Iran’s Foreign Ministry says the four Iranian diplomats abducted in Lebanon back in 1982 are still being held in the Israeli regime’s prisons, and the world must pressure Tel Aviv and its sponsors to release them.
Ahmad Motevasselian, Seyyed Mohsen Mousavi, Taqi Rastegar Moqaddam and Kazem Akhavan were the four Iranian diplomats kidnapped “by the mercenaries of the Zionist regime in Barbara checkpoint in northern Lebanon in 1982,” the Foreign Ministry said in a Friday statement marking the 37th anniversary of the abduction.
According to the statement, evidence clearly shows that the diplomats have been handed over to Israel and consequently transferred to the occupied territories, and are now held in the Zionist regime’s prisons.
“Since Lebanon was under the US-backed Israeli occupation at that time; Iran holds the Zionist regime and its sponsors legally and politically responsible for the abduction and the terrorist move,” the statement added.
It also slammed the international community and the self-proclaimed advocates of human rights for their failure to adopt any serious measure against the crime over all these years.
The Foreign Ministry appreciated the cooperation and measures taken by the Lebanese government over these years to discover the fate of the abductees, and once again called on the world to “fulfill their natural, legal and humanitarian duty to follow up the issue.”
“The Islamic Republic once again underlines its earlier proposal that the International Committee of the Red Cross forms a fact-finding committee” to follow up the issue, it added.
It also expressed the hope that all prisoners held in the Israeli regime’s jails, especially the four Iranian abductees, will be released soon.
In September 2008, the Lebanese government sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in which Beirut confirmed the abduction of the Iranian diplomats in the Lebanese territory and called for UN action to pursue the case.
Israel has claimed that the Iranian diplomats were abducted by Lebanese Phalange forces and killed shortly after their abduction. The Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah has, however, said that it has evidence that they are still alive and in Israeli captivity.