Ever since Mahmoud Amadinejad was elected president of Iran, people have been arguing over whether he took part in the seizure of the American embassy in Tehran in 1979. No proof of his participation in what America considers an act of terrorism has yet come to light. But among photographs taken by a Soviet citizen who was near the embassy on the day it was stormed, Evgeny Zhirnov, a columnist for Vlast magazine, has discovered a face that looks very much like Mr. Ahmadinejad's.No és la primera vegada que s'assegura que Ahmadinejad hi va participar. Alguns exostatges, periodistes occidentals i opositors polítics d'Ahmadinejad ho han afirmat en diverses ocasions, com recull Daniel Pipes:
Five former American hostages confirmed that Ahmadinejad as one of their captors. William J. Daugherty, a former intelligence officer, said he saw Ahmadinejad 8 to 10 times at the start of his captivity: "I recognized him right off. … I remember so much his hatred of Americans. It just emanated from every pore of his body."
BBC correspondent John Simpson recalled seeing Ahmadinejad on the embassy grounds. Abholhassan Bani-Sadr, a former president of Iran long living in exile, asserted that Ahmadinejad "wasn't among the decision-makers but he was among those inside the Embassy."
But Ahmadinejad's office denied these allegations and other hostage-takers, some of them now political opponents of Ahmadinejad – including Mohsen Mirdamadi, Hamid Reza, Abbas Abdi, Mohammad-Reza Khatami, and Saeed Hajjarian Jalaiepour – confirmed his account. One former American hostage denied Ahmadinejad had been a captor. Amir Taheri, editor-in-chief of a Tehran newspaper in the shah's time, concluded that "it is almost certain Ahmadinejad was not directly involved in the US embassy episode."