This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/727

Deja vu all over again :Terrorist becomes Iranian president as cronies deny the obvious - Did someone say takiyaa ?

USF professor Ramadan Shallah flight from Tampa to take over leadership of Islamic Jihad was met by disbelief and denial
July 1, 2005

MIM: According to an entry on Wikipedia:

In 1979, Ahmadinejad was the head representative of IUST to the student gatherings that met with the Ayatollah Khomeini. In these sessions, the foundations of the first Office for Strengthening Unity (daftar-e tahkim-e vahdat), the student organization behind seizure of the United States embassy which led to the Iran hostage crisis, were created. During the seizure of the embassy, Ahmadinejad suggested a simultaneous attempt against the Soviet Union embassy, which was voted down.

Some have also alleged that Ahmadinejad had been a "Last Shot-in-the-head" executioner of political prisoners, shooting the executed prisoners after they were shot by a firing squad to ensure that they are dead, in the Evin prison in Tehran, and claim that he has delivered around a thousand such shots. But Ahmadinejad denies these allegations.

[edit]

http://64.233.187.104/search?q=cache:KtF88p7-buIJ:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Ahmadinezhad+ahmadinejad+executioner&hl=en


MIM: Ex American embassy hostage claims that newly elected Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was one of their tormenters is being met with denial by his cronies. The allegation that he was an executioner of political prisoners has received no mention in the press, except for one obscure article where the author -who appears to have the same contempt for Ahamadinejad as America writes that reports in the Farsi press attest to this . Adding executioner to his hostage taker/ torturer resume would only help to enchance Ahadinejad's image as hardliner, and may be a 'public secret' in Iran which helped him get elected as well.

This brings to mind the situation when Ramadan Abdullah Shallah, the leader of the terrorist group Islamic Jihad, left the University of Southern Florida in 1995 and appeared on television next to the coffin of Fathi Shikaki, the IJ leader who had been assassinated by the Mossad. It took days of denial until incredulous law enforcement and university officials conceded that the new Islamic Jihad was indeed Shallah, who had been lecturing on Islam at the University of Southern Florida only a few short days before and said he was leaving to 'visit his sick mother'.

As devout Muslims Ahmadinejad and his supporters practice 'art of takiyaa' which is permitted and obligatory deception to futher the cause of Jihad. The most widely spun quote regarding Ahmadinejad's role in the hostage taking responded is that he reportedly did not appove the hostage taking because "We believed that if we did that the world would swallow them up". An examination of this statement leads one to conclude the opposite.. It can be inferred that Ahmadinejad thought that the seizure would lead to the death and imprisonment of the students who would be buried without acheiving their mission and not acheive matyrdom status.

. The reference to "the world swallowing us up" could also be taken to mean that the group anticipated an all out assault which would have killed them at the outset and rendered the action useless for propaganda value as it would have made the news for a while and then dissapeared from the headlines.

It can also be deduced that even if Ahmadinejab had really voiced his disapproval - others did not agree and went on to storm the embassy. When Ahmadinejab saw that "the world had not swallowed" the hostage takers, and that the attack got the blessing of Khomeini, he simply joined the group after the assault was a fait accompli. His political credibility would have been squandered at that time if this was not the case. It should also be noted that several of the Iranian government ministers who are not denying Ahmadinejad's role had themselves taken part in the embassy siege.

What gives more credence to the evidence that the Iranian president was a ringleader in the gang that took Americans hostage at the US embassy is the stories which are reported to have been circulating in the Farsi press, about his roll as executioner who fired the final into prisoners who were sentenced to death by a firing squad. According to one article:

"...Much is made of Ahmadinejad's background in the basij and pasdaran security forces (meaning he comes from a humble background), and allegations have been well circulated (at least in the Farsi language press) that he used to deliver the finishing shot at the execution of political prisoners...."http://www.payvand.com/news/05/jun/1215.html

From this can be concluded that an enterprising reporter could find out if indeed the Farsi press had contained reports to this effect - since it is unlikely that that any of this information would have found it's way on to the internet if it was published 26 years ago.

MIM: Masters of Deceit : Here are some denials which have been issued by Ahmadinejab's cronies regarding his involvement in the hostage taking:

*Ahmadinejad was a member of the Office of Strengthening Unity, the student organization that planned the embassy takeover, but he was opposed to taking the U.S. Embassy, several of his associates said.

The aide, Meisan Rowhani, told the AP from Tehran that Ahmadinejad was asked during recent private meetings if he had a role in the hostage taking. Rowhani said he replied, "No. I believed that if we do that the world will swallow us."

Mohammad Ali Sayed Nejad, a longtime friend of the president-elect, said that in 1979, "Ahmadinejad had focused his fight against communism and Marxism and he was one of the opponents of seizing the U.S. Embassy. He was a constant opponent."

Rowhani, the aide to Ahmadinejad, said Ahmadinejad said during the recent meeting that he stopped opposing the embassy seizure after the revolution's leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, expressed support for it. But the president-elect said he never took part.

"Definitely he was not among the students who took part in the seizure," said Abbas Abdi, the leader of the hostage-takers. Abdi has since become a leading supporter of reform and sharply opposed Ahmadinejad. "He was not part of us. He played no role in the seizure, let alone being responsible for security" for the students.

MIM: Note that spinmeister Rowhani specifically denies that Ahmadinejab played no role in the seize but does not mention the role which he played in the months during which the hostage crisis played out. Given the fact that Ahmadinejab changed his view after Khomeini sanctioned the hostage taken and that Ahmadinejab was a high profile student leader it impossible to believe that he was not involved in this for the simple fact that his committement to the cause of fundamentalism would have been eroded to the point where he could never have acheived the political position he is in today.


*"Mr Ahmadinejad was never one of students following the path of the imam that took the spy den [US embassy]. He was never there," said Mohsen Mirdamadi, a former hostage-taker who went on to become a member of parliament.

"Those who say he was one of the students are making a mistake. Even last night I was shown a picture but the person in the picture had little resemblance to him.

"I think that it is the picture which has led to the mistake. As I said he was never there. He was never among us even when we were deliberating over the issue," said Mr Mirdamadi.

Abbas Abdi, who like Mr Mirdamadi is regarded as one of the instigators of the embassy seizure, also fiercely denied that Mr Ahmadinejad had anything to do with the operation.

"I say again: No Sir, he was not one of them. What I say is very clear. If you ask me if I know somebody and I say `no', that is all I can say."

MIM: Here again is a specific denial that Ahmadinejab "was never among us even when we were debating the issue", and that "he played no role in the seizure" or "took the spy den". Which once again raises the distinct possibilty that Ahmadinejab became involved in the embassy siege after Khomeini had given his blessing and did not take place in the initial assault . ( Believing it would be met with overwhelming force, hence the reference to "the world swallowing us up"). As for being responsible for "the security of the students" this seems to be both a cynical and gratuitous allusion to Ahmadinejab's having been 'responsible for the 'security' of the hostages".

MIM: Another piece of information which points to the probability that the new Iranian president is a former terrorist can be seen in this account by the highest ranking woman in what was considered a 'moderate' Iranian parliament who aided the hostage takers as interpreter (she had lived in the US as a child and attended public school in Philadelphia) who said she could consider killing the US hostages:

"...The current Iranian vice president and head of the Environment Department, Massoumeh Ebtekar, was the chief interpreter and spokeswoman for the radical students who took over the U.S. Embassy and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

Dubbed "Sister Mary" by the American press because her heavy head scarf resembled a nun's habit, Ebtekar gave almost nightly interviews during the standoff, denouncing the hostages as spies and accusing the United States of committing crimes.

Some of the former students have said Ahmadinejad opposed the takeover and played no role in it, even though he was a member of the hard-line Islamic student group that seized the embassy.

Ebtekar, who is also one of Iran's six vice presidents, has been the highest-ranking woman in the moderate-leaning government of President Mohammad Khatami.

She acknowledged her part in the U.S. Embassy takeover in remarks to reporters in 1998.

"The generation that is in executive and policy-making jobs is a revolutionary generation that played an active role in every stage of the revolution," Ebtekar said then.

A report in The New York Times that year had detailed her involvement, which was not listed on Ebtekar's biography.

She was an 18-year-old freshman at Polytechnic University in Tehran when she became the public voice of the student takeover. She spoke English better than others in the student group because she had lived in suburban Philadelphia as a child and had attended American schools.

She once told an ABC News reporter that she could imagine being provoked into killing the hostages.

"Yes," she said. "When I've seen an American gun being lifted up and killing my brothers and sisters in the streets, of course."

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http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/07/01/MNGHRDHP4V1.DTL

Supporters, detractors deny U.S. hostage link
Some ex-detainees say they remember Iran's new leader

- Mike Weiss, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, July 1, 2005

The controversy over whether Iran's new hard-line president-elect was involved in the 1979 hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran took a new turn Thursday as both supporters and opponents of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied that he had taken part in the operation.

"I don't believe it's him," said the leader of the group that took over the embassy, Abbas Abdi, when he was shown a photo of the man several former hostages have identified as Ahmadinejad. "I don't even think it resembles him. He was not part of us. He played no role in the seizure."

However, Mark Bowden, whose book on the hostage crisis, "Guests of the Ayotollah," will be published next year, said Ahmadinejad had been a leader of the group whose members seized the embassy and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

"He was one of the top members of the group and directly involved in decision-making," said Bowden, whose book is based on interviews with many of the hostages and hostage-takers. "Not so much in the supervision of hostages - - that was left to lesser lights."

He said the denials now emanating from Iran might be motivated by internal politics as well as by the international uproar.

He noted that Ahmadinejad, 49, who was elected president in a landslide vote last Friday, "very assiduously denies he was involved. Probably smartly, because it doesn't help him now that he's a national figure, and it doesn't do him any favors in dealing with the rest of the world."

Even in Iran, "being a hostage-taker is not popular anymore. My impression is that a majority of Iranians respond today to the taking of the embassy as a huge mistake that led to great problems for their country in the last 25 years," said Bowden, whose book "Black Hawk Down" looked at another difficult moment in U.S. history, the botched rescue of a U.S. helicopter crew in war-torn Somalia.

The Nov. 4, 1979, takeover in Iran followed protests demanding the return of the shah, who was in New York after his overthrow in the Islamic revolution. Diplomatic relations between Iran and the United States have been severed since then. Moments after Ronald Reagan was inaugurated in January 1981 -- and after the United States released almost $8 billion in Iranian assets -- the 52 hostages were released.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said the Bush administration took the allegations by former hostages very seriously. He added: "We are looking into them to better understand the facts. I think the news reports and statement from several former American hostages raise many questions about his past."

Six former American hostages have said they recognized Ahmadinejad.

"As soon as I saw the face, it rang a lot of bells to me," Don Sharer of Bedford, Ind., told CNN. The former naval attache at the Tehran embassy said he was 99 percent sure of his identification. "When you're placed in a life- threatening situation of that nature, you just remember those things," he said.

Another former hostage, William J. Daugherty, a former CIA officer who now lives in Savannah, Ga., said he remembered Ahmadinejad "acting in a supervisory or leadership capacity" during the early weeks of his captivity.

Retired Col. David Roeder, 66, who was deputy Air Force attache at the embassy in 1979, has told reporters that Ahmadinejad watched as interrogators threatened to kidnap Roeder's handicapped son in the United States and mutilate him "if I didn't start to cooperate."

However, at least one former hostage, Air Force Col. Thomas E. Schaefer, has said he does not believe it is the man in photos of the hostage crisis is Ahmadinejad.

A close aide to the president-elect, Kaveh Eshtehardi, refused to look at photographs the former hostages said resembled Ahmadinejad.

"We won't enter a media game," he said. "We won't heed such allegations. "

Ahmadinejad's official biography says that while he was a student at Tehran's University of Science and Technology, he was a member of the Office for Strengthening Unity, a radical student organization whose members included the organizers of the embassy takeover.

He has told interviewers that he opposed the operation, because "I believed that if we (took over the U.S. embassy), the world will swallow us."

A number of politically prominent Iranians -- including both reformers who oppose Ahmadinejad, and hard-liners inside and outside the government -- were involved in the hostage-taking, Bowden said. Among them were speaker of the parliament Mohsen Mirdamadi and Mohammed Hashemi, the first deputy of the Iranian intelligence agency. Hashemi and his wife, the vice president of Iran, Massoumeh Ebtekar, met inside the embassy during the hostage crisis.

"Ahmadinejad is just the most recent of the central players in the takeover of the American Embassy to arise to positions of power in the Iranian government," Bowden said.

E-mail Mike Weiss at mikeweiss@sfchronicle.com.

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http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-07-01-white-house-iran_x.htm

White House studies Iran leader's background

WASHINGTON (AP) The White House said Friday it would not be surprised if the newly elected Iranian president turns out to have been a main participant in the holding of American hostages in Tehran a quarter century ago. But the administration said it was still trying to determine the facts.

Five former U.S. hostages who saw Iranian president-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in photos or on television said they believe he was among the hostage-takers. One said he was interrogated by Ahmadinejad.

"I don't think it should be surprising to anyone if it turns out to be true," presidential spokesman Scott McClellan said. "This is a regime run by an unelected few that only allowed its handpicked candidates to run in an election that was well short of free and fair."

The administration has acknowledged that it has followed Ahmadinejad's career in Iranian politics, so it was unclear why the United States could not say if he were a hostage-taker or whether the issue had been explored before. "Given the nature of the regime and his own past, I don't think it should be surprising," McClellan said.

If Ahmadinejad turns out to have been a participant, he wouldn't be the first top Iranian official with a role in the 1979 crisis.

The current Iranian vice president and head of the Environment Department, Massoumeh Ebtekar, was the chief interpreter and spokeswoman for the radical students who took over the U.S. Embassy and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

Dubbed "Sister Mary" by the American press because her heavy head scarf resembled a nun's habit, Ebtekar gave almost nightly interviews during the standoff, denouncing the hostages as spies and accusing the United States of committing crimes.

Some of the former students have said Ahmadinejad opposed the takeover and played no role in it, even though he was a member of the hard-line Islamic student group that seized the embassy.

Ebtekar, who is also one of Iran's six vice presidents, has been the highest-ranking woman in the moderate-leaning government of President Mohammad Khatami.

She acknowledged her part in the U.S. Embassy takeover in remarks to reporters in 1998.

"The generation that is in executive and policy-making jobs is a revolutionary generation that played an active role in every stage of the revolution," Ebtekar said then.

A report in The New York Times that year had detailed her involvement, which was not listed on Ebtekar's biography.

She was an 18-year-old freshman at Polytechnic University in Tehran when she became the public voice of the student takeover. She spoke English better than others in the student group because she had lived in suburban Philadelphia as a child and had attended American schools.

She once told an ABC News reporter that she could imagine being provoked into killing the hostages.

"Yes," she said. "When I've seen an American gun being lifted up and killing my brothers and sisters in the streets, of course."

In the turbulent early days of Iran's Islamic Revolution, Ahmadinejad was more concerned with putting down leftists and communists at universities than striking at Americans, former students said. During the long standoff, he was writing and speaking against leftist students, they said.

National security adviser Stephen Hadley said Thursday that the United States has followed his career. "Obviously, one of the things you do when you get a report like this is look back and see what you have in the files and that's the process that's going on now," he said.

Hadley said the White House was looking into the photographs and had not reached any conclusions. "They are allegations at the present time," he said. "We need to get the facts."

Hadley stressed that the United States would have to deal with Ahmadinejad, even if the administration did not approve of the way he was elected. President Bush denounced the election, saying it was designed to maintain power in the hands of an unelected few who denied ballot access to more than 1,000 people who wanted to run.

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/727