Tehran Urges UN to Pursue Fate of Iranian Diplomats Abducted by Israel
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran's Foreign Ministry on Saturday called on international bodies to fulfil their legal duty to pursue the issue of Israel's kidnapping of four Iranian diplomats in Lebanon in 1982.
In a statement issued on the 33rd anniversary of the abduction, the foreign ministry asked the United Nations' Secretary-General and the International Committee of the Red Cross to act on their legal and human responsibility in this case.
On July 4, 1982, four Iranian diplomats - Ahmad Motevasselian, Seyed Mohsen Mousavi, Taqi Rastegar Moqaddam and Kazem Akhavan - were abducted at a checkpoint in northern Lebanon by a group of gunmen belonging to Israel-backed militia forces headed by Samir Geagea.
The militia headed by Geagea was known for its close ties with Israel at the time and was responsible for handing over many Lebanese and foreigners to Israeli custody at the peak of the Zionist regime’s invasion of Lebanon.
Geagea has made contradictory statements concerning the Iranian diplomats, initially saying that his militia handed them to Israel and later claiming that they witnessed their killing inside Lebanon.
In its statement, the Iranian foreign ministry further appreciated the efforts made in the past years by the Lebanese government and some international bodies to try to determine the fate of the kidnapped diplomats, particularly the Lebanese government's 2008 letter to the UN Secretary-General that confirmed the abduction.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran once again underlines its proposal for the formation of an international fact-finding committee to shed light on different dimensions of this (kidnapping) crime," the statement added.
It reiterated that given the Zionist occupation of Lebanese territories at the time and the available intelligence that shows the diplomats were taken to Occupied Palestine, Iran underlines the full legal and political responsibility of the Zionist regime in this case.
The foreign ministry further hoped that all Muslim detainees, especially the four Iranian diplomats, will soon be freed from the Zionist regime's prisons and the criminal Zionist elements who carried out the abduction will be put on trial.