Ex U.S. hostages confirm Iran president’s role in embassy siege    Fri. 26 Aug 2005


Iran Focus

London, Aug. 26 – Two former United States hostages held captive in Iran for 444 days when radical Islamists seized the American embassy in Tehran in 1979 told a Persian-language satellite channel that they have no doubts that Iran’s new hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was one of the supervisors of their interrogators during their ordeal.

Retired Army colonel Charles Scott, speaking on Los Angeles-based NITV, said that though Ahmadinejad was not one of his actual interrogators, he supervised interrogation sessions while the 52 hostages were held captive in
Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison. Scott added that Ahmadinejad displayed his authority when he ordered the captives to be given small prison cells and said, “These dogs are only allowed to come out of their cells to be executed”.

Another former hostage, Kevin Hermening, who was 21 years old at the time, recounted how Ahmadinejad tried to force him to open the embassy’s safe after the takeover. He described Ahmadinejad as one of the leading figures during the ordeal.

Several other former American hostages have also asserted that that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was involved in the embassy takeover.

Last month, White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters that
Iran's president was a leader in the student movement that organised the 1979 United States embassy siege and that the U.S. was still determining whether he was a hostage-taker himself.

"We've looked into the allegations that were made about his involvement in the 1979
Iran hostage crisis. We know he was a leader of the student movement that organised the attack on the embassy and the taking of American hostages", McClellan said.

Ahmadinejad is expected to travel to
New York in September to take part in the opening ceremonies of the United Nations General Assembly.