Parliament’s top advisor: Israel responsible for health of 4 kidnapped Iranian diplomats

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Parliament Speaker’s Adviser for International Affairs Hossein Sheikholeslam underlined that Tehran takes Israel responsible for the lives of its four diplomats abducted in Lebanon in 1982.

“According to the international laws and our understanding, they (the diplomats) are alive and we want them back from Israel,” Sheikholeslam, who also served as Iran’s former Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, told FNA on Tuesday.

Noting that the four diplomats traveled with political passports and their names were registered as diplomats, he said, “They enjoyed diplomatic immunity but this immunity was violated by the Israeli occupying forces.”

Sheikholeslam stressed that if Israel claims that the four diplomats have died, it should transfer the remnants of their bodies to Iran.

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan announced in May that Iran is in possession of corroborative evidence proving that its four diplomats are still alive and imprisoned by Israel.

“We claim on the basis of proofs that they are alive and captivated by the Zionist regime,” General Dehqan said.

He underlined that the Israelis are responsible for the health of the Iranian diplomats, adding that Tehran will also pursue their fate legally and politically.

The then charge d’affaires of the Iranian Embassy in Beirut Seyed Mohsen Mousavi, military attaché Ahmad Motevaselian, embassy technician Taghi Rastegar Moghadam and journalist of the Islamic republic news agency Kazzem Akhavan were kidnapped by the Lebanese mercenary army – also known as the Falangists – at gunpoint in Northern Lebanon in 1982 and were later handed over to Israeli army.

Israel has released contradictory reports on the issue. The Zionist regime alleged in a statement last year that the diplomats had never been surrendered to Israel. Elsewhere it claimed in response to a request put forward by the Lebanese Hezbollah group that the four are already dead.

In January 2009, the then Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said that Iran had received a report from the Zionist regime which said the kidnapped Iranian diplomats had not been transferred to Tel Aviv and laid the blame on the Lebanese mercenary army affiliated with Israel.

In reaction to the report, the spokesman said at the time that the report “will not relieve the Zionist regime of its responsibility” for the healthiness and safe repatriation of the diplomats.

By Fars News Agency