In the meantime, accounts existing about the seizure of the embassy can be interesting. In the book Students and Hostages: An Oral History of the Student Followers of the Line of Imam, published by the Islamic Revolution Documents Center, there are examples of such accounts from eyewitnesses and activists. A short review of the accounts is given below.




How Imam Khomeini was informed of the seizure




Seyyed Mohammad Mousavi Khoeiniha tells about how Imam Khomeini was informed of the Student Followers of the Line of Imam’s seizure of the embassy and his reaction: For close ties I had with Haj Ahmad Agha (Imam Khomeini’s son), I used to have phone calls to him almost every day. But I didn’t tell him about the siege until the very day and during the first moments, when I called Imam’s office and talked to Haj Ahmad Agha. I explained to him that a number of students who were very trusted and followed Imam, had done such thing in reaction to US policies.




Haj Ahmad Agha came back after some minutes, I did not hang up. He quoted Imam as having said “Tell him you took the right place. Hold it fast!”




When I quoted Imam to the Student Followers of the Line of Imam members, a scenic moral took them over and they were so happy. Maybe it was more important to them than the real capture that what they had done had delighted Imam.




How Student Followers of the Line of Imam treated the hostages




Since some captives had after their release alleged harsh treatment, Solitary confinement, and torture, Mousavi Khoeiniha commenting on the Student Followers of the Line of Imam’s treatment of the hostages said: I one hundred percent deny the existence of Solitary confinement cells. The best witness for that is the release of women and the black during the very first weeks. If such programs had existed, they should have told such stories in the very beginning. Nonetheless, basically there was no reason for torturing them.




The ambassador, charge d’aiffaire, and all other high ranking staff of the embassy had left Iran and those who had been arrested where executive employees. Military advisors were also outside the embassy premises. Of course there were those among the hostages whom we used to incarcerate alone in a room for things they did, such as trying escape. There were no cells there at all, there were just rooms. Adding to that, the students had no specialty in doing that. Furthermore, these people should have been released in the end. How can you torture people who are constantly watched by international bodies, such as the Red Cross or the father who came to do their religious rituals, and have nobody notice this? These are completely baseless statements and are in no way documented.




A payment by the US to Banisadr




Hossein Sheikholeslam has commented on the documents that were seized at the embassy. He points to those related to Abolhassan Banisadr and says: I think the most interesting documents of the CIA are those related to Banisadr. These documents, which indicate Banisadr lack of qualification, were surrendered to the Majlis as well. The Americans had found out that their problem was that they had no contact with Imam Khomeini or those close to him. When Imam was in Paris, the CIA decided to have people among those around him so that it could gather information. The CIA studies these people, that is, the people with close connection to the Imam. The CIA then finds out that Banisadr could be the guy. That he can be contacted and worked with. Someone calls on him as factory owner and producer from Paris.




One of the things that worried Ahern was this. He used to say that this was America’s biggest case, but they would not let me enter into it. Ahern used to provide logistics for the man who had called from Paris, to book hotels and cars. He used to come from Paris and meet with Banisadr. It was not clear whether he would provide Ahern with many of the things discussed during the meetings.




It is in those documents that he said: I went to Banisadr. His belly has become fatter. It is clear he eats well and does not work out. They have given as gift to him a gold watch. He loves it so much since he takes a look at it every now and then. Banisadr’s CIA contact visits Tehran a few times. It was found in the latest documents found over the topic that: I gave him money but did not ask him for anything. I think he realized what that meant.




They used to work with Banisadr that way. Not that Banisadr did not have the potential for that. He had the potential. Someone who wanted to be Iran’s president used to receive money from some American guy. How for example he has said he would like to invest as economy consultant in Iran. This takes him to the place where he says: I gave him money but asked for nothing. When we managed to fix this document we were so happy. This was a very important document. One becomes president and you have had intelligence relation to him, have given him money, and he is your guy, and all that after a revolution!