Thursday, June 30, 2005

Great! Former Hostage-Taker now President

AP has this disheartening story here. It's word against word. Some of the US hostages believe The new Iranian President was among their captors. The former students that stormed the US Embassy in Tehran deny this. Here's some of the back-and-forth:

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."

But Ahmadinejad, 49, may have been among the hundreds of students uninvolved in the holding of the hostages who nevertheless had access to the embassy during that period.

Five former U.S. hostages said they recognized Ahmadinejad and were certain he was one of the hostage-takers. One hostage said Ahmadinejad interrogated him during 444 days of captivity and appeared to be the students' security chief.

Two former hostages - William J. Daugherty and Don A. Sharer - said they believe Ahmadinejad is in the photos e-mailed to them by the AP.

Former hostage David Roeder said he could not tell whether Ahmadinejad was shown in the photos. Instead, Roeder said, he recognized him from TV footage.

"It's sort of more mannerisms," he said.

The Mullahs desperately need to hold on to power. The young aren't buying into their program. The economy stagnates. Afghanistan on one border and Iraq on the other may become stable democracies. Hezbollah is under siege. The Israelis and Palestinians attempt to secure peace. It's a bad day to run Iran as the Islamofacist theocracy that it has become.

Now the Mullahs may have set the board so that a former hostage-taker of Americans holds the highest executive office of Iran. Plus, the government insists on moving forward on its nuclear plan. Desperation for power can lead to stupid decisions. It looks as though Iran's power-brokers are making a lot of them.