Iranian President Ahmadinejad

Is this him? 

Image Analysis

I was asked to provide an opinion on a black and white photo described as being from 1979. The question was to determine if the man in the photo holding a rifle is the current Iranian President Ahmadinejad. It is very difficult (often impossible) to make a certain identification with only one photo. However, while I was given only one questioned photo, there are many more recent photos of the Iranian president -- and one important photo showing him as a young man (age unknown). All of these can be helpful in an analysis.

While there are observable similarities within the two faces -- particularly the nose and head shape -- 
it is possible to have such similarities among different people, particularly when they are from a relatively homogenous
 racial population. An additional problem with the above recent picture (on right) is that his nose appears to be distorted slightly by pressure from his finger pushing against it.

Some time ago I was asked to perform a similar analysis by a governmental group and I still had a collection of images of the Iranian president. Using my archive, other recent photos, and the portrait shot of him as a young man, I was able to see more of his face and to perform a better analysis. The only significant difference I could detect was in the beard growth pattern: Specifically in the area beneath the lower lip (which is not visible in the above recent photo). In the older photo, the man appears to have a dense, full beard in that area. In more recent photos of Ahmadinejad, he appears to have relatively sparse beard growth in that area. This apparent difference is also confirmed in the photo of a "young Ahmadinejad" in which that facial area is seen clearly to be without dense beard growth.

It is my opinion, based on the images I reviewed, that they are two different people.