Ahmadinejad pictures: Iran Gov't denies hostage-taker allegations

Monday, July 4, 2005

Speaking to a group of lawmakers from provinces of Azerbaijan on Monday, Iranian president-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called "baseless" and "questionable" the controversial spread of photo comparisons of himself to the image of a hostage-taker.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi, said during a interview with Alison Caldwell on The World Today on Sunday that, "Mr. Ahmadinejad's involvement in the US Embassy takeover was a lie, which was even confirmed by the Americans. That was evidently propaganda. We should be aware and not let such propaganda lead us to misunderstanding and pessimism."

Former secret agent Saeed Hajjarian, a one-time top adviser to outgoing President Mohammad Khatami, identified the man in a 1979 photo as Taqi Mohammadi, who was jailed in 1981 for his involvement in bombing that killed the president and prime minister in Tehran. According to a story in the Jordan Times, "Mohammadi committed suicide in Evin prison. I myself was a witness to take his body out of jail for burial," Hajjarian said.

Many top news sources reported that Ahmadinejad was believed by 5 former hostages of the 1981 hostage crisis in Teheran to be one of the hostage-takers or interrogators of that incident. Two images have been used commonly across the media on this topic. The first, a known picture of Ahmadinejad during his student days and the second an image of one of the hostagetakers, both in black and white. One or both of these images have been placed side-by-side on a number of current images of the president in most news media.

Fox News chose to enlarge features of the known student photo of Ahmadinejad alongside current photos of himself, i.e. comparing his nose and eyes with the same features on himself. To no great surprise, the similarity is striking.

Currently, U.S. officials find "serious discrepancies" between images of the Ahmadinejad and the mentioned images of the terrorist.


  • "President-elect: Iran wants fair, progressive ties with world" — Payvand's Iran News, July 4, 2005
  • Alison Caldwell. "Iranian Govt rejects allegations against President-elect" — The World Today, July 4, 2005
  • "Don't fall for Ahmadinejad slur campaign, Iran says" — Reuters, July 3, 2005
  • Associated Press. "Hostage-taker was not Ahmadinejad — aide" — Jordan Times, July 3, 2005