss it.

    Given Bush's stated policy of supporting democracy in the middle east and mentioning Egypt and Saudi Arabia as making progress, I am curious to see what the official stand will be on the Iranian elections.
     
  13. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    http://bbs.clutchfans.net/showthread.php?t=98344

    Perhaps most revealing is his response to a question about Iran. His words are polite but the President’s body language is eloquent. As I read him a quote from the latest rantings of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian President, and remind him that the Iranian President was a leader of the students who took Americans hostage in Tehran in 1979, he is visibly agitated. He glances at his advisers with a look of disgust that suggests that the chances of a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear crisis are remoter than ever
     
  14. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    So Condi's line about supporting democracy over stability has already gone out the window?

    Wow, that didn't last long.
     
  15. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    iran is neither a democracy, nor, ultimately, that stable.
     
  16. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    I already posted their failings at democracy but since the administration and supporters such as thereself are quick to trumpet lesser examples of democratization in regimes that are U.S. allies, and Condi has the new democracy over stability stance, I was wondering if there would be some consistency.

    The problem is that Bush and others lose credibility when they only champion democracy that works for them, and not democracy that results in choices they don't like.
     
  17. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    which "democracy" are you referring to here? can't be iran, since it's not a democracy. elections do not a democracy make, unless they're fair and free.
     
  18. Major

    Major Member

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    Iran has been on the path to reform for a while. Certainly not completely, given their religious leaders and the power they wield, but their last President was also democratically elected and was a reformer that angered those religious leaders. So it's not a purely puppet-type government controlled by the clerics. They are probably far closer to the democratic ideals we are looking at than any other nation in that region right now.
     
  19. bnb

    bnb Contributing Member

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    I fail to see how this is Bush's fault, or how the election of a former hostage taker can be spun against US policy. Some of y'all carry a lot of baggage. It's a wonder you can make it through the day ;).

    Arafat, of course, went from terrorist to Nobel peace prize winner and diplomat. Hardly a good example, true, but still...the way of the world, I suppose. There are a few African leaders with not so rosey pasts. The Sein Finn boys are rooted in terrorism. Idi Amin had lunch with the Queen. Pretty big leap to compare a party-boy draft dodger to these hooligans, however!!

    I guess a quarter century later, there's not much to be done about it. Odd, that. But the way it is. Perhaps he has rehabilitated himself.
     
  20. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    I agree 100% with what you just said. But if you and Bush are going to trumpet lesser examples of democratic progress in nations aligned to the U.S. It is strikes at the credibility of such claims to lash out at elections that are much closer to true democracy.
     

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