Foreign Ministry: Israel responsible for fate of four kidnapped Iranians
The Republic of Iran holds Israel responsible for the fate of four Iranians kidnapped in Lebanon two decades ago, a foreign ministry spokesman said Thursday.
"The Islamic republic of Iran considers the Zionist regime directly responsible for the fate of its nationals and will continue its efforts for their release," Hamid-Reza Asefi said, quoted by state radio.
Kazem Akhavan, a photographer for IRNA new agency, Mohsen Mussavi, charge d'affaires at the Iranian embassy in Beirut, Ahmad Motevasselian, another diplomat, and Taqi Rastegar Moqaddam, the embassy driver, disappeared 20 years ago in Lebanon during the civil war.
Eight years later Samir Geagea, head of the pro-Israel Lebanese Forces militia, said they had been killed on the orders of the group's intelligence chief, Elie Hobeika.
However, Tehran has repeatedly charged that the four men are being held in Israel and has accused Israel of covering up their fate. It has also in the past asked Lebanon and international organizations to exert pressure for their release.
During an interview aired on state radio Thursday, Mussavi's wife condemned the "silence of the international community in the face of this crime".
Last month, Akhavan's family asked Iranian President Mohammad Khatami to help clarify the fate of the photographer. "The family of Kazem Akhavan, in a letter to Khatami, asked him to clarify the fate of their child," IRNA said, without elaborating. (Albawaba.com)
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