Iran student leader says he regrets 1979 US Embassy attack

World
Ebrahim Asgharzadeh

In this Oct. 29, 2019, photo, Ebrahim Asgharzadeh, one of the Iranian student leaders of the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover, speaks in an interview with The Associated Press, in Tehran, Iran. Asgharzadeh says he now regrets the seizure of the diplomatic compound and the 444-day hostage crisis that followed. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – One of the Iranian student leaders of the 1979 U.S. Embassy takeover says he regrets seizing the diplomatic post and the 444-day hostage crisis that followed.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Ebrahim Asgharzadeh now acknowledges that the repercussions of the takeover still reverberate 40 years later, as tensions soar between the U.S. and Iran over Tehran’s collapsing nuclear deal with world powers.

Asgharzadeh cautions others against following in his footsteps, despite the takeover becoming enshrined in hard-line mythology. He also disputes a revisionist history offered by supporters of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard that they directed the attack.

He insists that all the blame rests with the Islamist students who let the crisis spin out of control.

Asgharzadeh says: “Like Jesus Christ, I bear all the sins on my shoulders.”

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