Mohsen Mirdamadi (Persian: محسن میردامادی, born 1955 in Najafabad, Isfahan) is an Iranian politician. He was an organizer of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, a member of the parliament of Iran (the Majlis) from 2000 until 2004, and the Secretary-General of "the largest pro-reform party" in Iran, Islamic Iran Participation Front since 11 August 2006.
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
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.`
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."
Human Rights Watch reported that he was arrested in June 2009, amidst the 2009 Iranian election protests. 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.