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Mohsen Mirdamadi

Mohsen Mirdamadi
Member of Parliament of Iran
In office
Constituency Tehran
Secretary-General of Islamic Iran Participation Front
Assumed office
Deputy Abdollah Ramezanzadeh
Preceded by Mohammad-Reza Khatami
Personal details
Born Najafabad, Isfahan, Iran
Political party Islamic Iran Participation Front
Spouse(s) Zahra Mojaradi
Alma mater Tehran University
Religion Shia Islam

Mohsen Mirdamadi, was an organizer of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, a member of the parliament of Iran (the Majlis) from 2000-2004,[1] and the "head of the largest pro-reform party" in Iran, Islamic Iran Participation Front since 2006.[2]

In 1979 he led Iran Hostage Crisis where 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days.

There were about 400 of us who took part in the operation. I was part of the leadership council. When the U.S. allowed the Shah to enter America for medical reasons, we were convinced they were plotting against us. So, we wanted to send them a message. We intended to detain the diplomats for a few days, maybe one week, but no more. ... events took on a life of their own. When the Imam blessed the takeover, there was no turning back[3]

In 2000 he ran for parliament as a reformist on a platform of freedom and restoring the rule-of-law to Iran, easily winning his seat. In an interview in Tehran with American journalist Robin Wright he explained

We always wanted a country that had independence, freedoms, and was an Islamic republic ... But today our emphasis is on freedoms ... The future now depends on what the people want, not what a few politicians or religious leaders prefer. Leaders in all ruling classes should be checked by the people .... there are - and should be - many different interpretations of Islam. And the people have the right to listen to those different interpretations ... No one has the right to impose his ideas on everyone else.`[4]

He was banned from running for re-election in the February 2004 along with 80 other incumbents, and along with 2500 non-incumbents by the Council of Guardians.

Although he is the secretary general of the largest reformist party in Iran, in December 2006, he harshly criticized the university students who raided and protested Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech in Amirkabir University. (see: December 2006 student protest)

He has been described as "a small man" with "a neat salt-and-pepper beard."[5]

Human Rights Watch reported that he was arrested in June 2009, amidst the 2009 Iranian election protests.[6] After his arrest he was held in solitary confinement for 110 days. He is currently serving the remainder of his six-year sentence in Evin prison.


  1. ^ Majlis of Iran
  2. ^ Iran Says Its Safe From US Attack - RealTime
  3. ^ Iran: an afternoon with a hostage-taker by Afshin Molavi, 10 - 11 - 2005
  4. ^ Wright, Robin, Sacred Rage, Simon and Schuster, (2001), p.286,
  5. ^ Wright, Robin, Sacred Rage, Simon and Schuster, (2001), p.285
  6. ^ "Iran: Halt the Crackdown". Human Rights Watch. June 19, 2009. 

External links

  • Mr. Mirdamadi! Please apologize! (Rooz daily in Persian)
  • A letter from Amirkabir University students (in Persian)
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mohammad-Reza Khatami
Secretary-General of Islamic Iran Participation Front
Succeeded by
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