In The New York Times today, From Heroes to State Enemies.
Mohsen Mirdamadi had been applauded as a hero by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini for helping to lead the takeover of the United States Embassy in Iran 30 years ago Wednesday.Read the rest.
Today, he is in prison, accused as an enemy of the state.
Mr. Mirdamadi’s crime was working as a leader of the reform movement, specifically as the general secretary of the Islamic Iran Participation Front, the largest reformist party.
But he is hardly alone among former hostage-takers who now find themselves under suspicion and siege by the authorities. As Iran marks the anniversary of an event that helped define its political identity, many former hostage-takers and their allies are committed to the political opposition, and therefore pose a credible threat to the leadership’s legitimacy, analysts said.
“The fact that so many of the students of ’79 eventually came to a reformist position in Iranian politics is not such a mystery when you remember that the reformist position in Iranian politics is not necessarily a pro-Western position,” said Michael Axworthy, a former British diplomat and Iran expert who lectures at the University of Exeter.
Added: A Story of 13 Aban.
See previous post for more background.