Iran leader a '79 U.S. hostage taker?
Nov. 13, 2006: The Russian publication Kommersant published a newly located photograph of a U.S. hostage-taker in Iran circa 1979 bearing a striking resemblance to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The Iranian leader steadfastly denied he was involved in the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and the holding of 52 Americans for 444 days despite assertions to the contrary of some of those hostages and former Iranian President Abholhassan Bani-Sadr, who says he was a ringleader and the liaison with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
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Charges by the ex-hostages were made shortly after Ahmadinejad came to power June 24, 2005. But from the beginning, the White House and State Department made it clear they would rather not know the truth about Ahmadinejad because it would place the U.S. in a position of refusing to permit a head of government into the country to attend U.N. meetings.