Diplomats Kidnapped in 1982 Held by Israel

Diplomats Kidnapped in 1982 Held by IsraelDiplomats Kidnapped in 1982 Held by Israel

The Foreign Ministry on Sunday said evidence and documents indicate that the four diplomats abducted in Lebanon in 1982 are alive and held by Israel.

In a statement on the occasion of the 34th anniversary of the kidnapping of the four diplomats in Lebanon, the ministry said Iranian people and families of the kidnapped diplomats are still waiting for them, Tasnim News Agency reported.

The statement thanked efforts by the Lebanese government and relevant bodies to pursue the case, and asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, the International Committee of the Red Cross and international human rights bodies to do their share and put pressure on the occupying power in Israel to free the four men.

  Fact-Finding Committee

“The Islamic Republic of Iran reiterates its previous offer to set up a fact-finding committee to clarify different aspects of the case,” the statement said.

Earlier in June, Secretary of the Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei had said the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps is involved in security and intelligence activities to free the four diplomats. Information provided by “Iranian security and intelligence services suggests that the diplomats are alive,” he noted.

In July 1982, four men, namely the then charge d’affaires of the Iranian Embassy in Beirut Seyyed Mohsen Mousavi, military attaché Ahmad Motevaselian, embassy technician Taqi Rastegar Moqaddam and journalist of the Islamic Republic News Agency Kazem Akhavan were abducted at a checkpoint in northern Lebanon. Their vehicle was passing through a checkpoint on its way to Beirut when it was intercepted by the Phalange Party, a radical gang of gunmen affiliated to the Israel-backed militia forces headed by Samir Geagea.

The car and four passengers were never seen again. The militia headed by Geagea was known for its close ties to  Israel at the time and was responsible for handing over many Lebanese and foreigners to Israeli custody at the peak of its military invasion of Lebanon.

Geagea has made contradictory statements concerning the missing Iranians, initially saying that his militia handed them to Israel and later claiming that they witnessed their killing inside Lebanon.