Iran urges UN, ICRC to shed light on case of diplomats kidnapped in Lebanon
Iran has called on the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as well as other international bodies to seriously pursue the case of four Iranian diplomats kidnapped in Lebanon about 40 years ago, saying they are being held in Israel.
In a statement on Friday, Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs once again hailed cooperation and measures taken by the Lebanese government to determine the fate of the four Iranians and said the UN, the ICRC and other international bodies as well as Lebanese officials should fulfill their legal and humanitarian duty and make their utmost efforts to shed light on this issue.
It once again called on the ICRC to set up a fact-finding committee to investigate the fate of the missing Iranian nationals.
On July 4, 1982, the year Israeli regime invaded Lebanon, Ahmad Motevasselian, Seyyed Mohsen Mousavi, Taqi Rastegar Moqaddam and Kazem Akhavan were kidnapped by a group of Israel-backed gunmen at an inspection post in northern Lebanon.
Iran says the diplomats were abducted by Phalange militiamen and handed over to Israel, but Tel Aviv says they were martyred shortly after their abduction by the militant group.
Elsewhere in its statement, the ministry said, "As announced during these years, evidence shows that the kidnapped diplomats in Lebanon have been handed over to the occupying forces of the Zionist regime and subsequently transferred to the occupied territories and are currently in the prisons of this illegitimate regime."
The Islamic Republic places "legal and political responsibility of the abduction and this act of terror" on the Tel Aviv regime and its supporters given the occupation of Lebanon at that time by the Israeli regime, which was carried out with the full support of the United States, the statement added.
"Despite the elapse of many years of this criminal and terrorist act, the international community and so-called advocates of human rights have unfortunately carried out no serious action vis-à-vis this crime," the ministry said.
"The Zionist regime, which still continues to commit crimes and violate international law with the support of the US, is evading responsibility in this respect," it added.
The ministry vowed to continue its efforts to determine the fate of the kidnapped Iranians and expressed hope that all inmates who are being kept in the Israeli regime's prisons would be released and returned home soon.