Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian rejected the claims that Tehran’s former ambassador to Beirut, Qazanfar Roknabadi, who went missing during the recent crush in Saudi Arabia is dead, and said there is a growing body of evidence he is alive.
‘Based on our documented evidence, eyewitnesses have seen Roknabadi alive and being transferred to a hospital, but after that that has been no reliable news about his situation and whereabouts,’ Amir Abdollahian said.
In relevant remarks in October, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Expatriates Affairs Hassan Qashqavi said that he couldn’t reject speculations about abduction of Roknabadi in Mina incident, although he declined to confirm Roknabadi’s abduction as well.
“‘The foreign ministry is very seriously pursuing Roknabadi’s case in Saudi Arabia since he is a well-known person in the region and the foreign ministry is pursuing his situation like other pilgrims who went missing during the Mina incident,’ Qashqavi said.”
Asked to comment on the speculations that Roknabadi has been kidnapped in Saudi Arabia and then transferred to Israel, he said, ‘These are just speculations; yet we cannot totally reject or confirm such claims.’
Roknabadi’s case has come under spotlight both in the Iranian and Saudi media outlets in the last few days, Roknabadi, one of Iran’s outstanding diplomats, served as the country’s ambassador to Lebanon for several years.
Certain Arab media outlets claimed that Roknabadi had traveled to Saudi Arabia through illegal channels, IRNA reports.