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Ahmadinejad 'Opposed Embassy Occupation'

Mahmud Ahmadinejad (file photo) 30 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- In an interview with Radio Farda, a former Iranian student leader today said Iranian President-elect Mahmud Ahmadinejad opposed the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and took no part in the operation.

Mohammad Ali Seyyednejad was one of the five founding members of Iran's Organization for the Consolidation of Unity, the main pro-Islamic student association at the time. He said he and Ahmadinejad were the only members of the organization's central council who spoke against the seizure of the U.S. Embassy.

"Mr. Ahmadinejad was a member of the initial Organization for the Consolidation of Unity's founding council, and later when the issue of the occupation of U.S. Embassy was put on the agenda of the central council's meeting, Mr. Ahmadinejad and I were among the opponents of the embassy occupation," Seyyednejad said.

Earlier today, two of the former 52 U.S. diplomats who were held hostage at the compound for 444 days told U.S. television they were convinced Ahmadinejad was one of their captors. The White House said it is investigating the allegations.

Ahmadinejad himself has not commented on the issue.