WASHINGTON, July 28 (Reuters) – In its strongest statement
so far, the White House said on Thursday that Iran’s
president-elect was a leader of the student movement that
organized the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.
But the United States has not yet determined whether
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was involved in the taking of hostages, a
White House national security council spokesman said.
The White House has been checking on assertions by former
American hostages that Ahmadinejad was involved in the siege on
the U.S. embassy.
“We have looked into the allegations concerning Iranian
president-elect Ahmadinejad’s involvement in the 1979 hostage
crisis,” the spokesman said.
“Mr. Ahmadinejad was a leader of the student movement that
organized the attack on the embassy and the taking of American
hostages,” he said. “However, we are still investigating
whether or not he was explicitly one of the hostage-takers.”
Several Americans who were held during the 444-day 1979-81
hostage crisis have said they recognized Ahmadinejad as a
Ahmadinejad has denied he was involved in storming the U.S.
embassy in Tehran, denials which are supported by leading
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