Ahmadinejad a hostage taker? Does it matter?

There are reports that some of the American Embassy hostages recognize the new Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as being in a supervisory role during their ordeal. Others don’t recognize him, and some Iranians, even those who are political opponents, say that this is not true.

Even assuming that it is true, what difference would it make in the U.S.-Iran relationship? He is a hard-liner; we have been hard-line towards Iran even with the reformist outgoing president. There is little to no chance that our relations would improve anyway.

If proved, how would the rest of the international community react? Again, I don’t see it mattering. The hostages were freed almost 25 years ago. Despite the blatant violation of diplomatic immunity, there has been a lot of water under the bridge since then, and I believe that he would not be treated any differently than he will be anyway. I don’t expect to see any level of ostracism or sanctions other than from those countries that already treat Iran that way.

I don’t see this news as being any more than a seven-day-wonder in the U.S.


Well the Iranians taking foreigners hostage was a casus belli. That the US refused to take up the gauntlet is another issue. The Iranian action was indefensible.

It ought not to be a surprise that one of the hostage-takers is now in power. I presume the action attracted the sort of people who want to enter politics. Sort of like student government does in the West.

If he enters the US without diplomatic cover, he should be arrested and tried.

Could only happen on The West Wing. :slight_smile:

I think it would be insulting for the United States to deal with him in any public situation.

Maybe longer. This is an odd story:
Bush says wants answers on Iran leader’s past

Why is Bush mystified? Does the CIA not have a file on Mr. Ahmadinejad, or those involved in the Embassy affair? Why not? Isn’t that part of their JOB? It boggles the mind that the US government is clueless as to the former mayor of Tehran’s identity.

This story is being played as if we’re (the US) going to make a big deal of it; maybe start throwing around phrases like “a nation run by terrorists”,“part of the axis of evil”,“intent on aquiring the world’s deadliest weapons.”

Pfft. It was just a youthful indiscretion.

It’s not like he’s the first foreign leader who’s got a criminal background.

Steve Hadley, The National Security Advisor, Speaks:

It does not comfort me to see Mr. Hadley take the same nonpreemptive approach to intelligence as his predecessor Ms. Rice. The white house should be ahead of this issue, not playing catch up.

That was my line!


The embassy take over was an act of war but we had our war when the US backed Saddam and Iraq in a pretty big, albeit terribly conducted, proxy war. Much like the US backed the people who turned into the Talaban in a proxy war with Russia. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

What do you propose we do with this guy and the country he has been elected to lead, apparently freely and popularly elected. Shall we stamp out little foot and pretend he, and his country aren’t there? Shall we content ourselves with calling them names? Shall we believe that the US’s vast and well funded intelligence apparatus just had no idea who he was until some former embassy hostages publically announced that he looked very, very familiar? Shall we have the divisions now fully involved in the Iraqi occupation drop everything and go bounding across the arid plains for Teheran? Maybe we should just content ourselves with a petulant snit.

That’s what I see happening.

Paul in Saudi, what could he be tried for at this point?

Don’t heads of state have that, pretty much automatically? I know, there was Manuel Noriega, and Saddam Hussein – but diplomatic immunity does not apply between two countries at war. Unless the U.S. decides to go to war with Iran – for which we decidedly do not have the troop strength so long as we continue to occupy Iraq – Ahmadinejad is safe. Besides, it’s hard to imagine circumstances under which he would “enter the U.S.,” unless it were part of a diplomatic conference that included Fidel Castro, Kim Jong Il, Prester John, Ming the Merciless, and Hitler’s Brazilian clone.

:stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

You got it.

It was unlikely that the US would deal openly and warmly with this President, him being a hardliner.

If he was a hostage-taker, then it’s nigh impossible.

I doubt the US will do anything about it, but US/Iranian relation can only cool further now.

Honestly, I don’t see what we CAN do about it. We’re already as pissed at Iran publicly as possible for diplomatic purposes. Remember, we think of them as ‘evil’. So a hostage taker in the Presidency in Iran isn’t going to change much.

We’ll still hope for regime change without much ability to accomplish it. They’ll still not like us and not give a damn what we think of their elected leaders.

Status quo.

Better it should cool than heat up.

Nuke them from orbit. Its the only way to be sure…


Actually Fidel Castro has visited the US many times since he took power. The UN HQ is in New York City. If Ahmadinejad decided he wanted to speak at the UN himself instead of the Iranian ambassador the US would have to let him in. He could be restriced to Manhattan though.

I agree. Even if he wasn’t one of the hostage-takers, he was definitely part of the group they came from. There could be a lot of them in power in Iran now; I don’t know. It may just be that their generation has, inevitably, reached that age.

Other than that, yeah, what Jonathan Chance said. It’s salt in old wounds, but we have no cards to play against Iran now. There are no diplomatic or economic ties to cut and it’s pretty impossible to threaten them with anything.

An Embassy is (under the Vienna Convention, I think) the territory of the country what does own it. That means this fellow is liable to charges under US law. Kidnapping, conspiracy, looking at secret documents, espionage, weapons violations, speeding, cruelty to animals and of course, numerous fashion violations.

Heck, maybe we could hang the Ford Act on him as well.

All of this assumes President Bartlett is reelected.

Should that be the case, there could always be an “accident” when his plane has to make an emergency landing. :slight_smile: